Indigenous people and illnesses

The presentation made from Global Health Education Consortium that discusses the basics of global health and development brought up some things that sparked some interest in me as well making me wide-eyed because of how I was completely unaware of the issues that people face from all over the world. One of the 3 that I will be sharing is poverty. I was reading that there are more that 1 billion people living on less than a dollar a day. This made me think about how they can even still survive without any money. It makes me think about how their kids are going to grow up, what they’re eating, drinking, and such. I’ve seen people that go to poor countries and give them help and some treatments but poverty keeps happening everyday due to many circumstances.

The second one is, Education. It is said that there are 114 millions of children that receives no education and 584 millions of women are illiterate. I did not expect this number to be that big. It brings me sadness and guilt to think that here I am fortunate enough to seat in a college classroom learning and getting as much education as I can to live a better life and knowing that the other side of the world kids and their families are struggling for their lives. The third one is TB or tuberculosis, a piece of the presentation that can tell you what is happening. “The impacts are also showing up with the re-emergence of TB. About 20 years ago, the world was on the verge of getting rid of TB.

However, with the co-infection with HIV/AIDS, TB is making a remarkable comeback. Over 2 million die from TB every year, and 9 million new cases are seen every year”. I remember when I was in elementary school, nurses and doctors came to my school getting each student checked for TB, my grandmother used to tell me to spill any containers filled with water outside because TB can come from mosquitoes and at the time, there was also a problem with bird flu and swine flu. People in my families were getting sick and ill. TB is contagious and it affects a person’s lungs and spreads out all over the body. All of these things that I’ve mentions have made me become more aware of what is happening because these are serious problems and it surprises me that illness are life struggles are taking a toll in many lives.

Convergence published date: September 2007

A man named Bernard Kibirige talks about how at 16 and being the eldest on 10 siblings impacted his life in Uganda. He is a member of the Muganda tribe. At that age he lost both of his parents like most kids in his country to aids. As I was reading, it said that Uganda was the least-developed country in East Africa and diseases such as aids and malaria have killed millions of Ugandans.  Not only that but poverty is a big problem as well as political instability and civil war that has been going on for 20 years. This man is the executive director of the Saph Integrated Training Center which is an indigenous non-profit organization that helps children that are in need of strengthening and encouragement to overcome their situations.


In Columbia, specifically in the northern part of the Guajira peninsula, a land inhabited by the indigenous Wayuu people and also by the mestizo peasants and Afro-Columbians was being “attacked” by the Cerrejón Zona Norte, which was the largest open-pit coal mine in the world. They destroyed their community and livelihoods as told by Pedro Borja who was affected by this as well as Aura Pérez who eventually died. When they became sick it was hard for them to retrieve medicine or treatment that they needed. The people in Tobaco, which was the largest village in the area before it got destroyed, have worked so hard for their land and to survive but the company only mocked them and gave them hard times and most of them lost their homes. They don’t have enough food and the children started suffering with endless colds and skin diseases the hospital can’t cure. Their eyes burn and they have chest pains and headaches as a result of the contamination of land from the coal mining.

The Maasai dilemma Publication date: March 1994

The Maasai of east Africa talked about the colonization of the British and the enslavements of the Africans had done more than damage not only them but their land. They suffered from dangerous diseases like East coast fever and “red water” and also the tse tse fly which causes disease in cattle and sleeping sickness in humans. The animals are killing the people there as well, they said they lost 31 people who got killed and 70 that are seriously injured by the wild animals, because they were out of their natural habitat.

The hardest part of this assignment would be looking for articles of 10 or 20 years ago. There well very few that specifically talked about the topics and others are just brief summaries that lead to another link. Sometimes, in one article, there are multiple things that are mentioned and it can be quite difficult to just minimize it into just one topic. What I enjoyed most or had success in was learning about indigenous people and the disease and other things that are negatively impacting their groups. It is really eye opening how time passes by and many different things can occur in that time period.


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