Sara Tsegaye

A New Paradigm: Health as the Moral Core of Human Rights

Chapter 9 of “Pathologies of Power” focuses on how health serves as a human rights but has not been enforced by the countries of the world. The Declarations of Human Rights has been ignored since it was made. What is the point if the governments are not going to follow through. Governments are the source of the problem here people are receiving health care. The governments have set up structural violence and genocide on groups in their nation without fear of being penalized by anyone. By denying access to individuals/ charging them for life saving treatments people who do not have access or money must suffer. Farmer suggests the way to fix these health disparities is making making health-care as a core necessity. He highlights a plan of addressing the poor and making education an important factor when addressing health awareness. People should be allowed the chance to live a healthy life since it is a staple in what is means to be a human. By ignoring this issue people are implying that the people suffering and unaware are not humans because they happened to be born in a certain country. Genocide against children in poverty is an ongoing problem that is not intentional but is occurring everyday. From lack of water and proper nutrition theses children suffer, when children are the most sacred thing on earth. There needs to be more worldwide campaigns for health-care for everyone. no matter how poor.

I have heard of many programs going to places like Mexico and Africa where college students provide health-care and health awareness to people in underdeveloped countries.

Farmer also addresses NGO’s and other groups as unsuccessful in the politics,and no positive outcomes. Here is some information about the major international health organizations –>

Also here is an article about The Current Insufficiency of Global Health NGOs —>


Native American Discrimination

In “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” , Jordan is a Native American young boy who must find his identity between the the Native Americans with life on the reservation and white America. Both groups outcast his because he does not fit the right look or type. Jordan had to suffer through his illness and then he had to endure the social attacks because he was different. The story reflects on the Native American community and the racism and discrimination that they must face. Just like African Americans, Native Americans were killed off in a genocide then later given a land to make up for it, like taking the land wasn’t enough Americans placed the Native Americans on a reservation and confined them to a cycle of alcohol and drug abuse. The poverty leads to the health disparities of the Native American people. I never knew there was such a big alcohol problem within the reservations. Without graduating high school and living in cramped housing the Natives are set up for failure.
Jordan had to deal with bulling on top of his condition because he was essentially betraying the Natives by attending a white school, even though that would be better for his chances at success in the world. Similar to the African American community the Native American men have been stigmatized to not have success and are forced to work under the white man.

“Only 36 percent of males in high-poverty Native American have full time year around employment…”

Read more on the poverty forced upon the Native Americans. –>

Seeing the Whole Picture

Kalofonos’s article on the paradox of AIDS treatment interventions in central Mozambique was interesting read on how there are many different factors involved in analyzing a study or campaign. The treatment of people with HIV/AIDS in Mozambique can be seen as an improvement to outside perception, especially when media is calculated in its release of information. Like we learned a few weeks ago media is able to hide and expose the things they want you to know about. Even though the people infected with HIV/AIDS are being treated their treatment is not as powerful because the people are starving. The irony of attempting to cure someone of one disease while they suffer from another is crazy. Lack of hunger ruins community relations within the HIV/AIDS group as they compete and mistrust each other due to lack of opportunity and food. How are people supposed to heal when they are slowly dying inside? The ARVs are a step in the right direction but with all this biological improvements in technology and disbursement there has to be a move to treating hunger and malnutrition. Ignoring the socioeconomic inequalities causing people to suffer and die of hunger, is just missing the whole view. To understand and actually make a difference we must address the issue of the health in Africa and one common problem. The HIV/AIDs program should be combined with the food services for everyone in the area, but that is just my idealist approach on life.
Our second article of the week about female poverty and fear of infertility mad me really feel for the women who dealing with such hardships due to their geographic location. The women of Cameroon are fighting for their bodies without the proper fuel to keep them on the battlefield. I never really though about the ramifications it would be to not have children. Not being to have children is non- profitable and a disgrace in African communities. The poverty leads women to be infertile causing them to lose access to land if divorced by their husband, leading to more poverty. The cycle of poverty is endless. This is similar in Somalia and other Middle Eastern countries. Women have no access to land or rights, this all lies in their husband. America publicized the exploitation of the women in the Middle East but we never heard about the suppression of African woman’s rights and chance to life. African women are being forgotten and ignored, which in itself a genocide make that femicide, because they are being neglected basic human rights due to lack of fertility. I was born in Sudan, I could be one of those women if my parents hadn’t come to the U.S. I am grateful.

The beauty and strength of African Women ....

Some more info on the rights African Women


In Timothy Mitchell’s “Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity” , Mitchell provides a connection between the conditions of war and the expansion of disease. By analyzing the malaria epidemic of 1942 in Egypt, he states the connections to famines, wars and epidemics between food webs, rivers, and dams.”Disease often moves with the changing movements of people, and modern war causes large numbers to find routes outside existing networks of trade and migration. ” Often times when we focus on a genocide we neglect the effects the war maybe have on the biological human self. Not just having to deal with war, which weaken many people immune systems, the people in developing countries deal with health disparities that are in place due lack of income. 90% of the people infected with malaria in Egypt were below the poverty line. During WWII, the malaria epidemic and war where consequences brought to Egypt by the German invasion. ” The disease, combined with war conditions and the construction of the Aswan Dam which depleted the region of agricultural resources, sending Egypt into a state of famine, claimed the lives of more than 1 million people.” Mitchell attributed the fact that war route that the Europeans used was through Egypt, which explains how the epidemic was spread.
Very much like the spread of small pox to the Native Americans, the Europeans brought so many problems for the Egyptians through their war route. Through war Europeans are known for binging in diseases and hardships to the people of the land they are intruding on. By using globalization and the Western state of mind, Europeans believe everything they do is beneficial of the country they are affecting especially if they are a developing country.

Event though Malaria deaths have went down, Malaria still has its hold on developing countries today.”In 2010, malaria caused an estimated 655 000 deaths, mostly among African children…. Most deaths occur among children living in Africa where a child dies every minute of malaria.” —–>

Hunger, Healing, and Citizenship in Central Tanzania

In the article, “Hunger, Healing, and Citizenship in Tanzania” written by Kristin Phillip, Phillips examines the East African food crisis of 2006 and its effect on Tanzania. She discusses how food was being used as a political weapon against the people of Tanzania. The Tanzanians were forced to suffer through a drought that took away all their means of living and food. Food aid that was being received were used as political leverage between the leaders and the poor villagers had to fight for the food that was originally given to them but controlled by the government. The people had to rebel and fight for their food but still rural farmers suffered the most. With the drought the farmers are suffering and continues not to see the food aid because the government uses it as political power. This enforces the socioeconomic privilege of the people in power and of the richer people. While middle class Tanzanians are given food, the poor still remain hungry. The leaders exploited the poor during the time of hungry, by basically selling life.
“The news that some regional and district leaders had come by sacks of grain to sell at increased prices raised suspicion about the real whereabouts of food aid.”
This article goes back to this weeks reading about the health disparities of the poor from Framer’s book. This is proof how the poor are denied access to what should be basic human rights/goods but are denied it due to lack of money or political level. The socioeconomic status determines the quality of life you have and resources you are able to afford. An interesting fact I learned from this article is how good glows are gendered. Depending on your gender your food flow would be different. This shows women are often better for the community as a whole since they focus on the importance of food and family, rather the importance of wealth.

“Whereas the flows of food among women (food of the farm) generally tend
to produce material reciprocity, flows of food among men (food of wealth)
tend to produce political obligation gendered food flows”

Zimbabwe has been accused of using food aide for political power. The New York Times ran an article about it in 2008 —– >

This is a blog piece about Zimbabwe also.

Medical Ethics

In Chapter 8 of Paul Farmer’s, Pathologies of Power, Farmer focuses on the bioethics of the current world and how the gap between the poor and rich is widening because of expanding globalization. The human right to have health care and be offered life and death services if they are available. The only thing keeping many people in developing countries from dying is the access to health care that can be solved by making it a global human right for everyone. Global equity can not be achieved unless the capitalist mindset is erased and people live with compassion and universal moral laws. The need for money is higher than the end to save a human life. People who are poor are seen as non-existent and not important. The cost of a life of someone who is poor is not relevant for people who rich and ignore the health disparities which exist between them. Farmer mentioned the Tuskegee Syphilis Study where the marginalization and the violation of the African American mens’ human rights by using them in medical research because of their skin color.
This is a perfect example of genocide due to lack of resources. Poor people are unable to have the proper procedures, medical research, and access to physicians. If physicians were forced to do a certain number of years in an extremely poor part of their country or another country before they were able to practice in their own firms or privately. Universal health care is helping the poor in United States thanks to Obama. Now we just have to get universal health care for the whole world. Hopes and Dreams.

More info on …
Disparities in Health: Inequities Create Great Risks for Poor, Adolescents, and Women in Developing Countries —->

War : What is it good for …absolutely nothing !!

In the article that describes the study done on soldiers who were in the Iraq and Afghanistan war shows a connection between brain injures where the soldiers lose consciousness and Post Traumatic Stress disorder after returning home. The interesting about the study was that there was not a lot of research on this topic meaning there were not a lot of attention to the soldiers after they returned home. Without acknowledging that the effects of war are damaging after the fact, its much easier to go into war but this is the reason why many untreated veterans develop further mental illness and some end up on the streets. War is a terrifying place that cause problems that need to be nurtured and worked on to heal the person not only physically but mentally too. The pain caused by war does not just hurt civilians but hurts trained solders.
In Terror Warfare and the Medicine of Peace, it focuses on the Mozambicans techniques used to survive and end the brutal war that occurred from 1976-1992. Terror does not work to control people as stated in the reading, the Mozambicans used the oppression to develop conflict building and creative ways of resisting violence. I love the was the way the Mozambicans believe in their selves and in the power of the ultimate good winning out.

“People ultimately resist, and they do so in complex and creative ways.”

The beauty I saw in African medicine was a big focus on calm and family setting. When soldiers return to the U.S they are placed back into the fast paced world of technology and noise. I feel that if the U.S adopted the African ways of healing by giving time and love as well as medical attention then the solider would be healed holistically. The Mozambicans understood that terror warfare affected everything about a person including their actual self. Once put in an traumatizing situation then it is deeply impacted in a persons soul.”Self and identity constitute the hidden casualties of war.” In the Westernized perception of war is a job or service that is done in honor our country but I deeply believe that America needs to create more rehab/ counseling centers that provide support, compassion and understanding for the soldiers. Many veterans suffer in America due to lack of support from the government. If we are asking our men and women to sacrifice themselves, not just their bodies but their minds, their true identities we need to refrain from entering wars. The war in Iraq was not even needed but thousands of Americans soldiers died and continue to suffer from PTSD and other illnesses.
War is a weapon of genocide and is used in the killing of huge groups of people not just in death but in the destruction of their selves and understanding of humanity. The Iraqi war is in my opinion of a genocide on the Iraqi people, whether the excuse is political, military the death of an estimated 1.5 million Iraqis is wrong and inhumane.

Some interesting articles on the war/genocide in Iraq.

and a fun song. Peace for all 🙂