A Small Pharmacy Can Save Lives and Help Break The Cycle of Poverty

Access To Medicines Developing WorldFebruary 20, 2012 - - Maria is the Community Health Worker for Las Minas, a poor village located near Barahona in the Dominican Republic. Her day-to-day work includes home visits, presenting health workshops, and managing a community pharmacy. The pharmacy is essentially a medicine cabinet that sits in the front room of her house from which she dispenses the medicines needed to treat a variety of illnesses. Before Maria’s community pharmacy was established, the closest pharmacy was 45 minutes away by motor bike. The cost of traveling to that pharmacy, coupled with the cost of the medications themselves, made this an impossible option for many families. Now people have access to life-saving medications 24/7/365 at a price that they can afford. This kind of local access to medications can mean the difference between life and death for a sick child.

The opportunity to be a health promoter has also changed Maria’s life. She is greatly respected in her community and loves her work. Her dedication to help her neighbors is one of the primary reasons why under nutrition has currently been eradicated in Las Minas. The stipend she receives for her work as a Community Health Worker has helped her send her oldest child to college, where he is studying Electrical Engineering. Opportunities like these make a lasting difference and help break the cycle of poverty in the developing world.

This article was reported by MFH Program Manager Amelia Brandt.

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