Utah Valley Global Health Group

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

Education, Culture, and Global Health by Shane Dayton

Posted by benjamincrookston on April 10, 2008

What is the role of education and culture in global health? Education is one of the most effective influences on behavior, but only if it is culturally appropriate. Many of the problems experienced in global health are due to lack of or incorrect understanding of the nature of diseases or health issues. For example, in some parts of the world it is believed that intercourse with a virgin will cure AIDS. How can this belief—and more importantly—this practice be changed? A strong media campaign like that implemented in Thailand would likely increase the awareness of the incorrectness of such a belief and practice. However, would such a campaign be acceptable in a conservative culture where sexual relations are not talked about openly? How can such communities and individuals be reached to prevent further spread of HIV and AIDS connected with inadequate understanding of the disease and its transmission? Perhaps, you could start by collaborating with community leaders to get their take on the prevalence of the disease and understanding of it. Once the leaders have accepted, they can be the channels through which the masses learn and understand the correct nature of the problem. Still, what can be done if such an action is culturally inappropriate for community leaders?

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One Response to “Education, Culture, and Global Health by Shane Dayton”

  1. chads said

    Lots of great questions, Shane. I would add evidence-based practice to your comments on culturally-appropriate interventions.

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