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Although there are several articles discussing globalization and health, it is important to understand the processes of globalization affecting health outcomes and the local and global health responses. One of the major focal point of this article has been the association of globalization and infectious disease. Although globalization is already at widespread interest on its emergence and impact, there’s still a limited agreement on what is it precisely. Globalization is a term that is behind misunderstood by many of us.
Its definition is dependent upon ones arguments. The term is being contested by many people who are in big dispute regarding the issue. Some of us may define it as a process of increasing global temperature due to undisciplined chores of people. However, this meaning is just a part of its definition as understood by many of contemporary people even scientists. Globalization is manifested in the increase of international transportation, communication and other people chores.
It is a complicated and multi-faceted set of processes having widespread impacts on humans.
According to Saker et. al. (2004), globalization is defined as “changing the nature of human interaction across a wide range of spheres including the economic, political, social, technological and environment….. the process of change can be described as globalizing in the sense that boundaries of various kinds are becoming eroded. This erosion can be seen to be occurring along three dimensions: spatial, temporal and cognitive.
” It is being motivated and constrained by a couple of forces: economic processes, technological developments, political influences, cultural and value systems, and social and natural environmental forces.
These forces have direct or indirect effects to the health aspects among humans at a number of different levels. As globalization experienced by the different parts of the world, some wide-range changes impacting on the health aspects remains unclear. This paper will tackle about the interrelation between globalization and spreading of infectious diseases.
In addition, it will also discuss, in some cases, the management of diseases. It also aims to improve the understanding regarding the phenomenon as it influences infectious diseases. Thesis Statement Because of the alarming incidence of the spread of many diseases among different countries, many believe that one of the major causes of this spread is globalization itself by physical, natural, social, cultural, economical, political, and technological interaction between countries. Globalization: An Interdisciplinary Approach
The phenomenon affects many of social aspects including health. The redistribution and movement of bacteria or viruses is one of the detrimental effects of globalization. We know that globalization is a big opportunity for the economy to boost. However, it is also the factor that promotes unfriendly social force that affects those in the periphery of societies. The two sides endorse a negative aspects but it also support for a positive effects. Then, what really is globalization, for bad or for good?
If we try to scrutinize the aspect and all of its processes of globalization, we could find out that health sciences could benefit from the explicit thoughtful understanding of the phenomenon. Globalization really changed the health aspects of the whole planet. Many infected persons of a certain disease don’t know its causes or even the disease itself. Diseases are coming closer to us because of international travels become easy, simple and common place. Globalization, together with climate change, bridges the easy advancement and transfer of pathogens.
Common dieses could become a plague and virulent diseases. For instance, due to the ever-changing ecosystems, vector-borne diseases such as the Bluetongue virus and West Nile Fever have spread extremely. Besides, the circulation and propagation of Food and Mouth Disease is caused by the intensification of commercial movement. Northoff (2007) said that “most of the emerging infectious diseases are not new: they began by affecting animals, but as time has passed, the diseases breached the species barrier. ” Globalization as Disciplines
The processes of globalization have a potential force in the influence in health, economy and politics. Globalization brings couple of positive effects in terms as developed in international relations, political economy, and health society. As being stated regarding the inference of globalization: “an understanding of global health issues at the turn of the twenty-first century could benefit substantially from the voluminous literature on globalization from international relations, including the subfields of social and political theory and international political economy. This is a rich and voluminous literature.
It documents what structural changes are occurring toward a global political economy, how power relationships are embedded within this process of change, what varying impacts this may have on individuals and groups…” (Mayer, 2008). It just implies that globalization is more than a mere increase in “international independence and international connectivity” (Mayer, 2008). Another negative factor it brings is the deviated patterns in diseases due to regular change social and natural patterns. Many decades and, perhaps, centuries old had established historical transformation.
According to Mayer (2008), “globalization certainly contains elements of increasing global interdependency, the decline of international boundaries as deterministic social constructs, and the erosion of distance as an inhibitor of human interaction for some but not all segments of societies—though the effects of distance are highly variable, and some societies remain locally constrained. ” Furthermore, the term is not only referring to the regular advances of increasing goods and people, but also to the movement of capital. According to Dr.
Jeffrey Koplan, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infectious and chronic diseases is not locally widespread but also permeate globally (“CDC Says Globalization Will Affect Disease Spreading”, 2002). Koplan stated that illnesses and globalization are being related to one another. He said that “ because globalization sets a common agenda for the public health workers of the world, more opportunities are available to developing countries that previously trailed behind most other nations” (“CDC Says Globalization Will Affect Disease Spreading”, 2002).
In addition, he stated that physical borders are practically worthless. He said the biggest risk is the speed at which diseases can be multiply and extended. According to him, due to population amplification, diseases are also gained its spreading due to constant mixture of people and infectious diseases. He also added that as country reach the level of Industrialization, people also become wealthier. Affluence brings new health fear such as obesity. Most of developed countries have a high incidence of a bad health lifestyle and they have high rates of cardiovascular diseases.
According to Northoff (2007), the bluetongue virus is widely spreading as it is infected the United States. The virus is an animal virus that recently arrived in the US. It just implies that no country could claim that they are free from any diseases. This non-contagious virus affects all the ruminants such as goats, deer, cattle and sheep. However, this virus is not transmitted directly between animals and no effects in humans. The bluetongue virus was first revealed in South Africa but it has already reached many countries. In fact, it already traversed the Mediterranean by the end of 1990s.
The virus had been found in Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and North France and United Kingdom since the summer of 2006. The reason upon the continuous and increased pace of spread of the virus remains unclear. The virus was already acclimatized to new local insect carrier of the Culicoides genus which endures cold temperature. Indeed, some people couldn’t believe that the virus already affects European countries considering their high latitudes. According to Northoff (2007), the virus is already prevalent in Corsica and Sardinia but could even endure in northern European countries.
In addition, he said that “Transboundary animal diseases” are originally restricted to tropical countries but they are already swelling due to globalization such as West Nile Virus, transmitted through mosquitoes or carried by birds, Leishmaniasis, a parasitic ailment that proliferates through the bite of infected sand flies and tick-borne Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever. African horse sickness, a disease passed on by the same midges that also carry bluetongue and African swine fever. Mosquitoes that also bring diseases such as dengue also reached European countries.
Influenza, or better known as Flu, is the most common disease in animals today. In 1918 in Spain, the first great flu plague had happened. It was recorded that 40 million people died from the H1N1 strain of the virus. Also, in 1957, the H3N2 and latter the H4N2 was seen damaging many lives. Globalization brings also the resistance of bird flu, a highly pathogenic strain of avail influenza called the H5N1 virus type. In fact, in the past four years, there were 251 recorded cases of H5N1, among them are fatal.
This case merely suggests that we are in the predecessor level of a Bubonic plague. Since the globalization refers to the movement of people, goods, tourism and other aspects, it also favors the widespread of animal viruses and other diseases around the planet. The exposure and immunity of viruses and bacteria causing diseases increase their mobility and resistance that international community should take it seriously. With regard, early detection of these viruses is needed as an effective defense mechanism.
In order for these measures to be taken up successfully, strong political support and funding of a government is required considering most of the countries are not prepared with this new threat. The challenges that we are facing today and being aggravated by globalization, suggest that we must be aware and vigilant to find partnerships for the deterrence and control of epidemics and pandemics. These cases and the treatment of diseases and the development of preventive measures should be delve into and advanced.
Collaboration may be the best strategy to be able to research, develop and provide medications to prevent and treat neglected diseases before it become a pestilence. Since diseases have no physical countries when it comes to their spreading out, international support among countries involved. Without the collaboration and cooperation of those infected countries will lead to the widespread of the diseases among other parts of the world. From time to time, it may be also necessary to convince the authorities of the countries involved that cooperation is very important.
In addition, for our health security to be secured, it is essential to promote partnerships between private and public sectors. In this way, research and development of neglected diseases are increased and advanced and the spread of viruses at their source could be attacked. There are treatments of some diseases but they are very toxic, often causing death, and ordinary people couldn’t buy it for it is so expensive. Even worse, there are diseases that have no treatments which results to sudden death. Spreading of infectious Disease Some pathogens live in the environment and affect human directly.
However, some pathogens, can only survive as a host. If the transmission occurs between humans, the infection is transmittable. The processes and mode of transmission is influenced by different factors. For example, according to Saker et. al (2004), “transmission of vector-borne diseases is influenced by factors which affect vector numbers (e. g. warmer temperature increases mosquito reproduction rates), contact between humans and vectors (e. g. tourism brings people to areas where malaria-carrying-immune people to areas where malaria is prevalent), intermediate host numbers (e.
g. dams provide breeding grounds for snails carrying schistosomiasis), or human or animal behaviors (e. g. warmer temperatures encourage people to bathe in pools, which may be contaminated by schictosome larvae. ” Pathogens are highly receptive to the surroundings. The reasons are: their ability to live and multiply depends on the existing right climatic and nutritional conditions and local conditions. Saker et. al (2004, page 10) stated: “Diverse environmental factors, such as ambient climate and the presence or absence of overcrowding, clean water
or particular types of flora and fauna, influence a pathogen’s chances of flourishing and causing disease. Some pathogens thrive in warm and wet climates while others only survive in colder, drier conditions. Still others can survive almost anywhere. Thus some pathogens cause disease worldwide while others are only found in well-defined areas where the local environment is favorable to their propagation. The latter is particularly true for vector-borne diseases since here the local environment needs to support the survival and multiplication of not only
the offending pathogen but also the relevant vector and often a third host as well. ” Since, in general, the rate at which a single case of human illness generates new infections depends on the combination of biological and social factors. Thus, transmission is affected not only in the number of infectious agents but also by the living states of the human population.
(2002). CDC Says Globalization Will Affect Disease Spreading. Retrieved April 26, 2008, from Boston University Website: http://media. www. dailyfreepress. com/media/storage/paper87/news/2002/02/14/News/Cd c-Says.Globalization. Will. Affect. Disease. Spreading-184907-page2. shtml Northoff, E. (2007). Spread of bluetongue confirms animal diseases on the rise. Retrieved April 26, 2008, from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Website: http://www. fao. org/newsroom/en/news/2007/1000675/index. html Mayer, J. (2008) The Impact of Globalization on Infectious Disease Emergence and Control: Exploring the Consequences and Opportunities, Workshop Summary – Forum on Microbial Threats. Retrieved April 26, 2008 from Washington: Website: http://books. nap. edu/openbook. php?
record_id=11588&page=197 UNESCAP. Globalization and Health. Retrieved April 26, 2008, from Bangkok: Website: http://209. 85. 175. 104/search? q=cache:K0_IsfsCTaQJ:lib_user5. unescap. org/esid/hds/issu es/GlobalizationHealth. pdf+HOW+GLOBALIZATION+AFFECTING+SPREAD+DISE ASES&hl=tl&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=ph Kerpelman, T. (2008). Aid & Trade: Containing Pandemics. Retrieved April 26, 2008, from ICVolunteers Website: : http://www. icvolunteers. org/index. php? what=news&id=302 Saker, et. Al. (2004). Globalization and Infectious Disease: A review of the Linkages. World Health Organization
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