America, News Watch, Side Feature

For the Sake of Profit Greedy Capitalism Never Minds Leading Humankind to Extinction

According a study published by The Lancet Journal on Wednesday, over 1.2 million people died in 2019 as a direct result of antimicrobial resistance, far outnumbering the number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS or malaria.

This is the most comprehensive estimate to date of the global impact of antimicrobial resistance, according to researchers from the University of Washington in the US. Antimicrobial resistance has been a growing cause of concern across the world as widespread use of over-the-counter antimicrobials has caused several disease-causing pathogens — including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites — to evolve to be resistant to the drugs. For the study, researchers analysed data from 204 countries and territories, and found that antimicrobial resistance is now a leading cause of death worldwide — higher than HIV/AIDS or malaria. It was directly responsible for an estimated 1.27 million deaths worldwide, and associated with an estimated 4.95 million deaths in 2019. HIV/AIDS and malaria were estimated to have caused 860,000 and 640,000 deaths, respectively, in 2019, the study said. (The Print).

Covid-19 has overshadowed the danger which the antimicrobial resistance poses to the world today. Today about 70% of the world’s bacteria have developed a resistance to antibiotics. The number of deaths will balloon to 10 million a year by 2050 and will cost more than $100 trillion in lost economic output. According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control) every year, about 2 million people get sick from a superbug and is already claiming 23,000 people per year in the US.

Unwarranted practices carried out by greedy capitalist companies who own Hospitals and Pharmaceutical Companies in order to increase their profits led to the increase in the consumption of Drugs. A study conducted in 76 countries reveals that between 2000 and 2015, antibiotic consumption has increased by 65% (21.1–34.8 billion DDDs), and the antibiotic consumption rate increased by 39%. Antibiotics are not only used to treat humans and animals but also used as a growth factor in Farms and poultry to maximize the production. Worldwide, more than 70% of the 100,000-200,000 tons of antibiotics manufactured every year is freely used in the agricultural, horticultural and veterinary sectors to keep animals healthy on industrial-scale farms. 80% of all antibiotics used in the US and 45% in the UK are given to farm animals. Offlate, antibiotic manufacturing, is not deemed to be profitable. Pharmaceutical companies do not invest in discovering new life saving antibiotics. According to a Chatham House report published last October, in 2004, only 1.6% of drugs in development at the world’s 15 largest drug companies were antibiotics. All these factors combined have left humankind in a dire situation.

This is result of the implementation of the healthcare system under the Capitalist Ruling system. This exposes the nature of Secular Liberal Capitalist System which is the primary factor for this problem to exist and its inefficiency in addressing the problem. The Secular Liberal Capitalist system which has freedom of ownership as one of its pillars and benefit as the criteria for its actions breeds the society in a way such that it always seeks the material value over all other values such as humanitarian, moral or spiritual. Governments under this System have been appointed to serve the capitalist elites rather than its people. Hence, we can see the governments abandon their role of serving the needs of the people and handover most of the services including basic services like healthcare to be provided by private companies. Due to this people are forced to pay for healthcare which the government has to provide free of cost. And the greedy capitalist companies such as hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and food companies in order to increase their profit carryout activities which do not fit for humans. The tendency of these people has been very well explained by the Messenger of Allah (saw), Allah’s Messenger (saw) said,

«لَوْ أَنَّ لاِبْنِ آدَمَ وَادِيًا مِنْ ذَهَبٍ أَحَبَّ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ وَادِيَانِ، وَلَنْ يَمْلأَ فَاهُ إِلاَّ التُّرَابُ، وَيَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَنْ تَابَ»

“If Adam’s son had a valley full of gold, he would like to have two valleys, for nothing fills his mouth except dust. And Allah forgives him who repents to Him.” (Bukhari).

Islam puts the responsibility of taking care of the affairs of people with the Khaleefah (caliph). The Khaleefah is responsible for his people and will be questioned about his affairs on the Day of Judgment.

«وَكُلُّكُمْ مَسؤولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ»

Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock”.

Hence, he is responsible for governing them fairly and providing for them security and reassurance. Looking after their affairs and ensuring that their basic needs and necessities of life are met. One of the tasks of the state in Islam is to look after the well-being of the people; it must provide medicines and hospitals to people. Therefore, the Khaleefah must provide individuals with health care and provide them with medicines and hospitals. Bukhari reported that Mahmoud bin Lubayd said:

«لَمَّا أُصيبَ أَكْحَلُ سَعْدٍ يَوْمَ الخَنْدَقِ فَثَقُلَ، حَوَّلوهُ عِنْدَ امْرَأَةٍ يُقالُ لَها: رُفَيْدَة، وَكانَتْ تُداوي الجَرْحى، فَكانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذا مَرَّ بِهِ يَقولُ: كَيْفَ أَمْسَيْتَ؟ وَإِذا أَصْبَحَ: كَيْفَ أَصْبَحْتَ؟ فَيُخْبِرُهُ»

“When the ankle of Sa’d was injured during the Battle of Al-Khandaq and he was unable to walk, he was sent to a woman called Rufaidah who used to treat the wounded people. The Prophet of Allah (saw) used to pass by him and ask: “How are you feeling tonight?” and he (saw) used to pass by him again in the morning and ask: “How are you feeling today?” and he (Sa’d) would answer him.”

Remedy is an obliged expense imposed on Baytul-Mal (State Treasury). The State must provide all health services free of charge to all. Hence, it leaves no room for the private players to exploit the people poor or rich by involving in unethical practices and corruption. The Khilafah State also establishes scientific laboratories and also encourages its citizens to establish scientific laboratories to develop advanced medicines and therapies. So, this will develop life-saving Vaccines or Medicines that would be made priority irrespective of its financial returns. Also, to ensure that proper and high quality healthcare is provided to the people, the State under Islam supervises the service provided to the people in hospitals under the section of the Judicial System namely Muhtasib. Any negligence in providing healthcare care will be dealt with appropriate punishments like Diyyah (Blood money), Jinayaat etc.

Gomar, one of Napoleon’s scholars during France’s campaign (1798-1801) to occupy Egypt, described the healthcare services and 600 year-old health facilities that he saw in the Islamic Khilafah saying: “All sick people used to go the Bimaristan (i.e. hospital) poor and rich, without distinction. Doctors were hired from everywhere in the East, and they were well paid. There was a pharmacy stocked with medicine and instruments. Two nursing personnel were serving every patient. When discharged, each patient would be given five pieces of gold so the patient would not need to work as soon as he/she left”.

Thus were the Muslims and others who lived under the rule of the Khilafah (Caliphate): a health care that the world has never witnessed anything like, nor will it witness something like it again except under its shade and upon its return. This is what Islam achieved by its rational doctrine (Aqeedah) and strong law (Shari’ah), spreading happiness and mental contempt in the hearts of those who embraced it and followed the guidance of their Lord. Islam has dazzled the world with its incomparable and unique care of people, which stems from the legitimate provisions (Ahkam Shar’iyah) that Allah (swt) has sent down as mercy to all humankind; it does not differentiate between rich and poor, or between a ruler and a citizen, and everyone fears Allah and seeks His pleasure for fear of His punishment.

Syed ibn Buhari