An Everyday Hero in Tangier

As I entered the pharmacy, to me it looked like just another small business on the bustling streets of Tangier. The only noticeable difference was its width, which was necessary to accommodate all the shelves filled with various medications. The pharmacist led us on a tour, and it became clear that he was well-known in the community as locals frequently stopped by just to say hello.

One medication caught my attention during the tour. It resembled Theraflu and was used for treating congestion. What stood out even more was when the pharmacist showed us a humidifier in another room that helped with severe congestion. If a patient needed something stronger than a regular decongestant, the pharmacist would lend them the humidifier for as long as they needed it, free of charge. He even offered an IV pole for temporary use. I was amazed; I had never heard of a pharmacist lending expensive items for free at a Walgreens back in America. Most pharmacists may be knowledgeable in their field, but this man went above and beyond in his generosity towards his patients. Despite 17 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and dealing with countless patients, his heart remained devoted to helping those in need.

This reminded me of Paul Farmer from “Mountains Beyond Mountains.” In Haiti, Farmer would never turn away a patient, regardless of their ability to pay for treatment. Like the Tangier pharmacist, Farmer always prioritized others above himself.

Despite having limited space and resources compared to his American counterparts, the local pharmacist’s passion was not driven by money but rather by helping his community to the best of his abilities. His selflessness humbled me, and I felt honored to be in the presence of such an everyday hero.

Anthony Chase is a Medical Biology (Medical Sciences) major at the University of New England.

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