Questions for “Mexico: No End in Sight”
- What would you have done if you were the NGO charged with saving Robles? Might you have tried other regional contacts?
- In addition to the reasons mentioned in the article, why do you think Tijuana is isolated in its HIV prevalence? Think about factors like geography, politics, and/or local culture.
- What does the example of the 2011 Global Fund grant cutoff teach us about the nature of aid cutoffs? How would you modify the Global Fund’s policies? Think beyond obvious answers here.
- Given the choice between prevention and treatment of the disease, what seems to be more effective for people who contracted HIV through sexual intercourse? What about for people who contracted the virus through needle-sharing?
- After reading: Look up the definition of “harm reduction.” How might this concept relate to HIV-AIDS and needle sharing?
Questions: Resource 2, “Mozambique’s Life-Saving Surgeons Aren’t Always Doctors”
- As you listen
- How many surgeons are there in Mozambique? What’s the country’s population?
- What’s a tecnico? What more familiar profession would you compare it to?
- Name one routine surgery and one trauma surgery that tecnicos might be expected to perform.
- What would you say is the bigger problem in Mozambican clinics: lack of resources or lack of trained medical workers?
- What does Munambo’s routine sterilization say about the state of birth control/family planning in Mozambique?
- Big picture questions
- Does Mozambique’s current system carry any lessons for the way we train doctors and surgeons in the U.S.?
- If you had $50,000 to give to the Chokwe hospital you just heard about, how would you allocate it? Consider supplies, training, treatment, prevention, hygiene, etc. Google the cost of these items as needed, for estimation purposes.
- Think back to the Tijuana article. How did that region cope with shortages of qualified doctors, compared with Mozambique’s approach to the same problem? Which system has worked better, and why?
To learn about the state of health care in developing nations, and to draw conclusions about effective health care from their successes and failures. Students will also make predictions about the best way to allocate aid to hospitals and clinics.
1. If you ran a clinic, how would you prioritize care? Rank the most important in each pair--if you had to choose one.
Doctors well-trained in their specialties
Doctors who are general practitioners, able to perform a lot of routine surgeries
Reliable equipment for diagnosing disease
Reliable equipment for treating disease
Effective disease prevention
Effective disease treatment
Chronic illness care
Paying doctors well
Making sure all patients have access to heath care, regardless of income
2. Discuss your choices with your neighbors. Explain the reasoning behind each choice.
Introducing the Lesson:
Many parts of the world lack the kind of medical infrastructure common in the U.S. In Mozambique, trained surgeons are scarce. Some West African Ebola clinics lacked adequate protection for nurses and chlorine for killing germs. And in Tijuana, Mexico, many hospitals simply don't have the resources to treat HIV. Today we'll examine each of these region-specific cases: Mexico, Mozambique, and West Africa (namely, Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone) to learn how they cope with fewer resources, and how they could best change their circumstances.
The three projects we'll look at are by different journalists, all funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Keep in mind what these stories have in common, and the ways in which the three regions deal with similar problems.
Introducing Resource 1: "Mexico: No End in Sight"
1. This article uses a few key cases to demonstrate the state of HIV treatment in Tijuana, Mexico. Review the associated questions before you read the article, and underline while you read. Then, answer the questions in writing.
2. Share your responses with members of your group. (4-5 people)
Introducing Resource 2: "Mozambique's Life-Saving Surgeons Aren't Always Doctors"
1. Listen to the story on Mozambican health care, reported by the journalist Bridget Huber for PRI's The World. Answer the attached questions as you listen.
2. Now, take turns discussing the big picture questions with your group.
Introducing Resource 3: "West Africa: How Slow Responses Made the Ebola Outbreak So Deadly"
Science journalist Amy Maxmen traveled to Sierra Leone in 2014, documenting Ebola clinics, front line workers—doctors, nurses, and gravediggers—and the scientists trying to cure Ebola for good. This article gives a rough timeline of events, chronicling both the spread of Ebola, and the disbursement of supplies and healthcare workers. As you read the article, make 2 lists:
- A list of the parties and/or individuals responsible for slowing down Ebola treatment
- A list of what you would have done to intervene at each of Maxmen's checkpoints (1 month after, 3 months after, etc.)
Think back to the tough choices you faced in the warm up. Consider how the three case studies we examined actually dealt with these choices. Draft one medical policy recommendation for each region: Tijuana, Mozambique, and West Africa. Address your recommendations to lawmaking bodies, making a persuasive case for each policy. Finally, draft a health care policy recommendation for the United States. What can we learn from makeshift health care systems in undersupplied countries?