I always knew that health care in some countries was far from the advanced health care we have here in the United States. However, it surprised me that so many women in Ghana were suffering from breast cancer and were not receiving proper care. Culture plays such a large role in how women receive their care, and that is something that must be considered. In Ghana faith healers are more popular than actual physicians. This is due to a fear of western medicine. I began to wonder why they were afraid. Is it due to the way that American’s impose themselves on other countries? Or reasons related to the wants and features of their culture? When we spoke about things we need to consider when walking into other communities, it really opened my eyes. So often we think were doing the right thing and what others want, but that may not always be the case. It is great that the United States wants to be helpful, but we need to be mindful of other cultures and customs before we get there. It seems that when this is accomplished, we can be the most impactful.
I also found it extremely upsetting that workers in the Peace and Love Hospital were lying to patients about having cancer and giving them unnecessary medication. Even in the United States we have seen cases were doctors have lied to patients about having cancer, and giving them chemotherapy drugs that caused more harm than good. I think this correlation is an important one to make because it shows that health care is not perfect anywhere, and is not always used for the peoples best interest.
My question to others is:
Do you believe that it is the United States responsibility to go into others health care systems and try to implement change? Or should the United States prevent from imposing and allow these cultures to carry on their health care systems in a way that they are comfortable?