Guided Reflection #6

  1. If you were a volunteer at a Global Health Organization, how would you educate people on proper hygiene and sanitation to avoid diarrhea? Also, how would you ensure that people take their antibiotics until their entire dose is over to prevent resistance?

Education is a very important step of any global health initiative. First, I would make sure the terms I was using were easy to understand and comprehend. If people feel confused or like they are not educated enough to understand what you’re saying, they will stop listening. Once I ensured my vocabulary was user-friendly, I would prepare interactive activities to get the audience engaged with what I was teaching. If people participate and can actively learn, it makes it more interesting and the more likely they are to pay close attention. I would clearly outline the risks and consequences of improper hygiene and explain what could happen in the long run if you don’t take care of yourself in the short run now. Handing out baby wipes or sanitary pads, soap sheets or even waterless soap like hand sanitizers could help people improve sanitation greatly. In terms of ensuring patient adherence to antibiotics, I think just overall education and very thorough warning of what happens if you don’t finish taking them is very important. If people know that you have to take all of it for it to work or else it’ll be a waste of their money, they will be more inclined to take it. Also, you could offer small incentives for people who finish their medication properly and take it all the way through. Those incentives would be different for each culture and that country’s needs.

  1. One of the solutions for malnutrition that is under research is the switching of gut microbes between healthy and unhealthy individuals. Do you agree or disagree with this technique? If you disagree, what would your solution to malnutrition be? If you agree, how would you make it better?

I think this is an iffy solution and has a lot of potential ethical issues. However, I think this solution could be very helpful if implemented correctly. On the ethical dilemma side, many people have cultural beliefs that prevent them from receiving any outside blood or organs that aren’t theirs. This would fall into that category and therefore go against their cultural beliefs. Also, I believe it could be risky. I do not know the science behind it, but I imagine implanting the gut bacteria of one person into the gut of another person could be problematic. Everyone’s body works differently and you can’t predict how each patient would react to the transfer. Also, this is still a big procedure. It is different than taking a pill or getting a shot, and would likely be a big procedure and that becomes very difficult with developing countries. Money, staff to perform the procedure, sterile locations to do it, proper follow up procedures, etc. Also, more complications arise when surgery is introduced as opposed to a medication. However, medical and cultural complications aside, I think this could be a successful method. Based on the research presented in class, gut bacteria are a huge component to GI diseases in many people. If healthy people can donate their bacteria to help another person prevent GI disorders then this is a wonderful solution. It would be even better if it wasn’t surgical and maybe a small laparoscopic procedure to reduce complications.

  1. Based on Tate’s work in pit emptying, what are some of the biggest challenges he faces moving forward?

I believe Tate has done amazing work but will more than likely face more challenges moving forward. Now that his pit-emptying device is close to finalized, implementation is going to be tough. Right now, he has been there to oversee a lot of the emptying and usage of the device. Once it is mass-produced and distributed out to other countries and cities, there are going to be a lot of challenges. They must decide who gets the device; teach people how to use it, make sure they know about upkeep and how to fix it if any part of it breaks, and a lot more. Education can be difficult, especially in places where people live with so little and struggle day to day – some people might not want to be bothered with it. Also, some people are set in their ways and it may be difficult to enforce the benefits of it. However, if it is easy to use and durable, I think those will be easy challenges to overcome. I also think each area is going to be different with the way the pits are set up. That could be another challenge he faces moving forward: adaptation to different environments. Right now it is perfected for India and their area but this could be useful in many other places, which would come with its own complications.