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Global Health Paradox

Posted by Walt Thompson on Monday, 21 July 2014 in Health Smart 0 Comments

Global Health Paradox

Access to health care is not equivalent to high quality health care. In the year 2005, India implemented a program designed to improve the high death rate occurring during child-birth. In spite of paying mothers to deliver their babies in health care institutions, and in spite of the fact that mothers took advantage of the opportunity, there was no detectable improvement on the nation’s maternal mortality (death rate during child birth). How could this be? Many wondered.

In analyzing the data in an attempt to understand this paradox (not only in childbirth), the WHO suggests that adverse events arising from medical care “are most likely a major cause of disability and death throughout the world, and especially so among people living in low and middle income countries.” From the analysis, WHO estimates that these health-care related disabilities and deaths result in 43 million injuries each year, probably representing one of the twenty major causes of death and disability around the world each year.

The paradox (a substantial increase in access without measurable improvement of outcomes) becomes even more troublesome considering present proposals by the World Health Organization (WHO) to make health care coverage a universal goal.

From available evidence it seems quite apparent that there are serious deficiencies in the first three of six measures of high quality care, i.e. safe, effective, patient centered, efficient, timely, and equitable.

The reasons one might suggest to explain these deficiencies (being basically related to human frailties) are numerous and not easily resolved with power or money. And though the nature of these deficiencies may vary from country to country based upon economic and social differences, one observation applies to all. That is, attention to the utilization of the eight natural laws of health: proper nutrition, regular exercise, fresh air, pure fresh water, adequate rest, sunlight, temperate life practices, and reliance upon a generous portion of divine power. Even considering the present condition of our world, these natural remedies, used wisely, far exceed in benefit some of the best of modern health care.

In view of this, health education, provided by the spoken word, delivered via the electronic media, and, especially, modeled in health-care institutions, public and private--is beyond doubt the best answer to the global health paradox.

Because our world is so broken and hurting, there is one place where modern health care seems especially indicated and helpful in addition to the natural remedies. That is in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, polio, and malaria. 

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