The globalization era has brought with it a close correlation between trade and disease. Infectious (transmittable) diseases are more widespread than ever due to the increased transportation of people due to global travel. For instance, upon the arrival of Japanese ships to America on a tire importation trade, mosquitoes—that breed in small water pockets, like those found in the tires—arrived in America. These mosquitoes “transmit a new and more virulent strain of dengue fever were tagged along” (Hilts 4).
Moreover, Hilts also argues that HIV/AIDS, discovered in 1981, is a mysterious and uncontrollable disease that emerged from a remote forest (Hilts 5). Today, HIV/AIDS is a fatal disease that weakens one’s immune system,which eventually causes one to die; the length of life after initial diagnosis of this disease depends directly on the patient’s financial status, in order to afford the required and costly medications.
According to Barnett’s reports, the epidemic of HIV/AIDS is a combination of consequences of changes in politics, global warming, emergence of new economic ideas, and global distribution of power. He further adds that addressing these problems with an economic and political aspect will not only improve the quality of the lives of those in distress, but it will also improve the international development goals and prospects of progress. In addition, the characteristic of the period of globalization indicates “the resulting poverty may be a threat to the national security of developed countries such as the USA; or yet again because of fear that “AIDS refugees” may flood the countries of the north in search of treatment (Barnett 7).”
Throughout history, migration is known to be a legendary escape from poverty. Allotey and Zwi, co-authors of the RX for Survival, argue that the present wave of globalization is “increasingly characterized by voluntary and forced migration of populations fleeing disasters, conflict, and violence” (Hilts 9). According to their reports, these migrations greatly endangered the health of women in particular, because the majority of the migratory population consisted of women. Allotey reports that, “70 percent of the people living in extreme poverty are women, leaving them vulnerable to economic slowdowns”. Hence, upon migrating to other countries, these women are often exposed to the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, human trafficking, and abuses including possibly being exploited as maids, and/or being restricted to a basic health care (Hilts 9).
Eritrea is one of the many third world countries consumed with poverty. Due to political instability and poverty in East Africa, migration rate have increased immensely—about 50 percent of the youth population—in search of a better life in other nations. This risky process of migration succeeds in destroying the health of many individuals through sexually transmitted diseases, malnutritions, and malaria, and often leads to tragic endings. Although globalization claims to be a solution for poverty by many, Kawachi aruges that it has actually created a larger gap between the rich and the poor, thus creating a worse economic environment for the developing countries that are working to relieve poverty and consequently working to improve health conditions.
According to the reports of the Regional Committee for Africa, “Poverty is the world’s greatest killer and the major cause of ill-health and suffering (1)”. The World Health Organizations (WHO) is an organization that emerged with the rise of globalization, and the goal of the organization is to promote health effectively through economic policies, and ensure that trade and globalization serve to improve the health of the poor and disadvantaged populations (WHO 4)”. The reports further states, “Economic growth (with redistribution) is the primary means by which countries reduce poverty (WHO 17)”. While globalization serves to temporarily relieve the individuals’ distress in developing countries, it is also permanently damaging the economy of these poor countries. For instance, its introduction of vehicles and factories caused major global warming to the environment, and while the developed countries have the capacity to control these environmental issues with the greenhouse effect, the developing countries are not able to do the same to protect their environment.
- Refer to ‘Impacts of Globalization (Part I)’
- Regional Committee for Africa, World Health Organization. Poverty, Trade and Health: an Emerging Health Development Issue. June 17 2006 page1-4. 4 April 2008 <http://www.afro.who.int/rc56/documents/afr_rc56_9_poverty_trade_health_final.pdf>.
- Barnett, Tony. HIV/AIDS and Globalization 03-15-2007 1-9. 21 April 2008 <www.lse.ac.uk/collections/DESTIN/publink/barnett/HIVAIDS_and_Globalization.doc-2007-03-15>.