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Mar 11, 2016

Everybody is talking Zika Part 5 of 24

To start the first post for the month of March - let us take one step back and go through each previous month posts one by one and reflect on its content, meaning and relevance to what we are trying to infuse discourse among us. First - I had several questions primarily related to poverty, professional / global health dilemma (that in particularly haunted me!!) in the first January Part 1 of 24. As of this month - we are still struggling to understand "what is poverty?" Well for me, the plausible understanding to the root cause and its dynamics in the genesis of poverty is the intent of this exercise. So far - I am able to get the sketches of factors that plays role in the poverty. One point that I am clear now is that one is poor or considered  poor in his/her physical surroundings / neighborhood is not only his/her responsibility rather it is a  interplay of multiple factors from local to global influences. For example - the dire poverty in some remote village in Africa / South Africa could be dictated by the decision taken by a "influential" body in Europe. This is a fact now. Also, I have to highlight here - the question of poverty or the felt in the field of curative and preventive medicine and at large with "ongoing" discussion related with search for new guiding principle for "public health", "international health" and now "global health". This is what I can say from a perspective of a health professional who was born, raised, trained and worked for the communities in our own country. However, I can not for sure say or represent what public health professionals at the helm of global leadership have to say about their own experiences !! 

We all know that all the problems that relates with communicable and even non communicable diseases in low income countries are directly the result of poverty. Once we understand the root causes of the poverty and its social dynamics, then only can we institute sustainable, effective and affordable measures in alignment with prevailing social structure and  cultural milieu. With this idea ruminating inside my brain, I tried to tackle the question of poverty as a responsibility of each individual and even wrote that "may be it is your own responsibility and have to be responsible for being poor" For that case - I wrote the January second  post through the prism of cognitive theory, where human behavior is taken to be a interactive product of his/her personality with the surrounding environment, where he/she lives. Well - in one way it makes sense, but in  over all - we also need to understand the cause of poverty from broader perspective where politics, policy, economics, law of the land and so on. On reading the book - "Why Nation Fails" provided me a bit  panoramic view of what is our current understanding of poverty and what are the multitude of factors that interplay in its genesis in our community. For example - the prevalent social practice of "untouchability" is one that can be a case studies, where it is not only one's personality or even the environment that dictates one's behavior and lands him / her into poverty. It is systemic and systematic exclusion through the use of social and state mechanism to put one community in the state of abject poverty. Thereafter - I started to re define our understanding of poverty and its causal factors in a bit elaborate way in Feb 3rd and 4th  posts. For this - I would say "The  End of Poverty" provided me global perspective in terms of economic understandings and its dynamics. However, we still need to understand the meaning of poverty and its roots from our oriental "learning" and academia. Sometime, our understanding on the subject matter could be so much streamlined through ideology which I fear so I need to read books from our perspective, for which reading Amartya Sen would be a best choice.

Recently - I have come to a position that I have started to question our own involvement as an individual and or at the institutional level. This position though still not clear and founded on "confused" state of mind needs lots of fine tuning, which would happen only through serious scholastic work - that includes observation and analysis of real communities. Sometime (socially) but most of the time (academically) -  it is therefore good to be too critical, singular and methodical in approach to any problem or challenges like Sherlock Holmes. We wish - we could be singularly be thorough and go deep down to "root" cause analysis (of the question/challenges/crisis) to unearth the very meaning  of ongoing "hot" debate and discourse that we listen, hear and read even if we want to plug your ear or shut your mind in "pause" mode.

Yes - there is an intense discourse related with Zika everywhere around the globe. It seems, the "noise" is not only limited to global health fraternity nowadays, it has been the burning issue of global health security, which has been recently exemplified by Ebola outbreak in West Africa, particularly  those countries where the health system is ill functioning. I was listening to a recent live webcast: The Zika Crisis - Latest findings organized by The Forum Harvard T H CHAN School of Public Health on 4th March, 2016.  One of the speaker rightly cautioned all the participants that there is a valid fear that the "noise"could be slowly die down and whatever there was vibrant discussion and high degree of attention received in social media may slow down !! I also fear the same, and have a question whether and how does this kind of "public" health noise comes into light in the first place? Could it be a possibility that some scientific mind or most of us are victim of sensationalization? or it is just true and there is no other way than to panic and create noise? I do not know - I got read more and understand - I am confused more than ever. However, I agree - it is only in preparedness and keeping our home right that we will be able to deal with this kind of health threat pretty well !!

11 March, 2016

Anuj in Himalayas

Hi i am connecting disqus with my blog for healthy interaction and open dialogue