The struggle against poverty: A sanitary census

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Objectively speaking, if we consider Argentina´s formidable richness and its relatively low population density,the fact that one third of its citizens are living in poverty is inadmissible and incomprehensible. A statistical analysis of poverty is worthless if there is no knowledge of its roots. This is essential.

Let us consider “lack of health” as a relevant cause. We might imagine that low income and poverty would be linked differently if we could analyze the results of an Argentine sanitary census.If sanitary deficiencies were to be considered a cause, poverty could be battled with the (usually low cost) pharmacopoeia at our disposal. This being so, the knowledge of our state of healthwould prove to be a very cost-effective investment.It is way more helpful and humane to recognize the unhealthy indigents´ needs and to grant them adequate treatment, than to dispense subsidies at random. A healthy worker will always have more income than an unhealthy one.

The reader may think that an investigation of this kind might possibly require of a substantial inexistent funding, but regardless of calculations we may imagine a way to establish aperiodical obligatory medical check-up so as to know the state of health of the population and to have the possibility to provide proper aid in time. Quoting Benjamin Franklin: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

A vaccine against a hereditary disease is doubtlessly more inexpensive than taking care of a diseased son. Besides, if treatment in time can prevent it, no one in loving care would choose that kind of legacy intentionally.This type of health program may be hard to establish overnight but it could be implemented right now with the income acquired by discharging the “ñoquis” – In Argentina a gnocchi is a person who is legally registered as a worker for the government and receives a monthly wage but performs little or no work. As General Manuel Savio said: “what’s important is not to delay any further”.

Once with the sanitary census properly introduced and running -with its possible preliminary mistakes corrected-, there would be more funding for it; more participants; more enthusiasm; the actors would acquire more confidence in the making; and the once shy initial steps would progress into a successful plan. Brilliant ideas would appear and nourish its development.

War against poverty can start right now and save us a marathon of discourses against a situation which alters not with oratory masterpieces but with concrete facts.

Though health is obviously not the only cause of poverty, it is an efficient and humane way of reducing the dimension of the problem.Argentina’s progress requires of strong arms and active minds and not the opposite (which may be caused by preventable health problems or easily curable diseases).As our resources stop being worthlessly wasted,economic inflation would be fought.

To those who think a sanitary census is too big of a task to be attempted we reply with Antonio Machado’s words: “Wayfarer, there is no way, / The way is made amid the ride.”

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