written by Daphne Northrop, video by Emily Judem
DEBRE MARKOS, Ethiopia — A dozen people crowd a small outside window at Debre Markos Hospital, jostling each other, angling to get to the pharmacist who might have the medicine they need. They have already waited in two other lines, one to get their bills, another to pay. An elderly man coughs uncontrollably. One mother with malaria walked two miles to the clinic, three children in tow. The pharmacist shouts to be heard over the racket.
Ultimately, some of these patients receive their medication. Others are too late; the stock bin is empty. Still others may have departed with just one of the several medicines prescribed to them.