Utah Valley Global Health Group

A blog about global health for those living in Utah Valley and their friends.

Peace is the Way

Posted by chads on December 13, 2006

This is the second in a series of guest posts by Kelli Donley. She will be joining me for another week. Thanks, Kelli!

The biggest threat to global health is war. There is nothing like violence to promote infectious disease, destroy years of back-breaking ground work, to demolish a country’s health care system within a matter of moments.
This is not a post dissuading you from believing in the importance of fighting for the underdog. There have been plenty of instances when minorities were being killed because the majority was, well, the majority. However, as a public health worker, I cannot approve of war. I cannot support war. I do not believe in war.
Call me naïve or indulgent or privileged. You’d be right on all accounts. I’m thankful to have grown up in the comforts of American suburbia without the worry of bombs dropping on my home or my water source being positioned. I don’t think I knew the word “genocide” until I reached college. This is a privileged life indeed.
As an adult, I’ve seen what war and war’s aftermath cause. They promote resentment, greed, jealous and hate among men. They turn families, neighbors, friends against each other. Wars by definition are destructive. I am a strong believer that while conversation and debate are often more difficult, resolution can be achieved to all of the world’s problems.
Imagine if we were using even ¼ of the resources spent in Iraq to promote AIDS prevention in Africa? Or to create fresh, clean drinking water sources for the billions in India? Or to teach our fellow Americans how to cook for themselves, exercise and life healthy lives?
The world would certainly be a better place. The state of Iraq today? I’m not certain it is a better place than it was before our most recent invasion. Today, I pray for peace – for the public’s health internationally.

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3 Responses to “Peace is the Way”

  1. chads said

    Very interesting and thought-provoking post, Kelli. The direct threat that war places on health is obvious; war by definition kills. The indirect long-term effects of war, which you mention, such as damaging infrastructure, may be just as harmful to health.

    I do not know enough about history and international relations, however, to say that I am always against war. Certainly Hitler was no proponent of public health (unless, of course, the public we are referring to is the Aryan race). Could the Nazi’s have been stopped without war? I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem that way.

    Regarding your comment “the biggest threat to global health is war”: Two other threats come to mind: injustice, and apathy. Injustice because of corrupt leaders, poverty, and gender inequality. Apathy (or maybe ignorance) because global health just doesn’t seem to be on enough people’s radar.

    Good post.

  2. Trent said

    Kelli
    I couldn’t agree more. Great post. Thanks

  3. chads said

    I do agree with your comment about the amount of money spent in Iraq compared to the amount we spend on health. Shows where our priorities lie.

    We saw first-hand the effect that war has on infrastructure in Mozambique!

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