Archive for the ‘Non communicable disease’ Category

By Hannah Vanbenschoten

For Sara Stulac, a pediatric doctor from Rwanda, treating a young girl with a tumor the size of a cauliflower on her face was not what she expected her first experience with a patient to look like. In 2005, when the young girl came to Dr. Stulac, it was clear an oncologist was needed; unfortunately, Rwanda did not have one. The girl’s father had tried traditional healing remedies and local doctors, but the tumor grew to the point where Dr. Stulac needed to recruit satellite help from an American oncologist in order to save the girl’s life. (more…)


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-By Sarah Boyd

The Inuit population is an indigenous group inhabiting Greenland, parts of Artic Canada, and the United States (Alaska). Following centuries old tradition within harsh and chilling conditions, the Inuit obtain food through hunting, fishing, and gathering. This includes hunting fish, seal, caribou, whale, walrus, polar bear, musk ox, fox, and wolf (1). “Because the Inuit in Canada and Greenland eat top predators such as beluga whales and seals, they are among the world’s most contaminated human beings” (4). (more…)

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-By Katherine Storer

Video: 4 Shocking Facts about US Healthcare http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqLdFFKvhH4

As someone with a chronic illness the healthcare system is something I’ve had a lot of experience with. Since I was 9 years old I’ve never walked away from a doctor’s appointment feeling anything other than frustration. I was always met with endless hours waiting for late doctors, copious amounts of obscure tests, and never-ending stares of disbelief. I had large co- pays for each useless visit, expensive prescriptions, uncovered tests, and never any answers. I always knew it was a flawed system, but I never quite understood why. (more…)

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-By Du Vo


Back in high school, my uncle heard some rumors from the mainstream media that drinking from plastic bottles that have been left in the car or out in the sun could cause cancer.  Since one of our relatives passed away a couple years ago due to cervical cancer, my whole family has tried to avoid drinking from water bottles. During session three of our PH511 class, we had a chance to discuss the correlation between health and poverty. Somehow the topic of Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) was introduced. This is the research and development done to help purify water in developing countries. However, the method seems ideal and too good to be true. Thus, it causes a conflict with what I have been told at home. If microwaving food in plastic could leak some dangerous substances into the food, why couldn’t this? Weighing the pros and cons between diseases caused by polluted drinking water or chronic diseases like cancer, I wonder whether it is ideal to support SODIS if it could possibly cause cancer in developing countries, as the new cases of cancer grow. (more…)

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-By Kara Lubeck

It should come as no shock to anyone that the obesity epidemic has been increasing on a worldwide scale.  A recent study published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization has found that there is a relationship between food regulation and obesity- the less food regulation a country has, the greater the increase in obesity has been over the past years1,2.  The study looked specifically at regulation of the fast food market, and per capita fast food transactions compared to body mass index (BMI).  While the average number of fast food transactions and BMI did increase per capita in all 25 countries in the study, countries where there are stricter food regulations, such as Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, and Belgium, saw a much lower increase in both areas.  The countries with the largest increases were Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland1,2.  The researchers on the study are now urging governments to enforce stricter food regulations in order to slow, and hopefully reverse, the obesity epidemic.  Recommendations have included banning all unhealthy foods and sugary drinks from public places (schools, hospitals, etc.), taxes on fats, incentives for growers to grow healthier and fresher produce, and a reduction in unhealthy food marketing (specifically to children and teens)1,2. (more…)

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By Lyse Barronville                                                                                        

Most developing countries aim for one thing: to be more like the United States and other more industrialized countries.  However, it is easily forgettable that with these industrialized countries also come with their own kinds of problems; reminding us that the grass is not always greener on the other side. A major problem experienced by these countries, especially the United States is the obesity epidemic.  Until fairly recently people did not realize that consuming too much food (and being over-nourished for that matter) is not necessarily better than malnutrition. Currently, developing countries are still dying from what industrialized countries consider “ancient diseases”. Things like tuberculosis and cholera, acute infectious diseases usually associated with extreme poverty, are not diseases people casually worry about in America (besides diseasess such as sexually transmitted diseases, influenza, and other less morbid diseases).   However, we still have many chronic health issues to worry about, many of which are connected to overweight and obesity.  Apparently, as developing countries get richer, they begin to assimilate in the lifestyles of industrialized countries.  This would normally be a great thing, but the problem is that these countries now have to deal with obesity and other similar health issues even though they have not gotten rid of “ancient diseases” yet (more…)

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-By Fareesa Hasan

This article summarizes the results of a recent survey investigating the American public’s knowledge about heart disease. Interestingly, though heart disease is the leading cause of death in this country, most people are not concerned about it. Some of this lack of concern comes from the mentality that because the disease is something that is developed over time, later in life, it is not something to worry about in the present. The survey suggests that at least part of this apathy is due to misinformation that is circulating in the general population. Many American are not worried about developing heart disease because they feel that they are taking adequate preventative measures in their daily diets. Others believe that heart disease is controlled by a gene, which may lead them to think that their behaviors and habits will not make any difference if they are already genetically predisposed. (more…)

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