Public Health

Public health is something that I have been thinking about for a little more over 3 months. Like I mentioned in the beginning of the class when I went to Mexico we learned a lot about public health and how it could be applied to the community in Merida. Since then I have made a decision of going to get a masters in Public Health and something that I want to actively pursue. I think that an individual can do a lot for a community, even something as simple as making a man made well for a town can increase the  general health of that town tremendously.

When dealing with any health issue whether it be individual or group based we can see that a simple biomedical/western approach is not always the correct way to deal with said issues. It’s helpful to view the anthropological approach for many reasons, one is that when looking at a patient it’s important to understand the culture from which they come from so that they are able to know what type/kind of health you are providing. Like the Poon’s article they describe the Ebola outbreak and how medical mosquito nets were being provided, yet the native people did not want to use them for fear that they were poisoned. They had rejected something that was very beneficial to their health and free because of their belief. It’s the anthropologists duty to analyze the people of the area and see how their particular culture will influence medical intervention. It is also an anthropologists duty to be wary of stereotyping as well, such as not to assume a particular person from a certain region or culture will exhibit traits only from that group. Such as in Kleinman and Benson’s article they describe a case of a Mexican bus driver with a son with diabetes who was not regularly taking his son to get treatment. The physicians thought that he may have been naive due to his “mexican” culture but it turned out he knew of the dangers and treatments but due his hectic work schedule couldn’t find time to do so. It was an issue stemming from a social-economic problem not a culturally unaware problem. It’s important take in as many anthropological view in order to provide a good to patients.


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