Merilou Salazar

Health and Human Rights

Paul Farmer’s final chapter discusses how health care is an economic and human right, and that HIV/AIDS has become a major catalyst to the modern health and human rights movement. A group of displaced people in Haiti become infected with the virus after working as prisoners in Port Au Prince, unfortunately,  individual suffering is ignored when attention is only given to what will gain one more power. Paul Farmer describes that healthcare should be treated as a Human Right and should be addressed through the integration of treatment and prevention.

Without attention paid towards human rights, many cultural minority groups have the possibility of becoming victims of genocide. Many incidences, such as the Native America genocide, Nazi Imperialism, Aboriginal genocide and more did not focus on the human rights and unforgiving power structure against the minority, exoticizing them as sub-humans.

The director of the Genocide and Human Rights University program discusses a course in which one can take to educate themselves and be more aware of the social aspects that lead to genocide, and how we can prevent it. It will help one discuss the psychological effects for the survivors and how we can understand the framework of it to save millions of other lives.

Substance Abuse on Indian Reservations **Extra Credit Post**

“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie goes over many troubling issues that exists for someone on a reservation. One of the bigger issues addresses and is still a problem today is substance abuse on the reservation. While 50% of all US teenagers have used alcohol, 80% of teenagers on the reservations have used the substance. Issues such as cultural conflict, poverty, discrimination, stress, and more make the teenagers on the reservations more likely to consume alcohol when they are strapped under certain situation. The risk of trauma for youth on the res is high, especially as they deal with their self-identity as an Indian. More info on this can be read here:

There have also been more sites of methamphetamine on Indian reservations. Meth use is higher among Native Americans than any other ethnic group. This is intertwined with other social problems that are prevalent in the Indian res community, such as poverty, alcohol abuse, reduced academic achievement and suicide. This is an issue that may officials are trying to control as they cannot find usage until after results of death and crime arise. More info can be found here:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

In “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie, Junior is torn apart at his Spokane  Indian reservation for physical traits that make him seen like an outcast. To escape poverty in his future and to live a different lifestyle from his parents, he transfers to an all white, wealthy school. The book deals with issues such as racism and poverty through Junior’s eyes. He transfers so he can break the cycle of alcoholism and other structures that many Indians at the reservations get stuck in.

Poverty is a huge issue for those that live on the reservation. The US gave many India tribes land as reparations for Native American genocide. HOwever, the current structure forces many on these reservations to be forced to live in extreme poverty. Many teengaers don’t graduate college, get heavily involved with drugs and alcohol and. must force to live in crowded housing due to lack of availability of houses. This article describes more about a particular shooting that occurred at the Red Lake Reservations because of teenagers living through depression on the reservation.

HIV/AIDs Treatment and Hunger

Andreas Kalofono’s article, “All I Ate is ARV’s” and Feldman-Savelsberg article “Sterilizing Vaccines or the Politics of the Womb” talks about the reversal of HIV/AIDS treatment and hunger. AIDS patients were given a treatment that didn’t work properly with their lack of availability of food. Despite given the proper medical treatment, they couldn’t afford the food and nutrients to maintain a healthy body reversing the effect of the medicine. This shows how we have to undertsand medicine to its full, universal effect because it may not work for everyone considering the intersectionality in our world.

This miconception can be a possible leading factor to genocide becauseit singles out a group that can or cannot be treated for certain conditions. If we do not look at the full structure of a person’s situation, they and their region will not be able to be helped.

The Hunger Project helps address many issues that come with HIV/AIDS on top of the prescribed medication. To read more of The Hunger Project, go here:

Man-made Famine **EXTRA CREDIT POST**

Timothy Mitchell’s article titled “Rule of Experts” talks about several ways how technological advancement during times of war in 1940’s – 50’s Egypt brought about the spread of malaria. One particular man-made advancement was the building of the Aswan Da, which was originally created to helped irrigation and to spread resources throughout the land. However, this only created a sold and easier path for the mosquitos carrying malaria to infect those who were using the water. Also, with the technological advances and Egypt’s reliance on synthetic chemicals, Egypt had no food supply after the war broke out and cut off their supplies of these chemicals.

Egypt suffered through a man-made famine while at the same time only helping the spread of malaria. The reliance on a man-made institution can lead to genocide because people become so dependent on these outside factors that they realize they cannot functionally live as a society without them. It is also a sense of a “man-made genocide” if people die off from not knowing how to sustain a natural life.

The article describes how the Aswan Dam is used for other environmental impacts and how negative impacts such as the forced move of 90,000 peasants and the amount of artificial fertilizer it has to use to sustain itself. The article can be found here:

Malaria Epidemic

Timothy MItchell’s article “The Rule of Experts” describes the deaths and results that occured from the Malaria Epidemic in Egypt, but how this is all not confronted when one talks about Egyptian history. The war opened up many strains of opportunities of pathways for mosquitos to infect more people with the disease. There were many changes such as the building of the dam and the synthetic technological advances creating paths for these parasites. Many tried to improve the problem, but the lack of communication between the governments only made matters worse.

In fact, most of those who had power were not infected with malaria. Almost 90% of those infected with the disease were those in under the poverty line. This can be related to genocide because of the agricultural and social disadvantages that is targeted towards the poor. Many are losing their lives because they are vulnerable and exposed to the outcomes and decisions that the government makes in the time of war.

This article describes how malaria is a result from land mines during war. It is partially a man-made spread of an incidence, affecting the poorest countries, especially the farmers in these countries. The article can be found here:


Famine in Africa

The article “Hunger, Healing, and Citizenship in Tanzania” by  Kristin Phillip’s describes  hierarchy that the government of places itself in through the distribution of food to the poor. The government maintains their power because they are the “providers”, even eventually being the “providers” of the middle class. A patriarchal image forms, with the government being seen as the overall caretaker and the lower and middle class seen as dependent. Food aid was a political tool the government used to gain power during the drought. This selfishness on perpetuated the famine.

This is linked to genocide because this is a tool to oppress a whole society, taking advantaged of one’s control and the others’ vulnerability. Many die because those who are appointed to take care of them use this power for their own political advantage.  The government has complete control fver the Tanzanian community in this sense, especially because those receiving food aid become too fearful to speak up for help.

Newsoftpedia claims that family will take over Tanzania and other African countries by 2030. If the US and other developed nations contributed more effort into helping Africa’s famine, the issue can be solved within 5 years. This is a social structure that is formed by the rich nations to exploit the poorer ones. More info can be found here: