It’s easy to forget that there are people in the world who don’t have the same privileges as you do, even ones that don’t seem like privileges at all, such as healthcare. As I was reading through the Global Health and Development: The Basics, I was taken back by the numbers presented to me. 2.1 million people die from HIV/AIDS annually, child mortality is climbing in 15 countries, and life expectancy in Sub-Saharan Africa is lower now than it was 20 years ago. There were quite a few statements that really resonated with me, one being the way they defined health, “health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This stuck with me mostly because it changed the way I look at being healthy. I looked at health as the opposite of that definition, I thought health was not being ill. I didn’t think that your social well being could be considered as a part of being healthy but there was other data provided that illustrated how financial stability can result in longer healthier lives. With all the information that was provided, the authors also provided the possible reasons as to why one nation or group of people could have such poor health. Some reasons were war, inequality, poor globalization, and bad government. I had never realized how many reasons there were for poor health outside of the human body.
This article was published in February of 2014, it covered the meeting held by the UN three weeks prior. The meeting was the first of its kind, regarding the sexual health and reproductive rights of indigenous people. Some of the issues discussed were HIV/AIDS, sexual assault rates among indigenous women, child mortality rates, and mistrust of health services. Cultural differences can play a big role when it comes to healthcare, things that are seen as heinous and unhealthy to me can be normal to someone else. For example, female genital mutilation is practiced in nine countries and 85% of women undergo FGM. The best way to ensure better health worldwide is to not only educate indigenous people on forms of healthcare outside of their culture, but to educate ourselves on their cultures as well.
This article was published in September of 2016, it discusses the United Nations Human Rights Council review of Rwanda. Rwanda is making major strides politically and judicially but is still recovering from the Rwandan genocide in 1994. One group that had faced major issues were the indigenous Batwa population. The Batwa were displaced from their ancestral lands to create national parks and face tremendous discrimination when it comes to healthcare, political representation, housing and much more. The UN had a adopted a reform process that over the span of 24 months helps nations provide for their people. This is suppose to be taking place in Rwanda to help the indigenous people such as the Batwa be better represented and taken care of by their governments.
This article was also published in February of 2014, the author goes on to discuss the numerous indigenous groups of people in Russia. There are many groups that vary in size from 350 people to 30,000 people. Although culturally they are very diverse, they face a lot of the same issues regarding poverty, unemployment, and healthcare. They lack clean drinking water and adequate food supplies, and suffer from more health issues. They’re also facing cultural declines and life expectancy is significantly less than the more industrialized population of Russia.