Poverty In The Marshall Islands

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The Marshall Islands are an island country in the Pacific Ocean consisting of 29 atolls and five islands. Ebeye island, also known as the “Slum of the Pacific”, is the most populous and polluted island of Kwajalein atoll in the Marshal islands. The rising seas levels is a big concern because it not only washed up pollutants and trashes onto the land but also cause floods which threaten people’s home and their belongings (Barker, 2013). Ebeye is also known for its frequent power outages that can last up to weeks and its non-existent levels of clean water even though it is surrounded by nothing but water. The people in Ebeye experience some degrees of isolation since it is an island nation with much more imports than exports (Barker, 2013). The …show more content…
Poor people are more vulnerable to communicable disease because the lack of access to medical care once infected (Macinko, 2003). In addition, they are more likely to have inadequate nutrition and suffer health, behavioral, and cognitive problems (Macinko, 2003). These problems will impair their ability to do well in life or school and land stable employment as adults. The children of the poor will likely suffer from the same problem which ensure that poverty will persist across generations (Macinko, 2003). Poverty is most likely the biggest reason why TB runs rampant in Ebeye because the stress of poverty alone can compromise the immune system and weakens the ability of the body to fight off the disease (Barker, 2013). Furthermore, the stress of poverty is exacerbated by population density and malnutrition which also decreases the immune system. Infected people need to go through a very specific and rigorous medication regimen that takes around 6 months. If it fails, TB will most likely come back in a more drug resistant form (Barker, 2013). As the result, the lack of access to health care and medicine is detrimental. Moreover, exposure to modern culture has brought about a rise in levels of adult obesity, noncommunicable disease, teenage pregnancy, suicide, alcoholism and tobacco use (Jimeno, …show more content…
It is so deeply entangled with other social problems such as income disparities, education, housing, gender, race, and even geography, that people are having trouble to say which factors are cause and which are effect. Wealth and health are closely linked (Adler, 2008). Higher incomes can provide better nutrition, schooling, access to care, recreation, and housing (Adler, 2008). Access to education is perhaps the most important components since it shapes future occupational opportunities and earning potentials. It provides knowledge and life skills that allow more educated people to gain more ready access to information and care (Adler, 2008). Those who are better educated make better choices in terms of some of their lifestyle risks, as well as the way in which they can access, or perceive the need to access, health services. The Marshallese in Ebeye are very poor and live on less than $1 a day. Their lack of access to proper education promotes unhealthy behaviors. In addition, their lack of education in turn restricts them and their own children to poverty, once again helping to ensure a vicious cycle of continuing poverty across generations. It is ironic that 30 minutes away from Ebeye is the US military base located in the Kwajalien atoll; where mostly everyone speaks fluent English and lives in an American middle-class neighborhood while the people in Ebeye live in extreme

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