After spending this past week reading and learning about infectious disease it is quite clear that there is an underlying issue, structural violence. Structural violence is when there are many inequalities among people of society and basic needs are not being met. For example, the people of America have access, for the most part, to basic needs and treatment. While, people of developing countries and rural areas are in dire need of basic necessities and healthcare. More specifically, Ebola does not occur randomly, ones likelihood of coming into contact with unsterile syringes is inversely proportional to ones social status (PDF 5.2). Public healthcare around the world must be revised. All humans have rights and basic needs should be met all around the world, no matter what a person’s social economic status may be. Dr. Farmer really nailed the problem here. He said that the Ebola epidemic and modern medicine has not yet over lapped (Film 5.1). This is why when two American patients were air lifted the United States they were successfully treated for Ebola. Their basic needs for supportive care were being met. If they needed a blood transfusion, they got. Unfortunately that is not the story for patients whom are fighting Ebola in developing countries. These countries do not have the tools to treat their communities who are affected by Ebola. Their communities are suffering because of the lack of access to health care services. Ebola centers do not meet the needs of patients who require supportive care (Film 5.1). Isolation rooms are essentially shutting people away. These people in developing countries are living in medieval conditions, as Farmer puts it, and others are living in the 21st century (Film 5.1). It is our responsibility, as a developed country, to help fund and create a better health system for developing countries. We must work with our neighbors to help eliminate the devastating affects of lack of health care access in developing countries. It is not solely the disease that is the problem; it is the way it is being handled. Americans must understand that they are stigmatized and mistrusted by the indigenous people. For good reason that is. Local people feel exploited or ignored by the international biomedical teams (PDF 5.1). With that being said, it is important to establish trust and follow through with treatment in the developing world. We must integrate biomedicine into the system that already exists while respecting different cultures values. The poor are the natural constituents of public health, and physicians, are the natural attorneys of the poor (Farmer, 2006). America is known for making great changes around the world and I strongly believe that in time, with the help of out “natural attorneys of the poor” we will bring the 80-90% case mortality rate down to 5-10%.
Farmer, Paul. “Structural Violence and Clinical Medicine.” PLOS Medicine:. 2006. Accessed August 05, 2016. http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0030449.