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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 notes

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Mark Hunter

Globalization is a very prominent word in todays world. It has been used especially since the 1980s to capture a series of economic, political, and social changes. It is also widely used to discuss health. For instance global health is a term that is very common when talking about health issues that cross a number of boundaries. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has a global health program. So does the US AID (which is the program through which the US channels foreign Aid) and CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency). There are organizations that take the name, such as the global health council. It is difficult to believe that this way of looking at health is actually quite new. Globalization is a controversial term. It describes a more interconnected world. But debates over whether newness is exaggerated. Some ask, is the nation state redundant? Is there anything particularly unique about the present period, for instance in comparison with the colonial period which connected peoples in new ways or the expansion of Europe into the so-called New World. One obvious side to globalization is greater connections between people and places A second is a turn towards the market (indeed, anti-globalization is very much a movement opposed to the domination of market institutions such as Multinationals) A third is rising social inequalitiesa gap between the rich and the poor--are also often associated with globalization. The idea that globalization is pushing us into a new era of disease often gains salience because of the way that the onset of new diseases are contrasted with decades of progress. That science is overcoming disease has been with for much of the later part of 20th century. This is, after all, a period of massive advancements in science. From the 1940s to the 1960s, especially, a successful vaccine for polio and smallpox and the discovery of antibiotics suggested that infections would be eradicated. The last case of smallpox was in 1977 (first vaccine 1796 when milkmaids who had cowpox did not catch smallpox. The US military now vaccinated in case of bioterrorism). To some extent, many of us will all have grown up with the idea that health can be controlled by an individual for instance by not smoking, drinking, or driving without a seatbelt. Vaccine invented in 1955. Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan only countries where it is present. Iron lung to treat people with polio. To breath for them. Works on the nervous system and can cause paralysis.
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