“Putting everything into the function of health and education, the extremely complex economic and technological problems of today’s society will have the right framework for their treatment. It seems to us that proceeding in the opposite way will not lead to a society with evolutionary possibilities”. (Silo, from the book Letter to my Friends)
We begin this series of notes entitled Prioritising Health in order to highlight situations that affirm or degrade this humanist paradigm, which is a fundamental pillar of the profound transformations New Humanism is promoting.
Some time ago, in a note, in reference to the distribution of vaccines for Covid-19, REHUNO said:
An opportunity is opening up
Will humanity be able to listen to this “signal” and give a global response of solidarity, kindness, compassion, without discrimination or violence? Will it be able to listen to this need, this deep “clamour” that demanded (demands) a transformation of its usual system of response based on economic power, individualism and violence?… the challenge was posed:
“To generate an organised and equitable global response that simultaneously reaches all corners of the planet. To put science at the service of ALL humanity, without discrimination, without putting money above human life, without first, second- or third-class citizens”.
This opportunity seems (at least for the moment) lost.
Vaccines are distributed as a mirror of the reigning economic power on the planet. Here are some statistics that reflect this:
% Of the population vaccinated (at least one dose) by region as of 28 July (1):
- Europe: 48%
- European Union: 58%.
- North America: 49%
- South America: 40%
- Asia: 28% Africa: 3
- Africa: 3%.
- And of course, if we compare countries, the disproportion increases (1):
- United Kingdom: 70%.
- United States: 57%
- Spain: 67%
- United Arab Emirates: 79
- Guatemala: 7% Afghanistan
- Afghanistan: 2.2% Ethiopia: 1.9
- Ethiopia: 1.9
WHO and other global organisations, through the COVAX programme, are trying to promote equitable distribution of vaccines? So far, they have distributed some 32 million doses. The US and other powerful countries boast of “donating” a few million vaccines to countries in need… insignificant figures compared to the real needs. Once again, the feudal scheme of the powerful handing over what is surplus to their vassals is maintained.
Therefore, we must emphasise that: “it is not a question of handouts…”.
It is about a profound transformation in the international mechanisms, which should be driven by international organisations (UN, WHO, UNICEF), that coordinates and ensures an equitable distribution of the vaccines that are produced worldwide among “ALL” countries regardless of their economic capacity, government ideology or geographical location. This is a profound change in the management of crises and critical social problems facing humanity.
Possibly, many will label this proposal as “naive”, as something unrealistic given the current world situation.
But no, these are genuine ideals that feed the souls of millions and millions of people around the world who aspire to a world of solidarity and non-violence.
They are paradigms of a future Universal Human Nation that will have health as a fundamental priority and will not admit any discrimination or violence.
(1) Source: Our World in Data (https://ourworldindata.org)