Global Health Tidbits

Here’s what I’ve been reading about this week…how about you? What’s been the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

Hands holding a newspaper. What I have been reading.
What I’ve been reading!

Acquiescence, Broken Trust and Water Safety in Healthcare Facilities

This was a fascinating and quick read! To sum up, researchers were looking into WASH and were curious about why providers stopped checking to see if they had running water in their facility.

So, the question must be asked—why would these talented, dedicated clinicians stop checking for water and accept water shortage as the norm? One explanation is that it is a coping mechanism that is part of the human condition. Social psychologist Dr. John Jost argues that this phenomenon is routed in system justification, defined as a “psychological processes contributing to the preservation of existing social arrangements.” In his research, Jost finds that people working in low resource settings tend to accept the status quo more often than people with more resources, even if the current conditions go against their own interest. Expanding on Jost’s work, organizational psychologist Adam Grant writes that acquiescence, whether conscious or unconscious, “robs us of the moral outrage to stand against injustice and the creative will to consider alternative ways that the world could work.”

What do you think about that? Do people living in low resource settings accept the status quo more often than people with more resources? I have seen this phenomenon from time to time but I have also seen the opposite–amazing resourcefulness and a desire for something more. Whenever I have seen great activism and a demand for better services, it usually comes with a group that has built trust over time, though.

Are HIV Initiatives Putting Single Mothers Last?

How about this line:

…stop solely blaming patients for difficulties existing in their maintaining consistent treatment and care, and examine how the biases of the medical community are contributing to these inconsistencies.
This failure is also driving single HIV-positive mothers living below the poverty line, who are experiencing co-morbidities relating to their HIV, to fall through the cracks of the current treatment paradigm. These women experience extreme difficulty getting into and staying retained in clinical studies and maintaining medical appointments. In many cases, this is due to clearly defined barriers: transportation, lack of childcare, conflicting schedules, and a lack of support from an economy allotting just enough to survive but not the dignity needed to surpass mere existence.

HIV care, like so many other chronic illnesses, needs a wholistic approach that takes into consideration the life that a person lives–and in this instance, the lives her children lead.

What have you seen in terms of great, supportive, wholistic HIV care?

I’ve written before about the activism that comes with HIV work. Read more here!

What have YOU been reading about this week?

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