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HSCI212 Meningococcal Meningitis Paper.docx

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Simon Fraser University
Health Sciences
HSCI 212
Richard Wright

Meningococcal Meningitis in Nigeria:ADemographicAnthropologist’s Perspective Elmira Nazari 30117355 Meningococcal Meningitis is a disease that plagues Nigeria and many other countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Due to its poor economic standing and inadequate access to medical care and treatment, Nigeria is not able to fight this disease alone. Our team goal is to identify the causes and risk factors of Meningococcal Meningitis, in order to find a suitable vaccine that will diminish the burden of the disease. The vaccination program our team is inclined on executing in Nigeria requires a sufficient source of funding because of the country’s developing status. October 31, 2012 Aneesha Khosla 301164358 Gabriela Mineva 301170546 Veronica Dabrowski 301173983 Amani Kafeety 301170076 TA: Nikita Soares The focus for our group project is Meningococcal Meningitis (MM) in Nigeria and we’ve decided to emphasize specifically on finding a prevention and vaccination program that suits the conditions of Nigeria. Our team is also trying to implement education for healers outside of the health care system.All team members chose a discipline, which they were going to investigate in order to try and eradicate MM in Nigeria. I decided to look through the eyes of a demographic anthropologist. My perspective looks at the different aspects of population combined with the social and cultural beliefs of a country in order to determine risk factors and effective treatment regimes. Gaby is a public health specialist atAdoose Specialist Hospital. Gaby works on diagnoses, prevention and treatment of patients. Amani is the World Health Organization representative for Nigeria and her role takes a much more political point of view.Amani helps develop and implement policies for prevention and awareness of the disease set out by the WHO.Aneesha will be our team’s Biochemist, working with the Serum Institute of India in order to find a cost-effect vaccination for MM in Nigeria. The team’s government representative will be Veronica and she will work with the government of Nigeria, trying to create agreement between government officials about health policies that are going to be implemented. Team members work together whenever possible. The best prevention and treatment programs come out of looking at a specific problem in many different ways and that is our plan. I choose to be a demographic anthropologist because I felt like this discipline would include two very important aspects of disease and illness. This discipline combines “a mix of quantitative and qualitative methodologies” (Bernardi, 2007). Most disciplines are criticized because their studies are either too qualitative or too quantitative, but this approach tackles both methods of study. It’s nice to be able to look at demographic statistics and socio-culture descriptions at the same. This specialty allows research to be statistical and interpretive at the same time! Braun & Schubert (2003) argue that interdisciplinary produces new knowledge that would not be otherwise possible. I agree with Braun & Schubert because I believe that you come to a much more insightful conclusion with an interdisciplinary approach. My perspective has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages when it came to fighting Meningococcal Meningitis in Nigeria. I was able to investigate illness at a much more descriptive level. This discipline allowed for incorporation of social and cultural beliefs of health and illness into the risk factors, prevention and treatment of M. Meningitis.Agood example is how some Nigerians believe in Voodoo (Uzokw
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