Yep.  As you can tell by the title, this is not going to be a fun read.

If you lived and breathed and raised (or are raising) children in a particular country, you should still continue reading.  Plus, you have to continue reading to learn which country I mean. 😛

Not so very long ago, the good Lord allowed some great men to discover penicillin.  The actual molecule itself (6 A-P-A, if you care) is quite unstable, which among other things meant that it shouldn’t be freely exposed to air.  How to get penicillin into a human body where it can actually fight bad bugs?  Well, you inject it.  To quote my professor, for reasons of hitting a massive muscle with the drug, there was this “large needle given on the rump.”  As he put it, “this was perceived to be a little undesirable.”  Therefore great research at considerable costs (emotional, financial, etc.) was done to figure out a way to get penicillin available in other forms, e.g., a tablet.  And voila!  Now your doctor doesn’t need to jab you “on the rump” when s/he gives you penicillin.  (This little story is basically repeatable for other drugs, too.)

However, however, however, there is (was?) a significant chunk of the world that prefers to do things their own way and seriously limit the money spent on research; plus, it refuses to acknowledge some of the scientific findings from the rest of the world, presumably for political reasons and, well, the devastating effects it would have on their egos to accept scientific knowledge from their competitors.

Some of the loveliest people I know live in that chunk of the world, and are still getting their shots the, uh, old-fashioned way.  And that makes me sad.  And that medical bigotry, in which you care only about your ego and next to nothing about your patient, is one of the reasons why I’m not studying medicine in that part of the world.

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