Which comes first? Your family or your health?
In Episode 2, we introduced the “tiny bag dilemma” and discussed what lead me to start asking the infamous questions associated with medical missions:
“Are we causing more harm than good?”
Prefer to watch the Vlog Episode instead of reading?
For this episode, I wanted to focus on the first “solution” that came to mind when I was trying to tackle “tiny bag dilemma”.
“Can we give them a large amount to last them until we return?”
For our patients whose barrier to healthcare is a financial barrier (meaning they can’t afford to go see the doctor or buy their medications) for these patients, studies have shown that these patients frequently faced with the choice of:
“Do I use these medications medical mission team have given me” or “Do I sell them to be able to put food on the table for my family”?
That is ESPECIALLY the case when it is US manufactured and name brand medications.
I never knew there was a medical term to this until I recently re-read through the Diabetes Guidelines. This phenomenon I just describe is known as Food Insecurities and it refers to the inability to access food because of inadequate finances or other resources.
It exists whenever the availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or the ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways is limited or uncertain. [e.g., without resorting to emergency food supplies, scavenging, stealing, or other coping strategies].
But what was even more eye opening is that Food-insecure adults are at 50% higher risk for diabetes.
So, to me, that says a large percentage of our patients could be Food-insecure and struggle with this tough decision.
THUS it would NOT be smart for Be the Change to give LARGE quantities. Rather we have to find a more PERIODIC way to give ADEQUATE amounts of medications AND ensure our patients are being compliant.
Moreover, these patients, at some point, may need dose titrations, supplemental therapies added on and would greatly benefit from educational support and accountability throughout their therapy.
As we cross the “Large Quantity” suggestion off the list of solutions, you may even be able to guess what suggestion I thought of next? Comment below to take a guess and stay tuned to find out! Until next time!