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The Integration of the Natural and Social World Lead to Public Health Concerns

As I was reading the chapter “Can the Mosquito Speak?” in Timothy Mitchell’s book, I realized the recurring concepts that were discussed in many of the previous readings throughout Professor Smith’s class. The same ideas are brought into light through the introduction of a new region not focused on before during the course–Egypt. “Dams, blood-borne parasites, synthetic chemicals, mechanized war, and man-made famine coincided and interacted”, which created powerful transformations affecting Egypt as it was heading towards modernity. As the powerful and wealthy took advantage of what they could benefit from, the underprivileged where often left without sufficient access to water and livestock to make a decent living. By being robbed of their basic needs, most Egyptians were more prone to suffering from the disease that “moved with the changing movements of people”. What made matters worse was that the river and dams allowed for the rapid spread of malaria across the surface of water, which helps them breed in high numbers. The mosquito was a public health problem that was for the most part heard by deaf until towards the end of the epidemic. Globalization has led to the interconnectedness of the world and surely the increasing rate of disease, as shown in Egypt. The spread of disease epidemics occurs due to many other underlying factors.

Both nature and society affected much of what was occurring during the modern era. War was not the cause of all the chaos, but it did play a role in how the events were played out. This article particularly mentions the link between violent wars and disease epidemics. As the field of research continues, time and time again it is proven that disease continues to be inextricably linked to war. Today we can prevent many diseases and reduce the rates of poverty and conflict which propel diseases to spread, but it takes time. Overall, the goal of public health advocates is to improve the well-being of the world’s population.

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One response to “The Integration of the Natural and Social World Lead to Public Health Concerns

  1. Everything in this world is interconnected, and has always been. We would be fools to think that our environment, politics, and everything around us do not affect us. I agree with you that globalization has ultimately increased this level of interconnectivity. A holistic approach which is extremely valued in public health circles, should be more prevalent in medical circles as well: many times a holistic approach does not exist in medical circles.

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