Obstacles in Responding to Medical Crises

How can you make a difference in the world?


During the first months of my residence in New York City, the lavishness and consumption of the American lifestyle surprised me. As a new immigrant from rural China to the Big Apple, I was mentally unprepared for the sights and sounds of such a wealthy country, which is capable of utilizing so much of the world’s resources for her luxurious ways. Now, I have become accustomed to these ways of life. Water, food, and shelter come easily and everyone around me is immune against contagious diseases. I soon discovered the harsh truth, however, that not everyone is so fortunate.

When I returned to my birthplace, I found myself unable to grasp the magnitude of the health problems people face outside of the United States. I visited hospitals and temporary clinics that had unacceptable health practices according to American standards. Still, to people with acute and chronic illnesses, those establishments were the best options available. Finally, I realized that the United States is such a lucky nation endowed with the resources to meet people’s basic needs and to respond to medical crises. My trip to China starkly exposed a major societal problem of our generation, which is the lack of proper healthcare. As a global citizen, I have the...

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