Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Getting My Shots and Pills

Yellow Fever shot: Check
Malaria Malerone pills: Check

That was all the pre-trip medication I was required or recommended for Rwanda. I will be taking malaria pills this go around. I did not take any in Costa Rica or Indonesia, but apparently the incidence of deadly malaria is higher in central Africa than in most other locations. So I decided that $115 was worth the insurance of probably not getting malaria. Plus I plan to use permithrin and DEET to ward off mosquitoes. Getting sick for several weeks is not conducive to much in terms of training improvement. I don't run all those miles for fun alone.

This situation brings up a larger point, what is the cost benefit of preventative medicine? For example, the records concerning my Hepatitis A and Polio were not clear that I was safe. Chances are I am fine, but the point is what would the cost of that shot be compared to the possibility that I contract either disease? I bring this up because it seems we are almost entirely reactive when it comes to health care instead of proactive, and it frustrates me. We worry about the obesity epidemic then take away recess so kids have more time available to sit in a chair in a classroom.

An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure, at least for the person paying the bills.

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