Utah Valley Global Health Group

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

Prevention vs. Treatment by Jennika Farley

Posted by benjamincrookston on April 10, 2008

Which is better? This is an issue which has not necessarily been discussed, but has been a key underlying factor through different international interventions. It seems that throughout the world today, we focus more on treating symptoms, rather than looking into the causes. This results in a higher prevalence of disease, as well as potentially worse symptoms, as it does not take a lot for diseases to mutate and replicate. For example, should we really be spending so much time and so many resources (including money) to implement the use of antiretrovirals in Africa where HIV/AIDs runs rampant? Or should we be educating and supplying the people of Africa with more effective means of birth control? You have to remember that HIV/AIDs is transmitted from mother to child. Although I do realize that combating HIV/AIDs and other such diseases involve rather complex research, time and resources, it is important that we realize that if we can prevent diseases from happening, rather than just treat them after they do occur, the percentage of disease in this world will decrease, while the quality of life increases!

A revolving door? The way public health officials go about treating rather than preventing, and more the way that politics plays into it all, has been compared to a revolving door. As far as HIV/AIDs goes, Africa is considered to be in a revolving door. Just spinning in circles. So when are we going to start preventing diseases from occuring, rather than just trying to treat them after the damage has been done?

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2 Responses to “Prevention vs. Treatment by Jennika Farley”

  1. chads said

    Complex subject! I’m not sure that the situation is as dichotomous as you suggest. For example, in many cases, treatment IS prevention (AIDS and diarrhea).

  2. benjamincrookston said

    From Natasha Antoniak…

    This is such a pertinent topic because prevention vs. treatment has so much to do with the predominant problem, cause, and objective within each and every individual country. Yes, some countries health problems overlap so often both prevention and treatment methods can be used and compared for both. However, often times, a country’s need is based on it’s individual factors (i.e. social, cultural, political, economic) and it’s ability to infiltrate each one to address the current health issues. I am so grateful that you stressed that instead of focusing on the treatment of symptoms that we hone down on the causes! AMEN! We can’t stress enough that this can be done through appropriate assessments, valid evaluations, and having the flexibility to create new temporary solutions and ideas for the country’s health epidemics. Thank you for your wise words as I echo your perspective.

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