It is important to recognize that there are not simple solutions to these issues or that only providing funding would make them disappeared. As a surgical pathologist and a clinical epidemiologist, I believe that knowing “the problem and its scope” would be the first step in addressing the issue. Collecting epidemiologic data along with developing locally sounded building-capacity modules are of paramount importance. Demonstrating unity and empathy along with the ability to understand and share the feelings of others would certainly be fundamental to building-capacity and creating motivations. On my last day lecture, after answering all the questions, one of the technical staff from the audience raised his hand and said “I have a question! When are you coming back?” That was then when I realized that my presence, no matter how small or how seemingly insignificant may have been, made a difference in my fellow colleagues in Botswana. This was later followed by one of my colleagues, Dr. Peter Zetler (retired) from Vancouver, who spent 4 weeks in Gaborone providing clinical services and training to the National Health Laboratory.
Pathology is global, and philanthropy is the essence of “Pathology Global Health” programs. We as pathologists, along with other medical disciplines, should play a major role in leading the humanitarian sectors. As a UBC clinical faculty, who was privileged enough to independently take a “baby step” in this direction, I would encourage all my fellow colleagues to support Global Health through philanthropy. And this reminds me of one of the most beautiful poem by William Shakespeare:
“The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes”.