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Relief For The Worlds Urban Poor?



Worldwide the number of urban poor is increasing steadily throughout Asia, Latin American. Emanuel lives in one such shantytown that surrounds the city of Lubango in Angola, southern Africa from where I’m writing at this moment. Emanuel’s family is in crisis. His youngest child Elena, three-years old, started vomiting and passing bloody diarrhea. Her two older siblings began shivering from high fever. Emanuel ‘s wife, disfigured and disabled from polio, attempted to get next to and comfort them by sliding her body across the dirt floor of their one-room, tin roof house.


Emanuel, desperate to find treatment for his children, entered the dense neighborhood of shoddily-built homes, separated by footpaths and streams of tainted water. Emanuel went first to the pharmacy, but was turned away. Caring for his sick kids, Emanuel has not worked in five days and had no money to purchase medicine. He next stopped at the local dispensary, but found it boarded up. Emanuel, empty handed, reentered his congested community, passing neighbors who described with alarm how fever and diarrhea are spreading among their children, too.


Late in the afternoon, Emanuel arrived at the Lubango Evangelical Medical Center – an INMED Training Site – where a compassionate staff treated little Elena’s dysentery and controlled her sibling’s malaria. But stopping acute disease alone is never sufficient until prevention is also addressed.


True or False: An effective, widely accepted strategy for improving urban public health includes efforts to increase literacy and general education, provide jobs and economic growth, and combat the leading causes of death and disability.


The correct answer is True. The Human Development Index (HDI) is both a measure of human wellbeing and a proven strategy for achieving urban public health. It includes three basic elements: increasing literacy and general education, increasing economic opportunities, and targeted health interventions that best promote health and prevent the leading causes of death and disability. In the case of Emanuel’s community, the latter would include provision of safe drinking water and use of mosquito nets.


Relief for the urban poor requires comprehensive improvements. INMED is fully committed to equipping individuals in the healthcare fields to play an active role. The September-October INMED International Medicine Intensive Online Course and INMED International Public Health Intensive Online Course are convenient ways to increase your own potential to assist the urban poor to attain sustainable progress and to help assure the Emanuel family never again faces such a crisis.

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