10 thoughts on “Honors World Regional Blog Post #6

  1. China and India are the two most populated countries in the world. Combined, their citizens make up slightly under half of the total number of humans on earth. While each country in itself is quite large, this is still a significant amount of people within two national borders. Furthermore, not all of the land within the country is necessarily hospitable. Obviously, governing such an enormous population poses serious challenges, and the population size itself creates a number of problems. Many of those problems have manifested themselves in the forms of relative wealth, technological advancement, population density, and environmental issues. All of these problems have developed complex disease conditions in both countries.

    India, compared to China, has not been able to attain the same level of wealth. Frankly, China’s government has been infinitely more effective at achieving national goals, whereas India’s government often finds itself in a quagmire of progress. Despite differences in relative wealth however, both countries face signification issues with population density. Particularly in their ever-increasing urban areas, overcrowding is an issue. In India, there are cities where it is so crowded and chaotic that there are people selling goods, defecating, and dying all on the same street. In China, the problem manifests itself in a different manner. Rather than the squalid living conditions, Chinese citizens enjoy a slightly higher standard of living. That being said, China’s mega cities are known for their extreme pollution and the infamous smog they can produce. At times it is so bad citizens are forced to remain at home and use a variety of air-cleansing devices to try to avoid ailment. With similarly populated cities, why doesn’t India experience this same issue? The answer goes back to wealth. With a greater wealth, China is able to both produce and purchase more technology. That technology, in turn, is what produces the extreme pollution. In fact, China now has more cars than the United States and they have far, far lower requirements for emission output. But what does this all have to do with disease?

    Going to wealth, India’s lack of it generally means healthcare standards are lower. Or at least they are whenever a NGO or International Aid system isn’t filling up the gap of medical services. Thus, some common diseases in India are ones that are often easily avoided by more industrialized world. China, due to its greater wealth, more often has higher levels of healthcare provided on a normal basis. As for the living conditions, India’s poor sanitary conditions are a hotbed of disease. While China may avoid that, it is still plagued by the respiratory and carcinogenic diseases that result from heavy pollution. What’s the saying? Pick your poison? Again, China retains the edge here though. This is because due to their greater wealth and therefore more advanced technology, China is attempting to find ways to decrease pollution, detect it before it comes, and deal with extreme smog when it arrives. Thus, in time with more solutions being found they will have better chances at moving beyond their primary disease problems.

    • Good discussion. Although it’s worth noting that although China’s pollution problems are more publicized, the most polluted city on earth is Delhi.

  2. The disease condition in China and India is heavily affected by the socioeconomic circumstances in the two developing countries. The graphic depicting what is killing Indian citizens shows that yes, cardiovascular diseases are killing many people, but that is not abnormal even for developed nations not plagued with India’s problems. Respiratory disease, however, is the second greatest killer in India. This is not normal, and reflects the effects of the highly polluted cities in India. Densely populated urban areas in both China and India are heavy with pollution. These two countries keep up with the rapidly changing technological world seemingly well, but it seems that the pace of development in their cities and the changes, which in developing countries were able to be made slowly during the industrial revolution, cannot be made at the pace at which our world innovates now. With the decrease in death rates in China and India, a very quick change in culture towards having fewer kids must occur, but these kinds of changes take time. Therefore, the rapidly increasing population fills up cities, which increases pollution. Respiratory disease in these cities increases under a cloud of dirty air. How to deal with the sickness is the question of the people. Many are upset by the inadequacy of government in aid in solving the problems at hand. This distress is revealed in the photo of a demonstration to get rid of mosquitos that cause Malaria. The two maps of India of the five diseases depict a disconnect between where the most cases are and where most people are dying. This indicates a problem with the distribution of aid to the different states. The people of China are also showing concern for their conditions as the picture of people wearing masks in public reveals a fear of disease in cities. The density of cities is very directly related to the prevalence of disease, as shown by the map of SARS in China where Beijing has the highest number of cases. According to the CIA World Fact Book, 29.8% of India’s population lives below the poverty line, and while China does not have as large of a percentage of its population living below the poverty line, its GINI index is fairly high (46.9) so there is significant unequal distribution of wealth. This leaves the government with a great deal of responsibility to care for its people. While family planning can curb the future expanse of the problem, there are sick people right now that need solutions. Environmental standards can decrease pollution, but that costs money, and also does not care for the people already sick. So how do these countries deal with their very sick nations?

  3. I would say the primary contributor to the disease phenomenon in South/East Asia is definitely population density. With such a heavy concentration of people in one area, disease will spread easier of course because it is harder to get away from disease, and these dense areas are usually dirtier, just because humans are pretty dirty creatures. In these densely populated areas people will often defecate in in the streets because they own no toilets. This waste then gets thrown into water or just out and the open and this leads to the spread of bacterial infections. This especially affects the drinking water which leads to diseases like Cholera which are easily spreadable today. It used to be hard to spread, but because human waste is often dumped into water sources, it is then drunk which spread the disease easier. Malnutrition is also high in India in fact it has the slowest decrease in malnutrition in the world. This is caused by a poor community, and diseases that can cause malnutrition. China has counts of rural malnutrition as well India but it is far less severe than in India. India has also developed diseases that have become resistant to antibiotics and other medicines. While technology produces medicines to rid people of their infections, poor conditions lead to the spread of the virus again and by the time it has come back around, it has adapted and is now resistant to these antibiotics. India actually has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, but public healthcare is lowering, and private healthcare is one the rise, so this will not help the cause for anyone. The rich getting the healthcare now, are still in danger because these viruses will become resistant to their medicine, the only way to help is to educate and provide help to ALL people. There are significant amounts of powerful respiratory diseases hitting places like china because of harsh pollution. Urban areas are densely populated and therefore pollution is very high. This leads to respiratory infections and we already know that these viruses become stronger once antibiotics are used and the disease comes back around resistant to the medicine. Another epidemic in East China especially in child obesity. While lung cancer and respiratory diseases are high among everybody in East China, obesity is a problem with the younger generation. This may correlate with the previous one child policy. Families don’t have to spend as much money on a bunch of children so the single child gets kind of spoiled. Tuberculosis is a huge issue in both countries. They have developed drug resistant strains of Tuberculosis and smoking will promote its spread and India and China both have huge tobacco intake. China has actually taken great steps to help prevent some of the diseases still greatly affecting India today. It seems that diseases are becoming more resistant to medicines because people aren’t taking care of keeping the area around them clean. Technology may be keeping up with the current diseases, but the only way to stop the spread is to have correct education on these diseases and how to prevent them.

  4. A culmination of many factors affect the disease conditions in India and China. While population density and lack of wealth come first to mind as factors, technology and environment also play a large part. Population density is the most obvious factor for disease in these countries. India and China combine for almost 2.5 billion people. With the world population at around 7 billion, it is no surprise that these two countries are so densely populated. By crowding so many people into such small areas, disease is much easier to spread and harder to get away from. As seen in the map, the areas with more people have more cases of disease. This is in part because there are more people there, but also because the disease spreads faster when people are so close.

    Lack of wealth is another factor that is important to spread of disease. This is a major difference between the two countries. While population density is equally felt as a contributor to disease in both areas, lack of wealth is felt more in India. As seen by the map in the bottom left, the major diseases that are killing in India are diseases that are fairly easy to treat. These are not super-bugs or SARS, these are cases of things like cholera where simply drinking clean water will generally treat against the disease.

    Likewise, China is predominately feeling the effects of technology and environment in a way that India is not. While India has problems with poor people not being able to get proper treatment, China is suffering problems from helping its economy too much. Because China is so successful on the world stage and is modernizing extremely fast, it is having major problems with pollution and ill effects on the environment. While other countries similarly face this problem, no one is as polluted as China. As seen by the top left image, respiratory diseases (which can be directly tied to pollution) are the number two killer behind heart disease.

    In this way, China’s rise to modernity and inability to deal with the pollution it occurs has become a major factor in hurting its society. Paradoxically, the medicinal technology that is being produced to help Chinese citizens that those from India do not receive, has come alongside the rise of cars and pollution that is killing the Chinese. So, while those from India are dying from poor diseases, the Chinese seems to be dying from the diseases of the rich.

    All of these factors have led to a sense of paranoia in these heavily populated areas. In the picture on the right, it is clear that these people wearing masks are afraid of some outside disease. They realize that being so close to others is a key problem when it comes to spreading disease and want to remedy the situation by wearing hospital masks. In areas like China, however, they would probably be better off become better with controlling emissions and dealing with pollution as these problems seem to be a far more dangerous.

  5. Disease is everywhere and an unavoidable part of living on this planet, but the severity of diseases and their dispersion can be combated and minimized. There are certain factors that contribute to the spread and severity of diseases. Wealth, technology, population density and environmental factors can either minimize or intensify disease conditions for a country. China and India both experience a high correlation between these factors and the manifestation of their disease conditions.

    India and China are the two most heavily populated countries in the world, and much of their populations are concentrated in into small areas of land. These conditions have many effects upon disease conditions. Firstly, when lots of people are in close proximity to one another it makes the spread of disease occur more easily and also makes it harder to control. India’s and China’s larger cities, such as Beijing and Delhi, are in the top most densely populated cities on the planet. This is the reason that there are so many deaths due to diseases such as Tuberculosis in these two countries because it is an airborne disease that spreads quickly through dense populations.

    Another way that population density contributes to the spread of disease is the environment it creates. Anytime that massive amounts of people are living within an area there will be effects on the environment. How detrimental these effects are depends adequate regulation. Pollution can be one of the worst products of this. Pollution can lead to many disease causing circumstances such as contaminated water, trash buildup, air pollution, and smog. Both countries are plagued with heavy pollution contributing to the fact that lung disease is the second most common cause of death in both countries. Cities like Beijing and Delhi are creating mass amounts of smog and pollution from production, inadequate environmental regulation, and transportation which is wreaking havoc upon the respiratory systems of the people who reside there.

    Wealth of the individual and the nation are huge influences on ability to receive adequate health care and access to health care technologies. China is in a much better financial position to nationally provide their population with healthcare technologies than India, but still struggles with this especially in the more rural areas. India’s healthcare system is one of the worst in the world especially due to its lack of wealth. In India, Malaria and Tuberculosis are not being adequately handled by the government leading to infections of epidemic proportions. The lack of healthcare in India also creates a huge gap between the rich and poor because access to quality medical care is limited and expensive. The biggest gap though in both countries is between the rural and urban areas. Many of the rural areas have to rely upon alternative medicine because of lack of access because does not have the wealth or is unwilling to invest in healthcare for the rural regions.

    All of these factors are contributing greatly to disease conditions in India and China and must be addressed in order to better the health of the population.

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