For a World with Healthy Children

Yuka Yamazaki
Misawa Dai-ichi Middle School

When we get sick, where do we go? Everybody will answer, ga hospital.h This is because we are living in an advanced country. It is said that there are about 350 million children around the world that cannot see doctors or get medicine if they become sick. How would you feel if your family was not able to get help when you were sick, just like these children?

When I was in elementary school, I saw a TV program about children suffering from disease in Africa. Because these children were living in poor houses and did not have chances to see doctors, they were dying. But even in African countries torn apart by civil war and with many displaced refugees, there was a doctor helping people. The doctor was Japanese. He couldn't receive payment because the patients were so poor, but he worked hard anyway. I wondered why this Japanese doctor cared so much about African children.

That doctor was in Africa as a special overseas doctor from Japan. While he lived there, he felt that he needed to help save the lives of the many suffering people in Africa. But because he was licensed only in Japan, he couldn't help other people. This bothered him. For example, if someone collapsed in an airplane, could only people from the same country help? No matter what the nationality, people become doctors to help other people. This doctor was no different. So he quit his job at the embassy and became an international doctor. I was so impressed by this that his work stayed in my mind.

In Japan, we can get medical treatment safely and easily. Even if we suddenly collapse, there are ambulances and helicopters to help us. We are truly blessed to be in such an environment. However, in foreign countries like Africa, there are many children who are in need of urgent medical care.

I heard that this doctor had returned to Japan to heal those suffering from the earthquake on March 11th. He was helping people in both Africa and the Tohoku area in Japan. There are few doctors that can act only by a desire to simply help other people. I realized all he wanted to do was help the people who are most in need, regardless of what country they lived in. I want to be like him, someone who can act on their own free will.

From now, as I study to be a doctor, I will study the culture and customs of different countries so that I can be flexible and work well as a member of an international health care staff. I want to absorb as much of this knowledge that I can. In addition, I will try to be a doctor that can help many children get better quickly. Finally, in any difficult situation, I want to have a strong mind to be able to work through adversity in a positive manner, as the doctor does. That is my dream. I will pursue it without giving up.

(3-31 Speech in 64th Contest, 2012)

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