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Food, Violence, and Health

As Kalofonos’s article points out, there is a wide range of interventions that are necessary in the treatment of HIV/AIDS in Central Mozambique. This concept can be extended to most diseases throughout the world. Treatment in the form of drug therapy is not enough; people need adequate access to food, clean water, sanitary conditions, among other treatment components in order to combat their illness most effectively. As this article points out, in the case of HIV/AIDS, the side-effect of hunger presents a problem due to the food shortage and widespread poverty in Mozambique. While people with HIV/AIDS may have access to ARVs to combat their disease, if they lack access to proper nutrition, their treatment will likely not be as effective.

As Paul Farmer has pointed out in the case of treatment for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Haiti, it has been shown that drug therapy is more effective when combined with other lifestyle treatments such as a food allowance and periodic health visits to ensure proper medication. As this U.S. News article explains, in Farmer’s comprehensive plan, “patients receive not only lifesaving medicines and surgical care but also food, clean water, housing, education, and other social services, all delivered by locals trained in nursing skills and paid as community health workers.”

Much in the spirit of Farmer’s view of our interconnected world, violence and food also intersect in a global health context. For example, violence in Nigeria has led to an increase in the desperation of the food situation there. As the frequency of attacks by militant groups increase, the people in Nigeria living in poverty who already struggle with access to food are brought to an even more desperate situation. As the food crisis becomes even more severe, the health status of Nigerians will decline as well. In order to improve the food situation in Nigeria, the widespread violence needs to be quelled in order to prevent the ongoing “cycle of crises”, as this article highlights.

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One response to “Food, Violence, and Health

  1. Patients are ultimately a product of their own environments, therefore it is extremely important to take a holistic view when treating them. Many times illnesses and problems are treated from an ineffective superficial standpoint without taking into consideration political, social, economic, and many other factors which affect an individual. People must be empowered to develop their communities rather than just providing them aid.

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