The Impact Of International Health Disparities On The United States And Nigeria

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During my numerous trips to Nigeria to visit my extended family, I saw firsthand how international health disparities can affect communities. It is often challenging to make the highest standard of care available to all groups and individuals here, and I became increasingly motivated to devote myself to the mission of reducing health disparities in African countries. People in my family, regardless of societal class, suffered from various illnesses including HIV/AIDS, malaria, and polio because of poor access to quality healthcare services. My goal is to return to underserved communities in the United States and Nigeria after being armed with the training from the University of Michigan School of Information that will allow me make…show more content…
However, on one of the last days of the trip, I finally stopped rejecting food after my parents coincidentally switched the baby food flavor that they were feeding me. It was later confirmed when we returned to the United States that I was allergic to one of the flavors in the baby food. After hearing about this experience from my infancy, I immediately asked myself why this simple diagnosis could not have been assessed in Nigeria. If my family could have accessed a hospital in Nigeria, this ordeal may not have lasted for as long as it did. I proceeded to ask additional questions, such as how many avoidable casualties occur in Nigeria due to lack of access to healthcare. My personal experience changed the way that I view analysis on health. Behind all of the statistics or numbers, I see human lives. Improving access to healthcare facilities is only a part of the solution. With the ownership of cell phones becoming increasingly common in Nigeria, we can use these smartphones to empower Nigerians with knowledge on disease symptoms, treatments, and activity. Having knowledge on at hand can help with reducing misconceptions and stigmas of modern healthcare, stay up to date with disease trends or outbreaks, and hopefully prevent people from going to the hospital. In order to become more actively involved in international health matters, I strive to be involved in an analytics research group that uses data to improve public health in disadvantaged communities to
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