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Health, pharmaceuticals, and citizenship - Essay Example

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The anthropological term, medical citizenship, refers to the extent of access to medical care, both physical and mental and including pharmaceuticals, enjoyed by different populations in the world and the quality of care received. This essay outlines examples to illustrate the…
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Health, pharmaceuticals, and citizenship
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Health, pharmaceuticals, and citizenship

Download file to see previous pages... Cancers are usually realized when they become obvious in an advanced stage requiring mastectomy. Also in the US women are more likely to learn how to deal with breast cancer through friends with the disease, support groups, and fund raising appeals. In Botswana because of the absence of oncology there is no collective experience of the disease or knowledge of the biomedical therapeutic process required for cure. Recently there have been some attempts to disseminate public knowledge through posters and other means, but they do not resonate in Botswana as they are copied from ones in the West and recommend unavailable screening and are without cultural adaptation. On the other hand, diseases such as HIV, hypertension, diabetes and tuberculosis are well known, so Botswana patients have to learn to distinguish these diseases from cancer. Although Botswana has universal care it is geared to grappling with infectious diseases and mother-child health. Cancer is largely unknown by medical workers except in a cancer ward in a public hospital. Furthermore, even in the hospital diagnosis and treatment are hampered by staff shortages and turnover, lack of modern functioning equipment, and appropriate drugs. There is also a high risk of co-infection with diseases such as HIV. Even when some women are told they have cancer, they may self deny until it advances and they are forced to deal with it. Also even many doctors in clinics and private hospitals deny the oncology because of ignorance of the disease and/or they don’t know how to deal with it. When arriving at the cancer treating hospital some patients are distrustful because they already had sought relief from Christian an Tswana prophetic leaders without success. Many do not understand biomedical explanations so it is better to talk in terms of analogies or say things like” you will hate my treatment, but ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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