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The bell rang during our breakfast. It was a neighbor asking me to read medicine instructions which were in English and she couldn’t understand. Her child was in pain and she gave him Zyndol, a strong painkiller which shouldn’t be taken without doctor’s supervision as the effect of taking it is similar to smoking opium. No need to say that her child was pretty much feeling high and no need to say that such drugs are under no circumstances suitable for children. She got the drug from her relative who’s working in the Netherlands and, I can assume, she was only told that it was a painkiller. But a painkiller is also aspirin…

Drugs here are not hard to get as there are many pharmacies, even in villages such as Nimero. But they are expensive and none are ‘free’ or covered under health insurance, simply because health insurance is non-existent for many people. Thus, in order to get prescription drugs you have to first pay to see a doctor and then pay for the drugs and this is just too expensive for a lot of people here.

The other day I gave paracetamol to a friend of mine as she was having a migraine. I didn’t want any money for it and thus the family asked me whether medications are free in Slovenia like they are in France. People here are told by those working in Europe that medications are free though no-one really explains to them what this ‘free’ means. The consequence being that immigrants send or bring the allegedly ‘free’ drugs to people here without telling them that such ‘free’ drugs could only be obtained from a doctor and thus were only prescribed to cure a particular illness of the patient. I don’t want to think about the effects this self-medication causes but I can only imagine that it doesn’t always end well. The problem becomes even more worrying when you know that such drugs are given to illiterate people, and there are plenty of those in places like this one.

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10.11.2009 11:45

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