India is full of newspaper columnists and entire magazines which devote themselves to pontificating on the wellbeing of the underprivileged. Vast think tanks get millions in funding to produce papers on the subject. Public health PhDs from around the world are researching on public health in India. Yet, the best writing on cervical cancer among the women of India — the ones whose parents cannot afford a protective vaccine for their daughters — comes from that cheerleader for American capitalism, Forbes.
How come? Honest coverage of this issue requires three things that the élite left wing groups are uncomfortable with
• acknowledging the shortcomings of a public sector / NGO demonstration project on HPV vaccines in India
• a solution that will require private sector involvement from one of the company’s that has discovered an HPV vaccine
• the danger that well-meaning but amateur efforts by NGOs and public health boffins could lead India to the catastrophic situation that has arisen in Europe — in some areas, half of children are no longer protected against measles or mumps because the entrepreneurial efforts of anti-vaccine crazies have worked better than the earnest explanations of the public health authorities
For those of us who don’t always put our faith in capitalism, it’s worth thinking about whether this article might have wider implications