Mosquito Trail Essay

2096 Words 9 Pages
In the field of global health, a consensus has been reached that we can no longer analyze public health issues through a purely biomedical lens, but must incorporate a wide range of other dimensions, such as political, economic, social, and environmental aspects. All these dimensions converge together to form particular places of health that influence disease exposure and transmission. King asserts that a political ecology framework applied to health provides insight into “how health is situated within political, economic, cultural, and environmental systems that intersect to shape the spread of disease and decision-making options” (King 49). By taking into account these dynamic multiscalar processes, we can see how both local and larger-scale …show more content…
A common theme within his book as well as other works is the deficient participation of local governments in addressing local health issues. By focusing on the lack of political will or capacity of local governments, we can see how detrimental environmental determinants of health like poor infrastructure and lack of sanitation come about and are unlikely to be solved by foreign actors. This paper, therefore, will focus on the role of local governments in perpetuating power relations that lead to differential vulnerability to environmentally driven health risk factors. The paper will first analyze the causes and consequences of local government inaction, then discuss the inability of foreign actors to implement long-term solutions, and conclude with a discussion of the prospects of the future of these issues in light of climate …show more content…
In the case Gilgel-Gibe hydroelectric dam in Ethiopia, the population’s health is put at risk in favor of the economic and developmental gain attained from increased electricity power supply. A study by Yewhalaw et al. concludes that rates of malaria in children increased due to proximity with the dam and suggests ecological transformations resulting from the dam’s construction increased mosquito-breeding sites, producing differential exposure to malaria (Yewhalaw 2009). In his discussion of political ecology framework, King describes the early HIV/AIDS situation in South Africa, which provides another example where the local government obstructed its own public health. Considering the presence of migrant workers working in the country’s mining industry and resulting opportunities for sex work, the population was rather vulnerable to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. When the disease spread to South Africa, it was met with complete denial on the part of the national government, who insisted that poor nutrition and poverty rather than HIV caused AIDS. King argues that the response was due to the country’s colonial and apartheid history, which colored the epidemic as a “neocolonial racist discourse constructed by western donors and corporations for the purpose of selling pharmaceuticals” (King 2010, 47). By intending

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