Assignment: Lectures related to the
eight MDG / IH8600 Global Health 2008 Autumn, Kristianstad University, Sweden
NAME : Lee, Hunjae
Lecture 1. Course introduction / 2008-09-04
first introduction is always important. So I couldn’t miss it. In this lecture
I met Vanja and Anneli at first time. Determinants and indicators of health were
explained. It was a basement for further lectures that will go on this
semester. And there were also some presentation about on-going world health
situation with global health chart that attained in World Health Chart and
Gapminder. After introducing the global situation which needs to be improved,
there was first mention about Millennium Development Goals(MDG) that 189 United
Nations member states have agreed to achieve by the year 2015 to improve situation.
Lecture 2. Introduction of MDG / 2008-09-18
got an explanation about MDG in general and student presentation. The first day
that I looked into every eight goals more close because I needed to make
decision as soon, maybe next lecture. I need to make group activity that focus
on one or two countries in relation to the selected one MDG, summarizing and
comparing several indicators, determinants for their health situation.
Lecture 3. Global Child Health / 2008-09-25
now on, the introduction is over. Every lecture will have its own specific
topic about global health. The day’s topic was “Global Child Health” given by
MDG 8, I know that this topic is directly related to,
2. Achieve universal primary education,
4. Reduce child mortality.
But also it can be indirectly related to every
goal like 1. Eradicate extreme poverty. (Kids are starving even now.) or 3. Empowering
women (If the women is enlightened, then more child can survive.) so of course,
5. Improve maternal health and so on. Therefore it is essential to understand
every eight goals are inseparable each other. This is the first thing that
stuck my head.
presenting the situation of child death around the world, he started to
emphasize the education which is one of the determinants of health. He showed
the association between female illiteracy and infant (or child) mortality. I
agreed with him. He explained if they are well-educated then they can be healthier
because they know enough knowledge about caring their body as well as earning
money to spend for livings. This is same for the child. People who care
themselves most are themselves! There was some Korean data so it was more
interesting to me. Actually it is true that we Koreans were so poor just after
war but we reduced child mortality dramatically and the reasonable explanation
of this miracle is “education fever” that every Korean parents still have.
also introduced several indicators about child health like infant mortality
rate, under-five mortality, and total fertility rate and so on. Impressive
thing related to MDG was that we can reduce by two thirds the mortality rate
among children under five easily than I expected. There is no need to develop
new medicines or vaccines. Only political will and commitment is needed. So I
thought every goal is possible to reach and impossible at the same time. It
just depends on you and me.
Lecture 4. Women Health in the Arab World / 2008-10-02
lecture was given by Vanja about women health in the Arab world. It consisted
of two parts according to countries, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
was easy to find direct relation with MDG at least,
Promote gender equality and empower women
Improve maternal health.
of two countries show gender inequality in most areas. But many things are
political problem; so to speak I am not sure how to fix this without
conflicting to their own government. In specific, we have a detailed goal in
MDG 3 such as eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education. Syria
has bad picture that Literacy rate of Women is 56% compared to Men: 86%. It is important
to make progress in MDG 3 which directly affects MDG 5 that improving maternal
health. In Saudi Arabia, women’s literacy rates are higher like 70.8% but there
are still many unequal things to be eradicated.
this perspective it was good news that Saudi Arabia established special court
to handle domestic abuse of women cases. And now Women can buy cars but still
not drive. (That is funny.) Another shocking story that Vanja told us was
example of getting and using water. In Syria to get water it takes long hours
because of its rarity, so women usually do for men. And men just use the water
by pouring to their body in shower instead of saving it like women.
lecture made me somewhat depressed. Because I don’t think these MDG can be
achieved easily just by other foreign countries that is already reached quite
equality between sexes. It is more complex problem. Obesity, HIV prevalence of
women mainly by sexual violence also can be decreased if the women in countries
are empowered. I hope that they realized their human right by themselves. People
staying in outside of their culture can’t help completely people who are in.
Lecture 5. HIV / AIDS
first I was a little bit disappointed that the guest lecture was cancelled. But
Vanja’s lecture was quite good alternative. She could explain well about AIDS
in general, poor situation in Africa and possible solutions. It is no use to
say that this lecture related MDG 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other
tea break, there was some discussion about HIV transmission induced by Vanja.
Students knew well about the HIV virus and its transmission ways. Some
interesting topic was circumcision. Vanja explained female circumcision,
practically, “female genital mutilation”. The mere thought made me shudder. But
these terrible methods are used in some developing countries to avoid
transmission of HIV/AIDS or other sexual diseases by keep women from sex. So
there were a lot of question from female students in the class about some
culture that care the virginity of women so much or something like that.
circumcision was also interesting. In Korea the rate of circumcised male was
unusually so higher than other developed country so I can contribute the
discussion. Actually it is not the perfect way to protect someone from
infection of HIV/AIDS. But it looks there is on-going debate and research.
memorable way to avoid HIV/AIDS is the promotions of prevention. It sounds
boring because it looks not a big deal. But for poor countries it is such a
financial problem. The access to health care and drugs is not for everyone as
normal as for others, like the richest. Old one is this. “Abstinence,
faithful, use a Condom”
But now I want to remember the new alphabets to combat HIV/AIDS.
sexuality as something positive
Lecture 6. Public Health in East Europe Countries /
Arnoldas Jurgutis, the guest lecturer gave
this time about Public Health in East Europe Countries. He covered so many
countries in East Europe like Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia,
Poland, Slovak Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania,
Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Uzbekistan and so on. He showed
where many countries are now on the road to millennium goals. It was rare
chance to listen about the situation of Eastern Europe because the main stream
of modern society is usually Western Europe and United states.
to speak, this lecture was related to every eight goals. Jurgutis explained one
by one goal. Health indicators from Eastern Europe totally saying they are in
danger. Before discussing child mortality, they have had worse high adult
mortality rates and short life expectancy already. To explain this he spent a
lot of time to mention alcohol and smoking problem in East Europe countries.
also talked about HIV/AIDS situation in the region. Main reason of the infection
is linked to needle sharing among drugs users. It is growing rapidly now. More
sadly Russia can’t get cheap medicine for HIV/AIDS. That is because they are
categorized as quite rich country in usual world organizations. The cold war
was over quite long time ago, but the relationship between Post soviet
countries and Anti-soviets are still not that good, I thought. With this, we
can explain the huge gap of health and economic situation between them.
he served some solution. He criticized the attitude of East European to health.
They need to be more interested in their health and feel responsibility of it.
Don’t overestimate the role of medical professionals. It is time to act from
bottom to up. Also he emphasized global partnership (the eighth goal). The
story about this region is impressive because they look proud of their culture
and history unlike developing countries in African or Sothern Asia. It made me
have new view about MDG. Sometimes I just thought MDG as a help from developed
rich countries. Now I realized and changed my thought.
Lecture 7. Preventive work of infectious diseases. /
maybe from Zambia presented vivid situation and works going on Zambia in this
lecture. Two main topics that were main causes of death in Zambia were Malaria
we can say this lecture was about MDG 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other
first session, he talked about malaria. Malaria is transmitted by the vector,
almost mosquito. Therefore controlling mosquito is the best way to prevent
malaria as everybody knows but the problem was international agreements among
countries. For example, DDT, cheap and effective substance to kill mosquito but
containing harmful chemicals for environment was prohibited to use in many
developed countries for ecology and human safety. But what is the priority? I
think this is the important question that he raised. Actually the inhabitants
of Zambia act by themselves to be survived. They use DDT and every possible
thing like bednet.
avoid tuberculosis which is severe disease especially in Zambia, there are
using good method with mass media. They inform about the disease through TV
dramas, radio, and education in school. It is effective for illiterate people.
think this lecture was proper to know about practical situation to MDG, not too
theoretical as usual lectures.
Lecture 8. Malaria from WHO’s perspective / 2008-11-06
was Malaria from WHO’s perspective. But actually about mosquito!!! Professor
Arne Halling is the super expert of mosquito. This subject is related to MDG 6.
are always problem. It is like a joke but reasonable for mosquitoes. Female
mosquito is dangerous, only they bite people to get blood for feeding their
eggs. And if the mosquito is vector to carry on malaria, that is the big
problem. The same mosquito that be infected bite several people. In this way
professor prepared a lot of real tools that be used to catch mosquito to show
students in this lecture. It was interesting to hear several preventions from
avoiding mosquito bites. You can use ice cube which attracts mosquitoes because
of CO2, or common methods like insecticides, bednet, traps, and long sleeves
and so on.
this lecture, I found the new way to contribute MDG. The professor moved my
heart because he looks so serious about mosquitoes. Unlike common sense, he
told us that we never can win against mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can’t be extinct.
He is doing research about the cycle of prevalence of malaria mosquito with changing
of season and temperature. I asked him why. And he answered, if we know their
pattern, then we can avoid them very effectively with low cost and efforts. In
my opinion, that is the real scientific power. We can also contribute the goal
by studying science not only by caring directly or giving donations.
Lecture 9. The pathology of poverty / 2008-11-13
comment. I am sorry that I couldn’t attend this class. Because it was
overlapped with another class, “Sweden Past and Present.”
Lecture 10. Pathogens in water. / 2008-12-04
last lecture was quite boring. But it was not the lecturer’s fault. The
atmosphere of class did. As an exchange student from Far East, I felt Swedish
students are less competitive and even rude. All of them had gone after short
tea breaks! Just six of international student left. Anyway it was true that
this lecture was pretty hard to understand because of many professional English
explained about pathogens in water. It was broad topic that covering whole problematic
things like substances, several kinds of water, germs, bacteria, virus, toxic
plants or fish and even some sea-foods. It can be related to Goal #6 to combat
other diseases directly. For example, Cholera is well-known diseases of
developing countries that have poor sewage and hygiene system.
thing was the talking about mussels, a kind of shell fish. They are like nature
filter for cleaning water. That’s why they have too many toxic to eat without
worrying to get ill. According to her there is no perfect safe time to eat
mussels. But she eats it with alert.
she wrapped up this class, I felt that I was depressed with the situation of poor
countries. Rich country like Sweden is worrying about a scarce disease from
clean water and there are even debates, “Is it proper to spend that too much
money just for small population who don’t have immunity for that disease?” On
the contrary, poor people are insisting “if there is money to build sanitary
systems, and then give some food before it.” What a sad!