Action Alert!

The Gates Foundation to the rescue

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jul 20, 2012

Imagine that you’re a young woman living in South Sudan. You’ve just learned that you are pregnant. This is exciting, because you and your husband are anxious to have children. But it’s also frightening, because you know that in your country, pregnancy and childbirth are dangerous.

You wish that you could count on having an adequate supply of food and clean water during your pregnancy; but you can’t. You wish that you had ready access to a doctor, or at least a nurse, in case something goes wrong; but you don’t. You wish that there was a hospital or clinic nearby where you could be treated in an emergency; but there isn’t. You wish that you had basic medicines—antacids, malaria pills, antibiotics—to keep you healthy during pregnancy; but you don’t.

You’re scared, and understandably so. But don’t worry; the Gates Foundation is coming to help you. Because, you see, they’re worried about maternal mortality, especially in Africa. So with any luck, the Gates Foundation will turn up in South Sudan in time to bring:

  • Food, to keep you well nourished? No.
  • Educational material, to let you know what you need to do to keep healthy? No.
  • Money to pay for a doctor or nurse at a local clinic? Sorry, no.
  • Basic medicines for the infirmary in town? Afraid not.
  • Bandages, clean sheets, and beds for a hospital? Wrong again.
  • An autoclave to sterilize surgical instruments? No chance.
  • Condoms? Yes, sir. All the condoms you want.

Right now a condom won’t do you much good, by anyone’s reckoning. You’re still scared. But don’t worry; the Gates Foundation might also offer injectible contraceptives. Because, you see, the Gates Foundation cares about what you need.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: fwhermann3492 - Jul. 23, 2012 10:17 AM ET USA

    Well said.