A Dirty Mess

Annie Heathorn

AS we have discussed before, the root of the problem with Diarrheal Disease is the lack of access to nutritiona and water. Malnurioushed people have weakened immune systems that lack the ability to combate diarrheal virusues. It seems that the giving food aid would be the primary solution in combating diarrheal disease. Yet, providing food is much more complicated than just handing a loaf of bread over to the hungry.

Kristin D. Phillips discusses the politics of involved in giving aid in “Hunger, Healing, and Citizenship in Central Tanzania” and the problems that arise when giving aid to the poor. Essentially she claims that politicians gain people’s allegiances by giving them food, and even if the people don’t agree with their policies they are under those politicians power and authority. When people are starving, and people are willing to go to any extreme to get a bite to eat, politicians that give aid are viewed with an unearthly awe. This devotion gives them power. And when are politicians ever absent of corruption? In countries where people dwell in desperation, governments are especially corrupt. The aid-givers can easily keep a portion for themselves, sell the aid at whatever rate they determine to be appropriate, and manipulate/ deceive donators. So while, nutrition may greatly reduce diarrheal disease, we must be aware o fthhe politics that go into providing aid. It can quickly become “A Dirty Mess”.

http://www.globalhealthcommunication.org/tool_docs/76/behavior_change_perspectives…-_chap._4_-_diarrheal_diseases.pdf

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