AIR-CLINIC WRITING CONTEST: Poverty, The Elder Cousin Of Diseases | The Shoplifter Saver: A short story about disease and poverty

in air-clinic •  6 months ago

This post is in response to @air-clinic's contest. You can read more about it here. This account conducts a weekly writing contest for all health care professionals, health enthusiasts and laymen. I have already participated in the contest once which was about abortion. It was a really sensitive topic but very much worthy to be written about. I would very much love to participate again. This week's theme asks this question:

Do you believe that poverty and diseases are closely related?

Introduction

Diseases and Socioeconomic Status are almost always causally linked to each other. In fact, Poverty is listed as one of the risk factors of any disease. The lack of means to promote a healthy living condition such as inadequate diet, faulty waste disposal, unhygienic water system, inadequate health services, and unsafe environmental situations are common causes vector-borne diseases such as Dengue. All of these qualities are often found in slum areas where the most impoverished sectors of the society usually reside.

This is the reason why alleviation of poverty concerns not only government officials but also health care providers as freedom from poverty also means liberating the people from the burdens of diseases. Health should be in the hands of the people regardless of an social boundary. Health should be made available, most especially for the poor.

The Shoplifter Saver

store-store-shop.jpg

The ticking of the clock was agonizing for Paul. It's late at night and Paul is working through his usual night shift clerk at a pharmacy downtown. He usually just sits around as no one ever comes to the store at this time of the day. To clear the dead air, he decided to turn up the radio, "A terrible virus has struck the local village downtown. Reports say that this epidemic has stricken hundreds of villagers near the local swamp which has kill infected individuals in a matter of days. Doctor George of the Department of Health urges everyone to stay clear from static water where these virus-carrying mosquito usually breed", the reporter over the radio mentions with a tone of urgency.

In addition to hating his job and his hours of shift, he never really liked the village nearby. The people there were among the most impoverished in the city. In fact, one of the villages afflicted by the vector-borne disease was the area just blocks away from the pharmacy store. "It's such a shame how so many lives are easily taken by disease", he occupied himself with this thought. The idea of people's lives taken away due to lack of health care and poverty definitely made him uneasy.

As he was filled with deep thought, out of nowhere, a rustling sound of plastic echoed in the store. He looked around. Suddenly, the refrigerator door opened just across the store. He immediately ran to the opposite side of the room. In front of him, a short, bony kid around 8 years old froze in shock, holding the cooler door open on his left hand and carrying a big plastic bag on the other hand with three bottles of mineral water inside. The kid was wearing tattered shorts and half a pair of slippers on one of his foot. It took a split second for Paul to realize what was happening. "Shoplifter!", he shouted. In an instant the kid took two more bottles of water and stormed through the exit, towards the village.

philippines-321674_960_720.jpg

Without hesitation, he chased after the kid to try and retrieve the stolen goods. "How could I be so stupid! I'm definitely going to be in trouble for this!". He ran after the boy as he knew that his job depended on it. The kid passed through tight spaces and dilapidated houses as he eagerly chased after. The place was all to familiar. Of all the areas the kid could have escaped through, it had to be the poorest village nearby. No wonder the area was struck with a terrible disease, the village was filthy. Surprisingly, the muddy pathway, the deadly stench of the surroundings and the tight spaces was the least of his concerns. He knew he had to catch that thief.

Finally, the street came to a dead end. He could see a wooden wall just meters away from where the kid was heading straight into. The boy dropped the plastic bag, fell into his knees as he faced the wall in front of him. "I have you now, criminal!". Aside from the fact that he was gasping for air from all the running, what he saw next definitely left Paul lose his breathe. He could see a frail body of a girl right in front of the kid. She doesn't seem to be well. Beside her was another body which seems to have lost its vitality - rigid and dead. "You can turn me in at the police station but please spare me these supplies. I already lost my mother and I can't afford to lose my sister as well."

suicide-759112.jpg

It started to make sense to Paul and he was now confronted with the very thought that crossed his mind a few moments back - the idea of poverty taking someone's life.

gothique page break.png

Photos used are released under CC0 Creative Commons, for free public domain and commercial use.
Retrieved from publicdomainpictures.net and pixabay.com

JOSEJIRAFA Banner.png
@steemph.cebu | @steemiteducation | @air-clinic | @thealliance | @steemph

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

This happens all the time and when they steal they take what ever supplies they can grab and those mostly are what is not needed which wont help the ones in need, if people could reach out more and help when we can with what ever extra we have there could be less poverty and better prevention of emergencies like this

·

That may be true @krvin. Because resources are scarce, it should be the reason why those who dont receive any be given more importance