July 23, 2019 | 73° F

Medical supply banks needed worldwide

When people struggle financially, it can be hard for them to satisfy basic necessities. Resources like food in particular can take up most of a struggling family’s weekly income. Thankfully, there are food banks, which provide free food for those in need. People can just stop by and pick up what they need. Wouldn't it be nice to have a medical supply bank like we have food banks?

The world went through a struggle when Ebola became a global epidemic. One of the contributing factors to the Ebola outbreak was the lack of basic medical supplies many of the affected suffered from. There are currently many nonprofit organizations that provide medical assistance to impoverished nations. However, there is a limit to the amount of medical supplies they can supply to combat persistent infectious diseases such as malaria or AIDS. Because they are not prepared for worldwide epidemics of infectious diseases, they don’t have sufficient amounts of medical supplies to combat the diseases they usually treat in an epidemic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) currently has emergency services, but they lack a medical supply bank that would aid any nation afflicted with the outbreak of an infectious disease with the potential of becoming a global epidemic. Though the WHO has been criticized for its response to the spread of Ebola, its role is to identify potential increases of infectious diseases and to inform the governments of those countries of the potential dangers. Entering affected countries and taking care of a quickly spreading outbreak goes beyond the scope of WHO. A medical supply bank for emergencies, with multiple locations around the world that works with WHO, should be established. A medical supply bank would protect doctors who become vulnerable to the diseases they treat if they lack the medical supplies to protect themselves, such as gloves, prevent further economic hardships to third world countries and prevent a situation like the recent Ebola epidemic, when the world was unprepared.

Yiraisa Andujar is a junior in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences majoring in Biological Sciences.

Yiraisa Andujar

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