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Archive for the ‘Non communicable disease’ Category

By: Gopika Das

India is home to 1.3 billion people, accounting for 17.5% of the world’s population . It is also home to 27% of deaths caused by cervical cancer worldwide (Cousins 2018). Despite cervical cancer having the best chances of secondary prevention, it remains a leading cause of female mortality globally. The burden of the disease is especially heightened in developing countries like India and Pakistan. In India, lack of the HPV vaccine in governmental immunisation programs and inadequate access to screening for the disease, are major contributors to the extremely high incidence rate.

It is agreed that the HPV vaccine along with early screening for cervical cancer, can prevent upto 70 percent of new cases (Swaminathan 2016). The HPV vaccine has been approved for use since 2006, and as of 2017, 71 countries have included it in their vaccine programs. India however has been extremely reluctant. While the government has severely dragged its feet on providing adequate resources, societally there is a negative association with the vaccine. In 2009 funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, the NGO PATH, launched a $3.6 million HPV program. However within a year, there was an uproar over the deaths of seven girls following the vaccine, effectively halting the program. Despite officials declaring that the deaths were not caused by the vaccine, people got scared and the aversion to the vaccine stuck.

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By: Sonya Ajani

In 2008, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) published an article entitled Cancer Health Disparities. It defined cancer health disparities as adverse differences in incidence (new cases) and prevalence (new and existing cases), mortality, cancer survivorship, and burden of cancer among various population groups in the United States. The NCI concludes that African Americans in the US are disproportionately diagnosed with breast cancer than their white counterparts.

Experts attribute this particular conclusion to two distinct factors: lack of access to health coverage and low socioeconomic status (SES). SES is primarily attributed to low income, low education, occupation, as well as most importantly built environment. As of 2014, the CDC[1] reports that the incidence of breast cancer among young African American females aged 25-45 is 125 cases per 100,000 people.

Upon reading the article from the National Cancer Institute and researching the epidemiology further, I was especially alarmed by the rates of breast cancer diagnosis among African Americans in the US. Although it is almost equal to the white population, the stark disparity of the two populations makes up for the difference. Supplementary analysis confirmed that built environment: the physical and geographical space where people live significantly contributes to the incidence and prevalence of the disease. In the age of chronic diseases the built environment can be an incredibly crucial determinant in community healthcare. I found it interesting just how much the built environment affects the incidence of breast cancer in African Americans with lower socioeconomic status.

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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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