Preparing to Go

Preparing to Go

$72.85.  That’s about how much I paid out of pocket with insurance picking up the other approximately $200 in vaccines and drugs that I needed to prepare to go to Haiti.  I returned from the pharmacy with a sore shoulder and 2 bags of items.  Vaccines for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Influenza, Cholera, & Typhoid plus anti-Malaria medications.  Then there was the preventions against Traveler’s diahhrea and an antibiotic in case of something worse.  Then I was given a list of diseases against which there was no vaccine, Dengue, Zika, Tuberculosis, etc.  What struck me is that most Haitians are living on about $1/day.  Haiti is one of the world’s poorest countries and the poorest in the Americas region, with poverty, corruption, poor infrastructure, lack of health care and lack of education cited as the main sources.  There is no way that most residents could afford  to get purchase these same vaccines and drugs that I was able to acquire, mostly through insurance.  Its a stark reminder of the disparities that exist and the privilege that many of us in the developed world receive without even knowing it.  Tomorrow I begin taking the anti-malarial.  All that’s left is to go get some Deet and pack my bags.