Over 50,000 people have died worldwide due to kidney failure with unknown etiology, alerting healthcare professions and public health workers to an epidemic that may also be linked to the changing climate. The abnormally high number of deaths are concentrated in Central America. In the past two decades, public health workers and other officials have estimated that over 20,000 people have died in Central America and many of these people do not possess the usual risk factors of hypertension and diabetes for kidney failure.
Although The Affordable Care Act seeks to provide medical insurance to the uninsured at affordable rates, those who could perhaps benefit the most from this program have not been enrolling. Every one in three Latinos is uninsured, making this the ethnic group with largest number of uninsured people residing in the United States.1 Several factors contribute to this lack of enrollment including fear of deportation, general lack of awareness about the program, language barriers, and restricted internet access.
Nestled in the hills just outside downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a large, nondescript warehouse that is home to an organization that has been mending the world and quietly leaving its mark on health care providers all over the globe, one donation at a time. Global Links, like many organizations in today’s environmentally-conscious non-profit community, has a mission that includes an emphasis on environmental stewardship: recycling, repurposing, and sharing. But this is no ordinary recycling program.
Venezuela has long been labeled the rebel in Latin America, holding on to a socialist identity since Hugo Chávez first brought his social revolution to fruition in the country. Part of this social revolution was providing poor Venezuelans with social services, namely health care. Though a popular idea, Venezuela has never truly been able to maintain the necessary resources and services to create an effective health care system. As a result, tens of thousands of citizens lack access to health care, medicine, and life-saving treatments.