GLOBALIZATION AND HEALTH: ARE WE ENTERING A NEW ERA OF DISEASE
•Greater connection between people and places, rising inequalities and increasing diseases.
•Globalization’ is a very prominent word in today’s 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.
•Globalization is a controversial term. It describes a more interconnected world. But debates
over whether newness is exaggerated.
• Globalization is a significant break from decades of progress.
•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’.
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.
Polio: iron lung snippett
smallpox: pussy lessions on skin.
Vaccine invented in 1955.
In 1900’s , in US, the main three causes of death were:
In 1970’s, the three main causes were:
Cohens describes the trend of new emerging diseases is because of:
•First, decreases in host susceptibility, as a consequence of better nutrition; antibiotics; better
housing. Antobiotics – the most well known of which is penicillin discovered by Fleiming in the
1920s. They were dubbed the ‘magic bullet” because they could destroy the bacteria without
damaging the body.
•Second, decreases in disease transmission due to: safer food and water, immunizations, and
improved hygiene and sanitation.
•But, Cohen notes. Many of these benefits had not reached the ‘Third world’. Infectious diseases
caused over 13 million deaths in the ‘Third World’. Among the most common causes of
mortality were the three diseases that had been so common in the developed world at the
beginning of the 20th century. pneumonia (3.5 m); diarrhoeal diseases (2.2 m) and TB (1.5
Newly Emerging Diseases:
1) West Nile Virus:
•West Nile virus infects birds and humans and is passed on by mosquitoes. First appeared in
the West Nile region of Uganda in 1930s.
•It causes flu like symptoms but these can lead to brain inflammation and is mostly found on
the East Coast of North America.
•It appeared first in New York in 1999.