It is so disheartening to learn about all the structural inequities people face in developing country, often in the control of white wealthy decision makers. I’m sure many people sit and think why does Sub-Saharan Africa suffer from infectious disease so drastically compared to the rest of the world. And honestly, it all boils down to racism. I had an interesting experience because while taking this class on infections and inequalities, I was also taking a racism and health inequities class and it gave me a global and national perspective on racism. Racism is still very much present, even in a global aspect where we left most of Africa behind. With the disregard to help them develop and get on their feet during our industrialization era, we left them behind. And with leaving them behind, they face so much more struggle with infectious diseases and we kind of just throw our hands in the air and say we don’t have the means to support them now. I remember reading a quote of an American political official and he said that Africa would never get the funds to develop so what is the point? The point is that every MINUTE a CHILD dies in Africa from malaria. The point is that 94% of malaria cases are concentrated in Africa and the US is malaria-free. How can we justify this? How can we devalue the lives of Black and Brown people? I am utterly disgusted and close to tears thinking about how there are people that decide on this! There are people that willingly said “I don’t care about the people in this country” and made excuses not to help when their nation had more than enough funds. Our healthcare corporations in America bank billions of dollars but don’t have the means to support countries in dire need? Bullshit.
With this knowledge, I want to work in public health and try to create global change. I want to save lives in more than just a clinical setting, and this is something I am very passionate in. I hope this inspires you to have conversations surrounding race and global affairs, and maybe even work towards change. Policy change and distribution of funding needs to be addressed, and we should be the generation to make the US Govt do it!