Impacts of Globalization on Health (Part III)


Health is a critical aspect that foreshadows the economic prosperity of a nation. Even though the trade liberalization through globalization enabled job opportunities and increased income to minorities, some of the trading in services provided:

Cross border supply: non-resident suppliers supply service across a border into the country; Consumption abroad: consumers or firms make use of a service in another country); commercial presence: a foreign company sets up subsidiaries or branches to provide services in another country; and Presence of natural persons: individuals travel from their home country to supply services in another country. (WHO 17)

This movement has proved to strip minorities’ potential to be independent and inherit their own wealth; as a result, a long term economic as well as health crisis arises. Some of the health consequences that arise in these scenarios are the diversion of workers away from the health department (since health service in developing countries is mostly free) and loss of investment of educated personnel in the health department due to the relocations or outflows of citizens.

One percent of the world’s populations possess 80 percent of the world’s money. This explains the fact that globalization is mainly favorable to the already wealthy nations because evidently, it is crippling the developing nations manually, mentally, and environmentally. Based on the reports of Kalawchi, “Even as the total world income is raised by an average of 2.5 percent annually, in the sub-Saharan Africa the number of extreme poor increased from 164 million to 316 million (kalawchi9).” Though there are many trade benefits with the unity and interrelations brought with globalization, it is not worth jeopardizing the future of the world;  with massive production (neglecting quality), unhealthy lifestyles that cause major health risks, and an ongoing environmental crisis of global warming.

Health means the well-being of an individual; physically, mentally, and spiritually. One’s lifestyle habits and nutrition factors play a major role to evaluate the health aspect. According to the studies of Yach, co-author in Globalization and Health, the recent exaggerated changes brought with the emergence of globalization are the risk of chronic diseases such as, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases (Seid 213). Nutrition and health has become a popular topic during these recent years. Likewise, McMurry, also a co-author of Globalization and Health, emphasizes that although modernization has brought advanced technologies and variety of goods to elevate the urban lifestyles, many, however, are limited to experience the unhealthy aspect of it.

For instance, it is advisable to go to a natural or organic store to shop for food as opposed to quantified stores with no quality; however, due to the introduction of massive production with modernization, quality items tend to be expensive and rare, thus out of reach of the peripheral population. Unhealthy food can often lead to demotivate an individual’s system to exercise, leaving the chances of obesity. Chronic diseases caused 60 percent out of 56 million deaths; hence, much of the blame for this incident is consumption of unhealthy diet, tobacco, excessive drinking, and lack of exercise (Seid 213).

One of the largest industries in the world is the tobacco industry, and globalization has greatly contributed to the expansion of trade and transportation of these tobacco industries. This has led to the worldwide increase of smokers. Yach reports that the leading risk factor causing the burden of diseases in developed countries is tobacco, whereas, alcohol abuse is responsible in developing countries. (Seid 217). Due to variation of smoking laws from one nation to the other, the tobacco manufacturers do not state the warning signs (hazard) on the cigarette box when shipping it to developing countries; these companies also target their sells in developing countries influencing females and children (Kawachi and Seid 220). Lack of education significantly cripples the potential to stop deaths caused by communicable diseases, entirely a consequence of one’s lifestyle. Moreover, the cost of even the basic medication is unaffordable by poor countries who are often victims of treatable diseases, and relieving that could result in eliminating the poverty trap (Hilts 195).

Children are the future of a nation and whatever is done to better their health builds the well-being and success of one country’s future; moreover, these children’s health can be preserved with the right management of their “ nutrition, health service, clean water and sewage, and their education (Hilts 1980). Nevertheless, with the aid of World Health Organization, whose goal is to promote health effectively, studies to fight and to stop poverty persists by addressing issues in its all dimension of socioeconomic and political aspect.

Can globalization really benefit us long term or are we doomed to follow suit to the rich as minorities?

Reference: refer to Impacts on Globalization on Health (Part I and Part II)