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GPHY 101 Lecture Notes - World Health Organization, Autism Spectrum, Health Geography

Course Code
GPHY 101
Anne M C Godlewska

of 2
Janice Liu
Place has effect on health
- Treatments different
- Access to healthcare
Die at home
- Hard to arrange
“Health is a state of complete physical,
mental and social well-being and
not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
(World Health Organization)
Illnesses and diseases are different
- Hard to diagnose
- Not obvious abnormalities
Geography studies illness more than health
- Harder to measure
Epidemiologists focus on
- mortality: death and causes
- Sickness: illness and disease
- Compared across time and space but complicated
Impairment (e.g. hearing or visual) usually refers to restricted physical functioning of some kind
Disability what is a disabled person actually disabled by…?
- Social? Stigma, stereotypes like treating you like a child
- Spatial: environment, barriers to access (stairs, auto doors, ramps)
Impairment is a defect of the body
Disability is social and spatial restriction
- Invisible: anxiety, autism, diabetes, epilepsy
190000 children in canada’s autism spectrum
Some don’t see it as a disease – problem is how society treats them
- Need better accomodations
Capable of change
- Autism needs to be treated if you call it a disease (think critically abut concepts we use!!)
o Concepts mean different things in different places at different times
- Prenatal texing being done
Health geography
- More social
- Theoretically driven
- Social inequalities
Janice Liu
Social and spatial context are inseparable
- Social factors include: class, sleep
Healthy immigrant effect
- Immigrants are health when they arrive but it deteriorates
- Screening chooses healthier immigrants
- Lack of sense of place and belonging can decrease health (stress)
Food is important to health
- Keeping links to home
Place matters for, but it doesn’t determine our health.
Places themselves are not usually intrinsically healthy or unhealthy
The importance of agency we make places, through relations, processes, practices
Power may not be distributed equally, but we are rarely powerless to improve our health, or
our lives.