Infectious Diseases

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Infectious Diseases

Project Leader: Emodalek Schomer, Tara SParker and Marsbar9 Schomer
Associated forum discussion: http://schome.open.ac.uk/forum/index.php?topic=2191.0


Ideas

- Educate the people so that they fully understand what the diseases are, how to live with them, how to prevent getting them etc.

- Set up specially designed clinics to deal with the diseases and treat them. This makes sure that the patients will get treated properly, as hospital wil already have lots of work to do as there are few anyway.

- Governments to mass produce their own medicine, or get it for production price from private companies, so that the medicine to treat HIV etc can be given to those infected in 3rd world countries to stop the spread of the disease.

OK - sounds like education is a must. How would this happen? I suspect most effective to educate a few people, perhaps one key person in each area and then get them to take the message back. What do you think? Are we going to take one country as an example and look at how many people need to be taught? Consider transport etc to get them to a place where someone could then help them understand about hygiene? Or how about a presentation of some type? I suspect computers might not be useful throughout a country, but then maybe they are. This could focus on hygiene, (perhaps focused on HIV?).

Tackling the disease once it has taken hold - did anyone look at the article I posted about the pharmaceutical industry? Does that give any ideas?

These are just ideas, it needs to be what you think. Let me know what you think and I will try and help you to back it up.


Ideas from students outside the project

- vaccinate

- donate to charities

- make contraception widely available, even to third-world countries where it is hard to get or non-existent

- awareness campaign – making sure people understand exactly what it can do to them

- get the country (e.g. South Africa) to admit that there is a problem, so that they can move forward to finding a solution

- make the drugs that help the disease cheaper and more available to everyone

- make people understand, so that it can be de-stigmatised and a way forward can be found

- make sure that people understand before it is too late - stop acting as though the subject is something we can't talk about

- make people feel as though they can get advice from centres that are established



It is obvious that education will play a huge part in helping countries eradicate infectious diseases. With a better education, people will be able to understand what the diseases are, how they can be caught, prevented and cured. It is estimated that around the world, 39.5 million people were living with AIDs in 2006. [1] Every year this number increases. If governments raised awareness of diseases such as HIV, AIDs and TB, fewer people would contract them. We should be helping people, by setting up specialised clinics around the world that deal with the diseases. G8 countries could directly fund research into medicines and cures, and could mass produce them, distributing them throughout affected regions. However these medicines need to be cheap in price. Third world countries won’t be able to afford to buy the medicines if they are expensive. The governments of countries such as Africa need to admit there is a problem, and they need to be the ones who take the lead role in educating their nations.

But how do we help countries such as Africa to help themselves? One attempt to raise awareness in China worked [2]. Whilst this is an older example, we believe that a project along these lines would still work. Sponsored workshops, where the government (with the help of G8 countries) pays for people to come to them, will increase confidence in the government and will help people understand the dangers of diseases. If the nation knows what the causes, symptoms and effects of diseases such as HIV and AIDs, then they can work towards lowering exposure to them.


So in conclusion, we believe that education, understanding and getting rid of the taboo on the subject will help countries in their fight to stopping the spread of infectious diseases. Other countries could help by sponsoring educational programmes and researching these diseases; We should all be helping each other.

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This is the list of criteria (I think, I found it on the main J8 page)]]

  • Original work of a high quality
  • Work that is imaginative, innovative and solutions-oriented
  • Clearly communicated, feasible ideas
  • Evidence of research and discussion
  • Evidence of group work
  • Demonstration of an understanding of global issues
  • Evidence of social commitment
  • What happens next?

OK - This is going really well now! Looks like we are going for HIV, education (of Governments as well as individuals) What are we going to do/suggest to make this happen? I can find more stats etc (that article looks really useful), we need practical and innovative solutions. Does anyone know anything about, or can find anything about how Governments can be persuaded to a) admit there is an issue b) ensure that the people gets both information and medical help etc.

This is an interesting bit (not new) about how one attempts to increase awareness has worked in China - I was wondering if this might provide a model for something in Africa?http://en.chinagate.com.cn/english/medicare/50096.htm

This is perhaps even more interesting - using the media in St Lucia http://www.stlucia.gov.lc/pr2001/regional_broadcasters_to_play_greater_role_in_hiv_aids_education.htm

Anyone have any idea about the impact of the media on the areas of the world we are interested in? Have we got a target?

We need to have something written in the next two days - what can I do to help? Tara

Only one day now and I am out tonight. I will check in first thing tomorrow morning. Tara