Healthcare in developing countries is very different from that in the United States. The following story is a starkly real example of what can happen when a family in one of these areas is faced with a health crisis.
A young woman in her mid-thirties suffered burns to 40% of her body and was taken to one of the government hospitals. She was initially treated on a general medical floor. After approximately two weeks, she developed lung problems and had to be put on a breathing machine and was transferred to the ICU. She required the maximum amount of support that was possible—the breathing machine, antibiotics, medicine to sedate her and medicine to keep her blood pressure up.
By this point, her family had very few resources left and could barely afford to pay for her antibiotics, much less the laboratory tests she needed. On Friday, when Dr. Jane went home for the weekend, the young woman was still very sick, but stable. When Dr. Jane returned Monday morning, the patient was no longer there. Dr. Jane asked what had happened. She was told that the young woman’s family had completely run out of money and could no longer buy the antibiotics, sedation or blood pressure medicine she needed. Due to a lack of money, the woman died.
You and I can’t even imagine having a family member die because we don’t have the money to pay for treatment. Most of us have medical insurance or other resources to help us pay. In the United States, even the poorest individuals are not denied medical care because of lack of money. It is hard for us to imagine the despair these families must face, knowing treatment is available, yet they cannot access it because of lack of funds. A life is lost, solely and completely for the lack of money. Sometimes just $60-$100 can make the difference between life and death.
As a result of learning about these types of situations, LAMB established The ISAAC Network—Individuals Sharing Abundance for Aid and Care. The ISAAC Network provides a means by which many of us, each giving a small amount, can help people who would otherwise not receive treatment. For some people, this amount may be $25 or $50. For others, it may be $1 or $2. The beauty of the network is, as it grows to several hundred or thousand people, by sharing these small amounts, together we can literally save lives.
Our hope is that you will want to join us in this endeavor. The Bible tells the story of Isaac, who, by the grace of God and the obedience of a faithful servant was saved from death. (Genesis 22) If we all will obediently share just a bit of our abundance, a small amount at a time, we can make a very real impact in the lives of others.
Read the story of four-year-old Johana Minda and how the ISAAC Network helped her receive life-saving heart surgery. It is an eye-opening account of how healthcare works in many developing countries.