Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews Personal view

The sour taste of aid snobbery

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 31 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:505
  1. Daniel Magnus, senior house officer in paediatrics (
  1. Southmead Hospital, Bristol

    In western Kenya in the middle of July a team of 20 British doctors and nurses, predominantly from Bath, ran a series of free medical camps in one of the most impoverished areas in the country. The people came in enormous numbers. Some people came with little wrong at all but excited at the chance to see a doctor instead of the long and unaffordable journey to the nearest government facility to pay for suffocating bureaucracy and a bed to share with two other people. Many others came with the predictable and tragic array of subSaharan diseases in an area with endemic malaria and poverty and an HIV/AIDS prevalence of 25%. In total, the team and the Kenyan staff with whom they were working saw 14 000 patients.

    The clinical visit was organised by the Kenyan Orphan Project—a small group started by two medical student friends and myself that, for the past five years, has been helping with health, …

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