There are many good reasons why you should read on:
1. The medical cures of the future at risk
- 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients
- As we continue to look to the natural world in search of new treatments the possibilities are diminishing as we destroy the environment of which we are a part
An area of rainforest the size of a football pitch is destroyed every two seconds - how many potential medical cures are we destroying?
2. A living planet in decline
- The Living Planet Report of 2014 has shown that Wildlife populations worldwide have declined by 52 per cent since 1970
- We are living as though we have more than one planet at our disposal - by taking more than nature can replenish, we are jeopardising our own future
- What are we leaving for our children?
3. A dermatologist in Africa. Where?
- According to the British Medical Journal, the countries benefiting the most from poaching overseas-educated doctors in 2011 were the UK (by $US2.7 billion); America ($846 million), Australia ($621 million) and Canada ($384 million)
- Medical schools in the UK are taking increasing numbers of foreign medical students
- Nine sub-Saharan countries have lost $2 billion through the doctor brain drain
- Receiving good medical care, let alone good dermatological care in Africa is becoming increasingly difficult. Several African countries have only one doctor per 50,000 people
How much are we really helping those who suffer in Africa, and the other poor nations of the world?
4. Human populations - our world is not big enough
- The human population in urban areas is projected to increase from 3.6 billion in 2011 to 6.3 billion in 2050. In many cases, city infrastructures are unable to keep pace with such rapid increases in population, nor the growth of their inhabitant’s demands
- Of the 63 most populated urban areas 39 are exposed to a high risk of at least one natural hazard, including flooding, cyclones and droughts
- Human growth is far outstripping what our natural resources can sustain, which will only lead to increased human suffering
- What is being done to control the human population?
What can you do to help?
This website has been developed with goodwill, and is free to use. In return you may wish to consider supporting one of the following organisations:
The International Foundation for Dermatology
If you are interested in helping improve dermatological resources to those regions of the world in most need, the International Foundation for Dermatology (IFD) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to improve dermatological care in rural areas of developing countries
- If you are interested in helping improve dermatological resources to those regions of the world in most need, the International Foundation for Dermatology (IFD) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to improve dermatological care in rural areas of developing countries
The WWF - The World Wildlife Fund
- Help protect our dwindling natural resources, and as yet undiscovered medical cures, as well as protecting our beautiful wildlife
- The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by close to 5 million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature
- Click here to start supporting the WWF
What else can you do to help?
Who is responsible for climate change, deforestation and the exploitation of the developing world? It is not the 90% of the world’s population that live in the developing world, but instead the unsustainable lifestyle of those living in the developed world. Working in the medical professional many of us are afforded a comfortable standard of living, which in turn means we have a greater capacity to impact on the problems highlighted on this page. Although the very nature of our work often means that we don’t have much spare time it doesn’t take a lot to make a difference:
- Shop ethically - think about what you buy, where it comes from, and what impact it is having our the environment
- As you are sitting looking at this website have a think about what energy is used to power your computer and heat your house – could you use less damaging energy? Click here to compare those companies supplying renewable energies
- Do you really need to print anything from this website or can you store the information electronically?
- If you need to print anything off please use scrap paper, recycled paper or products that are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified.
- When you have finished using your computer don’t leave it on standby, turn it off
- How many medical journals and GP magazines do you receive and not read? Contact the relevant companies to cancel the delivery. You can go further than this by contacting the Mailing Preference Service to stop receiving most of the unwanted junk that lands through your letterbox
Dr Tim Cunliffe 1st September 2014