Thursday, February 21, 2013

Searcher: Health Disparities in a Different Context

This article that I found relates to health disparities, but between countries. The comparison between healthcare in one country, such as America, is significantly different than the healthcare availability in a developing country, such as those in South Africa. Health disparities not only exist between racial and ethnic groups, but also among countries. There is a significant different the quality of health of people in developing countries compared to developed countries.

HIV is a prevalent disease in KwaZulu-Natal. South Africa has always had high rates of infection, but the province of KwaZulu-Natal has HIV rates higher than the national average. Other than HIV, the province is also dealing with a tuberculosis epidemic. Many factors play into this, such as poor living environments. Health officials must not only deal with this epidemic in areas in South Africa, but also have to worry about the threat of drug-resistant TB on the rise. More and more people are starting to come into public facilities reporting incidences of having both TB and HIV, but they are hesitant to go their local clinics because they feel this poses a burden on public facilities. Instead, they travel far to centers in downtowns and don't want to be seen getting treatment for TB or HIV at their local clinics.

Not only do health officials have to deal with treating one disease, but two. The U.S. government has been providing about a half a billion dollars to help South Africa confront HIV through PEPFAR, but this has started shrink.  Not only do they have to deal with preventing HIV, but also tuberculosis. Both diseases are very detrimental to the health of populations around the world and easily transmissible. This makes it hard for health officials to prevent the disease and increases incidence of the disease. Issues like these have been a problem for health organizations trying to help populations infected like these. 


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