Disease Around the World

It is very clear that health care and resources vary from society to society. Here in the United States we have a lot of access to health care and other health related resources so it is rare for there to be widespread infectious disease outbreaks here. In other parts of the world it is different because it is easy for disease to spread if they don’t have as many resources to prevent or stop a disease from spreading. Even though they may have access to some resources i think it is common for a disease to spread so quickly that its hard to fight or put a stop to it with limited healthcare access. Earlier in the semester we talked about how a persons ethnicity can play a role in their health which can also be the case here. Areas or people that tend to be poor or face discrimination don’t usually have the resources they need to be and remain healthy. When Paul Farmer says “the worlds most vulnerable people” I believe he means the societies and communities who have less money and therefore less access to different resources. Structural violence is described in the lecture video Critical Medical Anthropological Theory by Paul Farmer as “social arrangements that put individuals and populations in harms way” he describes it as structural because they are embedded in the political and economic organization of our social world (Gabriel). I think that it is called structural violence because while acts of violence are not physically being put upon people they are still harmed by the structure of society and how society works.

The Ebola virus outbreak that began in Africa is an infectious disease that was spread among “vulnerable people”.  Africa as a country has many poor areas and therefore less health care resources such as hospitals and doctors to help cure people and stop infections when these diseases begin to spread. According to an article on National Public Radio (NPR), “Before Ebola struck, the three hardest-hit countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — had a ratio of about one to two doctors per nearly 100,000 people” (Beaubien). This shows that there are no where near enough doctors to be able to actively treat, cure, and help every person that ended up infected. The world should fight future Ebola outbreaks by creating a vaccine that can be given to people before they have contracted the disease to help prevent getting the disease. I also feel it’d be important to make the vaccine affordable or even free especially in the areas of the world where there are vulnerable people and where the outbreaks would be more common such as in Africa.

Beaubien, Jason. “WHO Report Details Why Ebola Hit West Africa So Hard.” NPR. January 15, 2015. Accessed August 05, 2016. http://www.npr.org/2015/01/15/377527001/who-report-details-why-ebola-hit-west-africa-so-hard.

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