Struggling for Health Rights

From the Global Health and Development slides, I was impressed to see that in defining “health”, it is stated as “not merely the absence of disease”. I think that this is extremely important that WHO include it in their Constitution because health is the environment of all beings, body, mind, and surroundings. I was extremely surprised (yet not at all) to see that in 2002, the CDC determined that cancer was the second leading cause of death in the U.S., yet lung cancer by itself was the ninth leading cause of death worldwide, and there was no other cancers on the top ten list. It is astonishing to understand how unhealthy the United States are and to realize that there are no intentions to change our situation. I was also shocked to learn that in 2002, one billion people did not have access to safe water, and to consider whether that has increased or decreased is concerning that humanity can let humanity live like that.

Mining on the Guajira Peninsula: Wayuu Communities Fight Against Coal Extraction

September 2016

The Wayuu people of the Guajira Peninsula in Venezuela, South America are facing destruction of their lands, consumables, and health due to persistent mining companies. Coal exploitation is making the water supply undesirable, and “undrinkable” with harmful levels of metals, as well as the release of harmful carbon based substance from burning wood, and the spilling “toxic oils and [other] liquids”, which are also contaminating the air along with with “7 million tons of sulfur per year”. The destruction from the (coal) mines has left the Wayuu people with more poverty, less education, and has forced entire villages from their homes.The Wayuu people want  to stop new mines from being started, but the government does not support them because of the financial advances the mines bring and the power the owners have.

Peru: Force Oil Company to Clean Up Spills

January 10, 2014

In the Amazon Rainforest, the town of Nuevo Andoas, Peru, South America faces an environmental emergency due to tons of toxic waste dumped by the petroleum industry. Their water supply is contaminated with several metal deposits and oil spills, yet there are no plans to clean this up. The Quechua know that they are forced to surround themselves with this water contamination, drinking, cooking and raising food with it, washing in, and wearing it. There is no alternative, no choice but to accept that they will contract disease, cancer, and even brain damage from such a necessity with nothing being done to protect them.

Nuclear War: Uranium Mining and Nuclear Tests on Indigenous Lands

September 1993

Many Native American tribes suffer from the mining operations of U.S. and British companies. The Lakota tribe in North Dakota is forced to deal with the U.S. Department of Energy and its operation to mine the gold and other mineral deposits from the Black Hills contaminating the water and soil. Due to these actions, the tribe is threatened with pregnancy complications, cancer and other diseases. Along with these illnesses, other reservations experience birth defects, leukemia, and even deafness. Because of the economic benefits of mining, the U.S. refuses to end this or compensate fairly for the damages to humanity and the environment.

There were several challenges I encountered while completing this assignment. One was finding articles solely about an illness that I wanted to write about. Another was reading through and finding the relevant information to summarize because the length of them made nearly everything seem important. The biggest challenge was finding articles that I would be passionate enough about to read completely and continue to think about ways to summarize them, especially since I wanted to keep a central affect. I feel that I was successful in finding articles that were similar to tie them together, yet different enough for them to be interesting.


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