Researchers Shocked at 'Pain Gap' Between Rich and Poor
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.
A new study on pain management around the world has shocked researchers.
The study found that many people in poor and middle-income countries suffer unimaginable pain without any help. They lack even the cheapest painkillers to manage severe pain.
The results of this study has led to action. Researchers now want to find ways to help the millions of people who suffer needlessly.
Felicia Knaul is one of the researchers involved in the study. She is a professor at the University of Miami's School of Medicine. She says that around 61 million people worldwide live and some die in great pain because of a lack of pain medicine and proper care.
Knaul says she became interested in global pain management after her own surgery for breast cancer.
"I woke up from a mastectomy and I remember the horror of the pain, of not being able to breathe. And yet, I got access almost immediately to pain relief, which allowed me to push through it much more easily."
She says that when she realized how inexpensive it could be to help people suffering in pain, she felt the need to act.
"When I thought about other women going through this, when I thought about children, burn victims and having their wounds dressed and cleaned, and the agony of that without pain relief, and then when I found out how inexpensive it is to solve this problem, a real win-win in global health --- that was when we really decided to move forward."
Knaul led the international study on pain relief published in The Lancet. She explains that the researchers looked at worldwide access to a common pain medication, morphine.
"We looked across the world using, as a tracer, access to morphine. And more than 100 countries could satisfy less than 30 percent of need for pain relief just for palliative care alone. And, in fact, the vast majority have almost nothing."
In the United States, morphine costs three cents per dose. In low-income countries, it costs five times as much. However, it is usually not available.
If the cost of morphine were the same for all countries, the study found that it would cost $145 million to make pain relief available for all.
Developing countries can work to close -- what researchers are calling -- the "pain gap." Uganda is one example. Its government makes and distributes morphine for the country's hospitals. Doctors are trained in giving the drug and patients are monitored.
Knaul has asked the World Bank to help end the pain gap. Experts are still developing plans. But the goal is clear: to provide pain relief for the millions of people who truly need it.
And that's the Health & Lifestyle report.
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.severe pain 剧烈疼痛
One woman suffered such severe pain she had to take opiates to control it.
2.found out 发现
I found out my phone was bugged.
3.access to 接近
He has a security clearance that allows him access to classified information
4.breast cancer 乳腺癌
The incidence of breast cancer increases with age.
5.She says that around 61 million people worldwide live and some die in great pain because of a lack of pain medicine and proper care.
a lack of 缺乏
There is a lack of confidence in the government's ability to manage the economy
There is a lack of trust towards the central government in Rome.
6.And, in fact, the vast majority have almost nothing.
the vast majority 绝大多数
The vast majority of the eggs would be cracked.
The vast majority of our cheeses are made with pasteurised milk
该研究发现，在许多贫穷和中等收入国家，人们在没有任何帮助下遭受着难以想象的疼痛 。他们甚至连可缓解严重疼痛的廉价止疼药都没有 。
这项研究成果促使人们采取行动 。研究人员想要设法救助数百万本不需要承受疼痛的人 。
费莉西亚·诺尔（Felicia Knaul）是研究人员之一 。她是迈哈密大学医学院的教授 。她指出，全球约6100万人遭受着剧烈的疼痛，其中一些人因缺乏止疼药和恰当的治疗而死亡 。
“我从乳房切除手术中苏醒过来，我仍然记得那种疼痛多么可怕，让人无法呼吸 。不过很快我得到止痛的治疗，这让我更轻松地度过这段时期 。”
诺尔主导的这项缓解疼痛的国际研究刊登在《柳叶刀》杂志上 。她解释称，研究人员调查了全球对最常见止疼药吗啡的使用情况 。
“我们调查了全球使用吗啡作为示踪剂的情况 。仅从缓解疼痛来看，吗啡可满足100多个国家的不到30%的需求量 。事实上，绝大部分病人都没有止疼药 。
在美国，吗啡每剂的价格为3美分 。而在低收入国家，吗啡的价格却高出5倍 。然而，吗啡还是短缺 。
研究人员称，发展中国家可以缩小这种“疼痛差距” 。乌干达就是典型的案例 。乌干达政府制造并为本土医院提供吗啡 。医院会培训医生注射吗啡，病人也会接受观察 。
诺尔向世界银行寻求帮助，希望终结这种疼痛差距 。而专家们仍然在制定计划 。不过，他们的目标已经明确：为数百万真正需要的人缓解疼痛 。