W5: Is Money the Solution?

The readings and lectures demonstrated to me that structural violence is when there are inequalities among different groups of people. For example, one group of people might not have full access to certain necessities when other groups do. In the reading “Rethinking Emerging Infectious Diseases” written by Paul Farmer, there is a certain part in his article where he mentions that among some of the wealthiest populations only about eight percent have fatalities from diseases whereas among the poorest populations there is about 56 percent (Farmer, 2010). This demonstrates to me that there are structural violence’s between the wealthy and the poor. In my opinion, I believe that action needs to be taken on the economic standing of public health care around the world in order to help solve the Ebola crisis, or other infectious diseases. Paul Farmer and the two news reporters discussed some of this idea and mentioned that there might be funding for research that should be going to crisis’ instead of some of the less threatening diseases in the film “Dr. Paul Farmer on African Ebola Outbreak: Growing Inequality in Global Healthcare Root of Crisis” (“Dr. Paul Farmer on African Ebola”, 2014 ). I too believe that there might not be as many outbreaks or that we might be able to have more control of outbreaks if there is more money provided in health care in the places where these diseases originate from. If there is better medical care in areas around the world where there is a higher risk for these diseases, then maybe they could be better controlled in the future. Furthermore, in the article “Waste: Unnecessary Overuse of Medical Care Causes Both Waste and Harm” Bryn Nelson discusses the overuse of some medical treatments. Nelson states, “A major driver, several doctors agree, is a culture that has long embraced the ‘more is better’ mantra” (Nelson, 2015: 2). This can demonstrate that some societies may even overuse their resources when it’s not needed while other societies might not even have the resources to prevent diseases from spreading or finding a cure. If money was moved around in order to help fund the areas that need them the most for public health around the world, then situations of viral diseases might decrease. Also, this idea might be able to help prevent situations among refugees. In our book there is a section in chapter 10 where it discusses that the physical conditions the refugees went through caused diseases to spread (Fadamin, 1997). If more money was available for situations like these as well, then the prevention of diseases spreading still might decrease. All in all, I believe that less money should be spent on unnecessary medical procedures and more on medical advances for viral diseases.

Bryn Nelson, “Waste: Unnecessary Overuse of Medical Care Causes Both Waste and Harm”, Medscape, 2015, accessed 4 August 2016. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/846299

One thought on “W5: Is Money the Solution?

  1. In the beginning of your post you discussed a statistic from Paul Farmer’s book that I also found startling. He mentions that of the wealthiest percentage of people, only 8% die from infectious disease. Comparing that to the bottom percentage, upwards of 56% die from infectious diseases. Economic status has a much more profound effect on someone’s life beyond ability to purchase personal possessions. It is so awful to think that people are dying from diseases that could be prevented if they had higher socio-economic status. While it is not that an infectious disease will not afflict a rich person, it is they are not at as high of a risk of contracting it as someone who is poor.
    I came to a similar conclusion as you for my solution. While it is not a solution for the current Ebola crisis, preventative measures need to be taken now to stop future infectious disease outbreaks. Better access to health care and health care facilities with trained and equipped staff are the best way to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Something striking Farmer said during his interview with Democracy Now! Was that it is not necessary to bring over trained infectious disease physicians to treat these outbreaks, what they need are well-trained nurses and community health staff. This is something that is very obtainable.

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