W2 Activity: Collateral Damage

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.

2 thoughts on “W2 Activity: Collateral Damage

  1. Jennifer, your summary was very informative and I learned something about the Marshall Islands that I have never heard about prior to reading your post. From your summary, the high cases of Tuberculosis is one of the major issues that individuals on the Marshall Islands are facing. From my previous studies of microbiology, TB is a very resistant strain of mycobacterium which thrives in unsanitary conditions and can be easily transmitted. As for a solution, the close living quarters many people live in on these islands should be avoided if possible. More affordable housing on the islands could allow only a few people living together at one time so TB could not be transmitted as easily. Also, the overall sanitation of the Islands needs to be improved in order to see change.

    In order to implement some of the solutions I proposed, the government should help in any way that they can. My housing solution is political and the government could try to provide affordable housing. Also, new laws and policy to answer the sanitation problems that the Marshall Islands are facing. I do believe the American government should be required to help in some way because of the nuclear testing they performed since the individuals living on the island, I’m assuming, had no say in whether nuclear testing should occur on the islands.

    I think it is also a collective movement and lifestyle change on behalf of those living on the Marshall Islands. If possible, people should try to make lifestyle changes to benefit their well-being such as exercising and choosing healthy foods if and when they are available to them to alleviate the risk of heart disease. Doctors should also do their part to educate and inform patients how to do so as well. So, in order to execute the solutions, it would take a community effort of the locals, doctors, and the government as well.

  2. Collateral Damage is something that we take lightly and we forgot how it affects the local population. Marshall Island is one of the victims which not only had industrial down fall to it but also health was disrupted by collateral damage. I was going to do this topic but then place matters had a unique effect on life expectancy and diseases across places.

    Solutions towards this problem has to have everyone single person involve in the mission from government to individuals. I think government should start by creating programs that can provide jobs to the local population to help with the feeding of their families and seek medical attention. Medical clinic should give free checkups to the locals once a month and government should cut off prices ono daily using medication to help save money and use it where its need. Diet is something an individual should do in Jenifer’s summary she discusses how their diet before had healthy foods than now and if the food is expensive grown a garden where individual can get the vegetables and fruit in less amount of money since it is a tropical place it will grown better. For health disparities it should be locals and the government because patient knows when they need a doctor when they don’t, government also should look after locals to make sure the diseases don’t spread.

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