Culture as a Factor in Providing Global Health

Authored By:

Essien T.

Our culture is a foundational piece of how we interact with the world. Culture shapes societies, civilizations, and individuals. So of course culture is important to global public health. In order to provide global health, we have to understand cultural differences and maneuver around them in many situations. One example of this is vaccinations. Many cultures oppose vaccinations due to the violent interactions they have had with the West. This violence has made them weary of western medicine. Education could be used to combat this belief in order to save lives. Another point is how different cultures view health. What standards does each culture have health? Which standard should be followed? How important is it for all cultures to seek the same goals for global health? These are questions that have to be addressed in this multicultural world. 
Coming to these conclusions will not be easy, in someways they distract from the goal of providing global public health. But these questions are important to truly provide health. Some surprising connections that I realized where the different ways people treat disease. Medical innovations are made through different people working together. People from different parts of the world can come together as they have different traditional method of solving problems. Another connection is the different resistances people have living in different areas. People native to an area are used to the bacteria and pathogens common to the area. This must be taken into consideration when solving these global health problems. Finally, people have different diets because of their cultures. Creating things like healthy meal plans must also take into consideration the foods available and trusted by different cultures. A diverse pools of knowledge and perspectives are need to solve these problems.
One way to answer these questions is to have cultures interact with each other. Meeting people that come from different walks of life can make these questions real. People telling you that a culture is different from your own is not the same as you experiencing other cultures and coming to that conclusion on your own.