When is necessary understand the cultural marks in health-disease process

Health Disease

(Marcelo Leal, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Isadora Moura da Silva, a fourth year Brazilian medical student. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Faced with a theme as broad as “cultural understanding and cultural shock” I cannot help but think of my own country, formed by the miscegenation of three culturally different folks: portuguese, indians and africans.

Throughout history, multiple ethnic groups have been added to the population from migratory movements, from italians to japanese. This constitution makes Brazil a multicultural country, in which there are multiple identities and cultural expressions that must be valued and understood in multiple contexts, such as social, political, economic as well in health condition.

It is surprising, however, why a multicultural country such as Brazil lives daily with prejudices and difficulties in living with diversity, which keep a large part of the population in a historical process of marginalization. To make a racial cut, we have that 54.9% of the brazilian population declares to be brown or black.

Although the majority of the population, afrodescendants has a higher rate of illiteracy, lower income, higher unemployment rates, higher rates of child labor, higher mortality due to infectious and parasitic diseases, including HIV/SIDA, higher mortality for external and violent causes and complications of pregnancy and childbirth. In addition to, suffer with 39% of the religious intolerance reports, who relate with afro-brazilian religions like Umbanda and Candomblé.

So, when we talk about ethnic-racial groups we talk about culture. And that means discuss the identity of the human being within his social group and understand patterns of behavior, customs and moral and ethical values. It is to comprehend origin, belonging and freedom of expression. Similarly, understanding health is to perceive that the well-being of an individual will be determined by a number of factors other than the biological, such as their housing, living and working conditions, their access to education, social services and safety.

Therefore, understanding culture is understanding health. It is to perceive that individuals experience the health-disease process in a particular and unique way, according to their beliefs and social conditions. It is also realize that the access to the health system and quality of assistance can be influenced by the culture manifested through the appearance and the color of the skin. It is to understand that the person needs a more global look and that public policies aimed at specific cultural groups are necessary to guarantee a fairer, more equitable and humanized service.

In this aspect, to promote the discussion about the particularities of each population group and the plurality of these people, especially those most vulnerable ones, is to secure basic human rights. It is to form, more than future professionals of health or assistance, citizens better able to understand the human being and the health condition in multiple aspects. And this begins by valuing the listening, by establishing a communication that allows raising hidden cultural voices, a kind of dialogue where each interpretation of the health-disease process is valued.

About the author

Isadora Moura da Silva is a fourth year Brazilian medical student. She currently works as Regional Assistant on Human Rights and Peace Team (2018/19) of IFMSA Brazil and as Local Director of Publications and Research on the local comitee of Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora – Campus Governador Valadares. She believes that voluntary work through IFMSA is essential for more humanized medical training and to promote improvements for local communities.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU Copyright Directive: Will US tech giants comply or ditch the EU market?

‘All atrocity crimes are preventable’ and can never be justified – UN chief

On International Day, UN stands in solidarity with some 20 detained staff

UN health experts warn ‘dramatic resurgence’ of measles continues to threaten the European region

Rare Disease Day: a new EU platform to support better diagnosis and treatment

We won’t win the online security war without people power

Do doctors need to know their patients’ sexual orientation and gender identity?

Medical deserts in the European Union: the practicalities of universal health coverage

How energy infrastructure is shaping geopolitics in East Asia

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

UN food agency appeals for access to key storage facility amid fight for Hudaydah

Vegetarianism is good for the economy too

A Valentine’s Special: giving back, a dialogue of love

Improvements to pension systems have made them better placed to deliver pensions

Ireland’s planning to make its Emerald Isle even greener

How to Create a Clear Vision For the Future of Healthcare

Brazil’s hopeless future of science

Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

This Japanese concept will help you see the world – and learn – in a different way

Why your next work meeting should be a ‘walk-and-talk’

Eurogroup asked to reduce public debts of its member states

Can elections in Italy and Germany derail Eurozone?

UN chief calls for Security Council to work with Myanmar to end ‘horrendous suffering’ of Rohingya refugees

Parliament: Last compromise on bank single resolution mechanism

Art has the power to change the world, says this renowned Iranian muralist

How data can empower patients to personalize and improve their cancer treatment

It’s time for the world to stand up behind South Africa

We finally have a life-saving vaccine for Ebola

Commission makes it easier for citizens to access health data securely across borders

No barriers to free flow of non-personal data in the EU

Towards a climate-neutral Europe: EU invests over €10bn in innovative clean technologies

Seven trends shaping the future of the mining and metals industry

Where does our food come from? Here’s why we need to know

Coronavirus: the truth against the myths: Lockdown by a novel coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV

5 key concepts for blockchain newbies

3 ways Africa can improve the health of women and children

A Sting Exclusive: “The Digital Economy and Industry are no longer opposing terms”, Commissioner Oettinger underlines live from European Business Summit 2015

World Bank President steps down, Chief Executive assumes temporary role

Coronavirus spread now a global emergency declares World Health Organization

In Rome you can swap plastic bottles for metro tickets

UN chief praises impact of Palestine refugee agency as ‘our common success’, at key pledging conference

The new Kiev rulers ask $35 billion from the West

Energy of African youth ‘propelling’ new development era as UN ties bear fruit

On the detention of children in the United States of America

UN chief condemns killing of ‘blue helmets’ in DR Congo, as violence erupts prior to elections

5 things to know about how coronavirus has hit global energy

10 expert predictions for the next decade in Chinese AI

How to harness data to tackle rare diseases

EU-China trade: closer ties as US-China trade battle brews

UN Chief ‘strongly rejects’ Guatemala decision to expel anti-corruption body

Aviation Strategy for Europe: Commission signs landmark aviation agreements with China

This Pacific island has banned fishing to allow the marine ecosystem to recover

Why good cybersecurity in business is everyone’s responsibility

Three steps we must take to secure the future of our forests

Eurozone slowly but surely builds its Banking Union

UN chief welcomes DR Congo President’s promise to stand down

Rule of Law: The Commission opens a debate to strengthen the rule of law in the EU

Engaging ‘head and mind’, key for effective learning, says UNESCO chief on Literacy Day

Security: better access to data for border control and migration management

Can Greece’s democratic institutions keep it in Eurozone?

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s