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Archive for the ‘Access to healthcare’ Category

By: Sophie Mazur

Likely, you have all heard of malaria and its association to high mortality rates. However, most people have not heard of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) although it is the second most prevalent cause of death during infancy (RSViNetwork, n.d.). Unlike malaria, there is no effective treatment for RSV. Similar to many global health problems, the likelihood of serious disease and death due to this virus is compounded due to poverty, lack of access to proper treatment and care, and lack of awareness. As this virus continues to infect children globally at an alarming rate, we must direct attention towards educating families and health practitioners to identify the infection. As well as, prioritize efforts to cerate an effective and affordable vaccine and treatment.

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By: Stephanie Martinez

Last summer I travelled to Europe for the first time and spent my time in Italy. I had created an image of a beautiful, seemingly perfect country in my mind because of stories heard through friends, or as seen on movies and television. Indeed, the landscape and the architecture surpassed my expectations, but the many migrants I saw begging or sleeping under crippling buildings took me by surprise. I had heard about the growing humanitarian crisis in Europe but seeing it firsthand helped me understand the concerns as highlighted in the news. I have visited Developing countries such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala in the past but had not encountered these same circumstances there. It was alarming to see how much more attention was given to ancient monuments and not the present existence of migrants who were suffering. I stayed in a quiet street outside of downtown Rome and only ten minutes away, there were migrants living in what can only be described as slums. At night, tents or cardboard materials were used as beds just outside the train station.

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By: Fatima Maiga

Before college, I had never been treated by a white physician. I was delivered by a Hispanic OBGYN, my pediatrician was Black, my current primary care physician is Black and my OBGYN is Black. All of my bases had been covered, but I never really thought why, until I studied the history of the intersection between medicine and African Americans. If you have ever studied the record of racism in America, you most likely know about segregated hospitals and doctor’s offices; however, history books do not always chronicle Mississippi Appendectomies, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study or Henrietta Lacks.

The Mississippi Appendectomy was a term used to categorize the involuntary sterilizations of women of color during the 1920s and 30s. These procedures were performed without informed consent, and/or through coercion: some of the women who signed agreements could not read or write and others were threatened that their social insurance would be revoked if they did not participate. While white women, especially those within the upper and middle classes, were denied or delayed voluntary sterilization, Black and poor women were forced into it.

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By: Pei-Hsuan Li

Kari Whitehead started to gradually notice something different about her daughter, Emily. Not long after seeing purple bruises on her legs, bleeding gums, bloody noses, and severe leg pains, Emily was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) on May 28, 2010 when she was only five years old.

Emily received the standard treatment for ALL but relapsed after 16 months. Fortunately for the Whitehead’s, news appeared of a new and innovative drug called Kymriah. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the opening of the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell trial early. Emily became Patient 1 of the Phase 1 trial. Now she is 12 years old, and she has remained in complete remission since her seventh birthday. Last year, oFollowing Kymriah, on October 18, 2017, Yescarta, a treatment for adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma developed by Kite Pharma, was approved as the second FDA-approved gene therapy. Price listed: $373,000.

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By: Madison Lee

We have now entered year two of the Trump Administration and we continue to see where the President’s values and priorities lie. On February 12, 2018 President Trump’s White House released their second budget proposal, this time for the 2019 fiscal year 6. As seen in the 2018 budget proposal, the President continues to strive for greater defense and border control spending while slashing the budgets of U.S. foreign aid programs 6. It is very clear from the proposed budget that the President is unconcerned about the programs and organizations that rely on US money to continue their work in some of the most undeveloped and under-resourced places in the world. HIV/AIDS is an area of work that would be highly affected by the proposed cuts and over 40 organizations, including Partners in Health and the ONE Campaign, have spoken out about the negative effects the cuts would have 1,4.

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By: Emily Kirwin

The first time I heard about the rising maternal mortality rate (MMR) in the United States, was after Serena Williams’ birth, and this story about a family struggling to cope after a new mother died after childbirth:

While it is no surprise to learn that black women are 3 to 4 times as likely as white women to die during childbirth, it was shocking to me to learning that 700 U.S. women do not survive to the next day with their newborn (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In 2000, the United Nations signed a document declaring to improve maternal health worldwide by the year 2015 (World Health Organization, 2018). Since then, many countries – both lower income and higher income – have decreased their MMR drastically. However, the United States has observed an increase of maternal deaths from 23 in 2005 to about 28 maternal deaths per 100,000 births (Tavernise, 2016). A majority these deaths were preventable (Martin & Montagne, 2017).

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By: Brittany Foushee

Race in the United States has always been a hot topic of its time. From policy reform, to shifts in social attitudes, race and racism have been a systemic issue in this country. Historically, one may say that America has yet to get it right when it comes to social equity and equality amongst races in this country. However, when looking at the differences between this country’s history and the present day, others may say America is not too shabby in race equality. In 2011 Pew Research Center surveyed a population of Americans to answer the question “how big a problem is racism in our society today? Is it a big problem, a small problem, or not a problem at all?”. Results showed that 8% of Americans believe race is not a problem at allFOOTNOTE: Footnote. Comparing this percentage to another theory, when asked in a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling in 2013, 14% of Americans believe Big Foot existsFOOTNOTE: Footnote. Americans are nearly twice as likely to believe in a mythological creature than to believe race is a problem in this country. Seeing the denial of racism in America, we can begin to see how race can play a major factor in policy and health outcomes. In a study conducted in 2008 by Gallup surveying Black and White Americans on their perception of life expectancy for Black Americans, 33% of white Americans said race is not at all a factor in life expectancy for Black Americans, while only 13% of Black Americans stated the sameFOOTNOTE: Footnote. When comparing widespread beliefs and misconceptions regarding race and health in America, as well as analyzing data and statistics regarding disease and health disparities amongst racial groups, we can begin to see the issue at hand is systemic and requires more than a simple quick fix to compensate for.

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