Global Health

Global health is an issue that has intrigued me for many years. This intersection applies to my personal interests and future career goals because I want to spend a few years traveling with organizations like physicians without borders to areas of limited healthcare. I believe proper health education and proper healthcare should be a basic human right and provided to everyone who seeks it. All around the world, individuals are not able to get the proper healthcare they deserve. The issue with a lot of the organizations that go into impoverished areas is that the providers who go into these areas may not know the culture or traditions of the native people. As stated in the video Applied Medical Anthropology from the course material this week, many times certain practices may be disregarded by an indigenous people if they go against their beliefs. From the video, the act of boiling water was considered tampering with the group’s belief that water is part of the earth and should be consumed how it is found in nature. To us, we think about the infections associated with dirty water, but to those people, interfering with the natural process of the earth went against their beliefs. This is where anthropologists come in handy in global health. They are educated in different cultural aspects that may affect different groups differently around the world. Also, as globalization continues to make the world more homogenous, anthropologists can teach others about different healthcare practices from other parts of the world. An example from class was the study of shamans and other spiritual healers being brought into hospitals to help cure “spiritual” illnesses. While these things may not be recognized by modern western medical philosophy as critical to the healthcare process, we still should not ignore the possibilities of the benefits of these practices.


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  1. Shelby Brewington says:

    I have a lot of the same aspirations and thoughts when it comes to the Global Health as you did Monkam. I too would love to travel to a remote or different country and provide medical care to those who do not share the same life style, culture, or religious beliefs. I agree with you when you say that you believe that proper health education and proper health care should be a basic human right and provided to everyone who seeks it. I think that this is an important aspect when it comes to providing medical intervention in a way that makes those from a different culture feel comfortable in accepting treatment. If every medical provider believed that medical care was a human right, many I believe would take a larger effort in providing treatment in a way that all cultures are able to utilize in a culturally acceptable way. This is seen perfectly through your example of shamans. By utilizing both medicine and shamans many have been found to be more receptive when it comes to medical intervention through more modern methods. Only doctors or health providers who believe that medical health is a human right will take the time to accommodate their patients cultures. Often brought to the attention to the medical world through anthropologists. I would say that your post hit all the necessary points when it comes to global health and how anthropology plays a critical role. I do not have anything to add to your evaluation of how medical anthropology can contribute to this intersection.

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