Friday, August 12, 2011

An extension of the last post

Okay I'm sorry. It's just unbelievably frustrating. My question to you is why become a health worker if all you believe about people is that they are ignorant and cannot understand anything you say? Maybe it's your condescending tone that makes them not want to listen. All they, the person in pain and in need, hear is, "You are so dumb and I cannot believe I'm wasting my time on you. Could you just hurry up and die so that I can move on to my next person that could maybe survive?" Well would you like to go to a place where you are constantly publicly berated for basically who you are and the opportunities that were never offered to you? It's no wonder that so many people in the world prefer their traditional healers. I sure as hell would (except my acupuncturist at home is kind of a jerk to me but guess what? I stopped going to her... consequences).

I'm so tired of hearing about people becoming health workers, and this is global mind you, and then being annoyed that they "have to" care for the sick and the needy (and more often than not, the poor). Isn't the whole point of becoming a health worker to help these people? Isn't the reason why a person chooses the difficult path of education to become a health worker to be able to try to heal the sick and help them lead a healthy, fuller life? Am I completely naive in this? Am I alone in this?

Unfortunately I do know of a good percentage of folks that choose medical school or another health care path merely for the money and status. That drives me insane too.

This is all stemming from me reading the 2005 World Health Report put out by the World Health Organization. Want to know one of the prime reasons why women and children (at a rate higher than men) are dying around the world? EXCLUSION. What do I mean by that? Any barriers to accessing (any kind of including traditional medicine) health care like poverty (in bold because that's a huge one and because it includes illiteracy), gender (another huge one e.g. in India a girl is up to 50% more likely to die between her first and fifth birthday than a boy), culture (including language) and geographical location. What set me off this time were these quotes, "When, for example, in a busy urban maternity hospital in India, the nurses in the labour ward do not complete patient case notes for low-caste women, that deprives them of the quality safeguards given to other women. Poor and anonymous patients .... get inferior treatment, especially when scarce resources are reserved for richer patients." (I'm going to pull a Seth Meyers and say, "REALLY?!?!? Really you so-called carers of the sick? Just because the woman is put into a low-caste you would deny her the care she deserves BECAUSE SHE'S A PERSON?!) and the other was this, "In rural areas of the United Republic of Tanzania, for example, children from the poorest part of the population who sought care for probable pneumonia were less than half as liekly to be given antibiotics as richer children." HONESTLY?! What is the justification? "Well I won't get paid..." TOUGH. Do you get paid for other things? Yes. Do these CHILDREN have to go to work to get paid to be able to pay you (you greedy jerk) so they can live to see their fifth birthday?

I get it. Health workers have families too. Health workers need to look out for themselves. But you know what? Just because you now have the "status" of being a health worker doesn't make you some super awesome human being. You are still a homo-sapien sapien just like everyone else. Act like it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Man I'm bad at this

Okay so sorry again for the neglect but the dissertation/thesis whatever you want to call it is kicking my arse, to put it semi-delicately. But actually that's why I'm updating. To vent. I guess doing my thesis is part of my "Irish shenanigans" since study is the main reason why I'm here. Anywho, to the point.

I just had to put down a study that I was reading for my thesis because I was getting really upset. This has been happening for the past week or so now. It seems as if the terrible, disrespectful attitude by health workers, like 99.9% of them Western trained is world wide.

I guess I should back up a bit.

Basically what I'm doing my thesis on is what I was going to do in the first place bar the actual data collection part and extending the literature review. So the official type of thesis I'm doing is a research protocol. My literature review consists of two parts: 1. How has the introduction of a Western health facility has affected the community (and how it has affected the views/opinions of traditional birth attendants)? 2. Is the training of traditional birth attendants a plausible solution to the human resource for health crisis/possible way to decrease the maternal, neonatal and child (MNC health) mortality/morbidity rate?

Confused? Basically I'm comparing/contrasting Western health workers to traditional birth attendants. Now the reason why I've been getting more and more upset and why I started this post the way I did was that in a lot of the studies that I've been reading, the women are quoted saying that in the Western facilities they are getting treated badly and that's why they don't go or why they choose to give birth at home. I would too if someone, especially someone of authority and power, was yelling at me and telling me that I was dumb or ignoring me completely because they thought I deserved to be in pain because I didn't seek out their help earlier. Really? Yeah I loooooove being yelled at and told that I'm stupid in front of tons of people on top of the fact that I'm in excruciating pain and a watermelon is trying to make it's way out of my hoo-hah. For example, in the study that I basically threw down because I was so annoyed there is a nurse that was quoted yelling at a teenager while she was in labour, "You didn't shout like that when the men were on top of you." I mean give me an effing break lady... Look you may have your opinions of when people should start having sex or whatever but jeez louise the kid is in pain and God forbid she dies the last thing she's going to hear is some condescending, jerkface of a woman yelling at her? A lot of the studies I'm reading say that women either can't be bothered by going to a Western health facility because of the way they're treated or it's too expensive (poverty at its worst) and/or the fact that traditional birth attendants are more respectful of the woman's wishes and understand more of the context but still command respect as a health professional. My question is why the eff can't these Western health workers see that to reduce MNC mortality/morbidity rates?! Can you see my frustration?

I mean I'm not saying that traditional healers and traditional birth attendants are the only true practitioners of medicine but there's a reason why women still choose to go to them after all this time AND why that medicine has persisted through time. Yes the "gold standard" is usually Western medical practices which is fine but I still stand by the fact that the "gold standard" for how to treat people and how to approach medicine is executed by traditional healers and traditional birth attendants.

So there.