Monday, January 28, 2013

Week One-Searcher

In Chapter 5 of Wiley and Allen's section in Medical Anthropology, they talked about how growth and development are affected by many factors, including environmental conditions. Such adverse environmental conditions that could stunt growth and development include a variety of pollutants and toxins that can mostly be found in places that are "poor, often urban or peri-urban industrial zones near manufacturing plants that make use of toxic substances (p.133, Wiley and Allen)." An example is the relationship between birthweight and air pollution. "Birthweight was negatively related to pollution severity, even after other factors such as socioeconomic status had been controlled for statistically (p.134, Wiley and Allen)." An article that I had found was another example of the effects of the environment, specifically the environment in a person's home, can greatly affect a family's health.

In underdeveloped countries, the simple act of cooking a meal for your family could be life threatening. Half of the world population today cooks over an open fire, which could pose risks for families being exposed to toxic smoke. This toxic smoke could cause disabling diseases and results in nearly two million deaths yearly. Documentary film director Rodney Rascona is pointing towards solutions of this prevalent problem in underdeveloped countries. In her documentary, she portrays the risks of cooking in an open fire and some of the solutions that we could implement in these countries in solving this problem. Cleaning cookstoves in developing nations could improve the lives of woman and their families significantly. 

What Rascona was trying to accomplish through her documentary was more awareness towards an easily solvable problem in global health. Wood-burning stoves in homes could accumulate toxic fumes that could cause debilitating diseases for families. Rascona traveled to three different continents and documented stories of strong women who have been affected by toxic fumes, as well as how we can easily prevent something like this from happening. This ties in with woman's health and how she can impact the health of her family. Woman are the main caretakers of the family. Her actions could directly affect the health of her children

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