I scored a 3 out of 10 on the Heath Equity Quiz. I found all of the statics surprising, but the one that I found to be the most surprising was probably how much we spend on health care per person, which was twice the average per person of other industrialized countries. I thought this was very interesting because we spend so much on health care per person but our life expectancy only ranks 29th in the world.
Case 6 is about the population of people living on a group of islands called the Marshall Islands and the increase in TB, tuberculosis. Because of close living quarters, sometimes as many as 20 people in one house, malnutrition, poverty, and stress these people are being effected by TB. Because of colonization the Marshallese people’s diets were ruined, this previous diet consisted of breadfruit, taro, fish and natural grown crops, bananas and other foods high in nutrients. Westernizing the Marshall Islands has also brought western disease with it like heart disease etc.
The case also discusses the nuclear devices that were tested on and near the Marshall Islands by the American government. Two islands were effected by debris from the nuclear fallout. These people were treated but were also trapped on the islands and studied. After testing, people from the affected islands were moved to other islands which caused more health disparities, their diets changed and poor immune systems could not fight western disease, and TB flourished because of population increase and poor sanitation.
Poverty and live space are the main factors that can explain the health disparities of TB on the Marshall Islands. Not being able to afford to go to the health care facilities people cannot get proper medication or cannot continue medication and will get TB again. Living close to neighbors and living with up to 20 family members in one household TB spreads rapidly since it is an air borne disease.