Development of some techniques benefits particular human populations more than others. For example, the development of lactose-free milk available in Europe and North America would have greater benefit in Africa/Asia where lactose intolerance is more prevalent. The development of techniques requires financial investment.
Should knowledge be shared when techniques developed in one part of the world are more applicable in another?
I believe that all new knowledge should be shared, especially when can help improve a person’s life and the techniques developed in one part of the world are more applicable in another. This is because to me it is a simple question of morals. When you have the potential to save millions of people, there should be no reason not to allow people to know that they can be cured or don’t have to go through the pain they do and give them the means necessary to stop their suffering. Especially when people know that some people are being aided in their medical condition, but nothing can be done for them in their own country. This is a sad reality that no one should have to face.
Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products. An enzyme called lactase is needed by the body to digest lactose. Lactose intolerance develops when the small intestine does not make enough of this enzyme.
Children in Africa and Asia have serious abdominal bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, gas and nausea due to their lactose intolerance, yet they are not provided with any lactose-free dairy products (specifically milk for the babies which is their main source of nutrition). By providing these countries with the knowledge of how to prevent the pains and issues experienced by people with this intolerance will be extremely beneficial. There are also many other more severe problems/diseases people are experiencing in other countries, that by sharing knowledge, these men, women and children who are in desperate need, will be able to be cured.
Knowledge if shared could save many lives. The problem is that the techniques implemented require financial investment. Even though it requires financial support to gain this knowledge or put it into practice, this sharing of knowledge should be considered a “donation”, especially since the problem (in this case lactose-intolerance) is much more severe and could cause more harm to those who don’t have the capacity to financially support medical or scientific researches. There are many NGOs and foundations, such as the FAO that are eager and dedicated to defeat hunger by leading international efforts.
There should no excuse to helping out other human beings or the spread of knowledge.
Here is a short video that helps visually explain what lactose intolerance is and its impact on a person.
This is a pdf document by FAO discussing the importance of milk and dairy products in human nutrition