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1.  This week’s reading was a bit difficult for me as I chose to read the series Refugee Stories. Each one of the stories tugged at mt heartstrings because none of us got to choose where in the world to be born and the consequences of simply being born in one of these war torn countries are so serious that people risk their lives for the relative safety of places where they may not even speak the language or have any idea of what could be waiting for them on the other side of the journey.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 1 billion migrants around the world, which roughly estimates to be about 1 in 7 of the world’s population. About 70 million of the migrants are forced out of their home countries due to conflicts. Many of the refugees whose stories were featured in the HONY page were already poor and with very little access to quality health care to begin with but then being forced to leave the only home they know, that exacerbates the problem of getting health care immeasurably.

In one story featured in the series, a young man’s brother had been shot in the head by a sniper and sent to, not to a hospital, a clinic! When the young man had arrived at the clinic to see his brother, he had to help treat the wound (with alcohol!) and then had to transport his brother himself to Damascus taking back roads because the straight forward path was too dangerous. His brother lived through the ordeal but is paralyzed. They are now trying to get to Germany to see if doctors there can help.

Looking at healthcare from a functionalist view, the saying “health is wealth” applies. In most stable nations, a healthy society contributes and is a vital part of its continued stability but in poor and war ravished nations, with the health care system being as poor as it is, it is no wonder that the people cannot fight back when they are facing not only war type injuries (gunshots and blast injuries) but also disease that occur due to lack of good clean drinking water, healthy food and sanitary conditions such as malaria and tuberculosis.