Medical Practices in Third World Countries Essay

Medical Practices in Third World Countries Essay

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The Global Health Council, in its article Infectious Diseases cites “poverty, lack of access to health care, antibiotic resistance, evolving human migration patterns, new infectious agents, and changing environmental and developmental activities” as the contributing agents of the widespread of disease within third-world nation. While these agents are unquestionable in their own right, one more agent – that can possibly be derived from the above agents – needs to be added to their ranks. This agent is the lack of faith in western medical system within third-world nations. Medicine (or medical systems) in developing nations is a second-rate affair (without the effectiveness seen in first-world nations) that, rather than diminish, enforces a lack of faith and trust in western medical practices.
Medicine in the west is a success; millions of people live relatively disease-free lives. Developing an idea that Bradley Lewis presents in The New Global Health Movement: Rx for the World? – that “health-care systems are becoming similar”-, many people view the success of medicine in the west and want to replicate it in third world countries. These people, and/or organizations, establish hospitals and clinics that are direct replicas of those seen in countries such as the United States without realizing (or ignoring) that many developing nations cannot afford the maintenance costs of the hospitals or clinics. Maintenance of health-care system in the United States is partly paid for by medical visits, which on average is about five hundred dollars per visit. In third-world countries many people simply cannot afford such cost. In Zimbabwe in 2008, the GDP per capita was two hundred dollars; in Liberia last year (2009) it was five hundred doll...


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... not, or close to nothing, for a medical visit. Being free, or almost free, more people will visit these medical systems, gaining a familiarity with it and building a better trust of western models (medicine, education, living, etc.). Also being free, more people will have more money with which they can stimulate the economy and afford better living conditions.
Of course, if this solution seems too altruistic one can simply choose to see it as the article, Making World Health the New Marshall Plan intends one to see it; as foreign policy with the goal of national security.
Poverty, poor living conditions, overcome and such are often the attributed causes of the progression of curable diseases in third-world countries. One cause that is almost never considered and actually needs to be considered is the distrust of western medicine –or western medical practice.

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