$228. That’s how much it cost. I was shocked. How can one bottle of medicine cost me that much? But I didn’t have an alternative. I had malaria. That was the only medicine available. What can you do? You pay it. But I thought of all my friends living in Kenya where I got malaria. Most of them couldn’t pay that much for malaria drugs. Maybe their pharmacies don’t charge U.S. prices, but they still often don’t have enough to cover the cost. So they do without. Some are ok. Unfortunately, some are not. More than 1,000 people die from malaria every day because they can’t access or pay for the medical care they need. And many others can’t afford the price of a mosquito net for protection. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? I’m not minimizing the problems we have in the U.S., but global poverty—where nearly half the world lives on less than $2.50/day—is different when you are honest. A friend of mine sent me these statistics:
- 97% of Americans living below the poverty line own at least one color television.
- 80% of Americans living below the poverty line have air conditioning.
- 75% of Americans living below the poverty line own at least one car.
- The average American residence has 2.56 rooms (approx. 740 sq. ft.) per person and 100% clean water access.
- The average Kenyan residence has 0.27 rooms (approx. 55 sq. ft.) per person and 40% clean water access.
My point is not to make you feel guilty. It is to make you feel grateful. I am really thankful that I can pay $228 and not miss a meal or probably anything else that I want. I’m finding that there is hardly anything in the world better than giving. And it doesn’t take that much money given in the right place to totally change someone’s life. – Milton Jones, CRF President