A Somewhat Different Pent-up Demand

By Marc Thomas Jenni

Photo by m. on Unsplash

Ever since we have left Covid-19 behind us in most parts of the world, there has been a new term trending: pent-up demand! In particular, in connection with international travel, pent-up demand is what a lot of people are currently working on fulfilling, after having been locked up for long periods of time. Being able to get out of the house, move around freely and travel the globe were things we all truly missed during the pandemic. Being able to quench this thirst is a wonderful feeling and makes those who are travelling again aware of how fortunate they are.

We, at Child’s Dream, are also addressing a need around pent-up demand, but it’s an entirely different need. Over the last nearly three years, borders between Myanmar and Thailand as well as Laos and Thailand were sealed, like many other borders around the world. We were frightened of importing new Covid-19 cases, thereby increasing the many cases we already had in our own gardens. Protectionism and nationalism had, in our case, very serious and often deadly consequences. For us, pent-up demand meant pent-up cases of seriously sick children stuck on the wrong side of the border, not being allowed to enter Thailand and receive the life-saving treatment urgently needed. Our Children’s Medical Fund, providing essential operations, nearly came to a standstill and we all became painfully aware that being seriously ill often comes with an expiration date. Unfortunately, for many children on the wrong side of the border, time ran out. This is the dark side of the story.

We were frightened of importing new Covid-19 cases, thereby increasing the many cases we already had in our own gardens.




But let’s move on to the bright side of things: how we can help and what ‘pent-up’ now means for us. Borders are open again and sick children can reach our triage points along the borders. Since the demand for life-saving treatments is higher than ever, we are working at high-speed to address the ‘pent-up’ demand by accepting a much higher numbers of little patients into our Children’s Medical Fund, thereby addressing our strategic goal number 7 of supporting basic and essential health care. Being able to save many more children this year, and hopefully also in the future, is a shining star in our sky and provides a lot of motivation for all of us to go the extra mile in order to secure all the additional funding needed.

For 2023, we have doubled our budget for the Children’s Medical Fund to 1 million USD. It goes without saying that securing this amount is something we have not achieved yet and we hope that some of our readers will help us to address this entirely different ‘pent-up demand’.

And since we are already looking at the bright side of things, 2023 marks a very important milestone for Daniel and me. What started in Summer 2003 as a crazy idea, has turned into something very special and very meaningful for the two of us. We will soon celebrate the 20th birthday of Child’s Dream, but more about this, our achievements and our great team, in our next newsletter. So stay tuned…