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Western fixation on diseases

Anna_

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Tags: africa, West-Africa, ghana
  • Added on: November 10th, 2010
Currently I'm reading a book about two girls volunteering in Ghana, Africa (for those interested, 'Bakvissen met ballen' by Janna and Lean, it's in Dutch) and at one point one of the girls is diagnosed with malaria. When the African host she's staying with hears this, he says: "You have malaria because you white people want to have malaria. The doctors know that. So no, you don't have malaria." I wonder whether this really happens, western people getting a false diagnose because they are believed to want to get exotic diseases. If it happens, I wonder how often.

In parts of Africa, some traditional healers ('witch doctors') deny that HIV exists. Could there be some truth to this? It's not my intention to hurt people and deny the existence of terrible diseases like HIV and malaria, I'm just wondering. Could the dominant western system of medicine be wrong (in places) or neglect things? Is the western fixation on and fear of diseases unnecessarily reinforced? Do you think the western system is accurate or do you think traditional, non-western, more primitive systems are in place (too)?

Maybe these behaviours are to be explained by economical reasons, i.e. the doctors falsely diagnosing malaria just want to sell drugs and traditional healers just want to exist and need people to come to them instead of modern medicine. But in how far is the western system of medicine actually in place and what does it neglect? Could the idea of 'diseases' be (partly) articificial? What are your thoughts?

LilaBear

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  • Added on: November 10th, 2010
You would seriously trust the judgment of a witchdoctor over the knowledge and understanding of modern doctors?

Of course the modern medicine system neglects things. But there is a difference between neglecting what might be an effective remedy for ailment X, and making up diseases.

Someone either has malaria or they don't. It's really not that difficult to tell. The virus is either in your blood or it's not. If a doctor is incompetent and misdiagnoses someone, or lies, you can't blame 'western medicine' for that. Particularly if said doctor is in a third-world country and might not have access to equipment that can help diagnose certain diseases.

It wouldn't really surprise me that a witchdoctor might claim HIV doesn't exist. "Oh, there's no such thing as HIV, you just have xyz and need to <insert witchdoctor remedy here> instead, don't go to those strange doctors in the big hospital."

As an Australian I know people who have had 'exotic diseases' such as dengue and malaria. You can get dengue in Australia and malaria in our neighbour Papua New Guinea. "White people" do not want these diseases any more than anybody else. My friend with malaria once had to get a blood test for something entirely unrelated, and when the doctor noticed the malaria in his blood (because it stays there once you recover), he quarantined my friend even though my friend was very familiar with his bouts of malaria, could predict them and had all the medications necessary to combat it. He wasn't diagnosed with malaria because he 'wanted' it, the doctor wasn't just making something up to explain away his symptoms because he wasn't even sick when the doctor noticed it in his blood sample.

And really, if the doctors doing this fake diagnosing are in African countries, how could you blame it on the 'western' medicine industry? Wouldn't it be the African doctors "unnecessarily reinforcing" our fear of diseases?

So all that to say yes, I'm sure there are incompetent doctors out there, doctors who do not have access to the right equipment and may misdiagnose as a result, or downright liars. That's not a fault you can attribute to 'western medicine' though. Those are still real illnesses that can be observed and need to be treated if someone has them.

busman7

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  • Added on: November 17th, 2010
From personal experience with the moronic quacks "practicing" in hospitals in Ontario Canada, that aren't fit to even be veterinary clinics, I have absolutely NO faith in western medicine. :twisted:

Did have a good experience with traditional Chinese medicine in Beijing though! 8-)
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

ucfbjwb

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  • Added on: November 21st, 2010
Ughh! More ignorant unscientific woo! A simple question you have to ask is what would you rather have, a rigourously tested and regulated, scientific form of medicine or one that's based on superstition and ignorance that has no evidence showing it's efficacy? That's what we are talking about here. "western medicine" as u like to call it is based upon years of study, experimentation and many many repeatable, unbiased,observations following the scientific method. The human body is very complex and only through rigerous controled experimentation do we get some understanding on the causes of disease, treatments of them etc. Chinese medicine, homeopathy, witch doctors treatments, acupuncture etc show NO effect (beyond placebo, and even that's insignificant) on improving symptoms/curing disease when rigourously tested scientifically. Scientific illiteracy is rather high, and not just in third world countries, which allows for quacks to pedle their snake oil. This is very dangerous and leads to the needless deaths of millions of people.
Your example of malaria is one of the biggest killers is Africa and help be prevented using a simple net and also prevented/treated with drugs. Thinkin it's ok for witch doctors to tell people it's all in ur mind and u can think urself better is madness as people will stop usig the things that do work. Same for aids and HIV. People have been trying to Calim vitamins cure aids/HIV. Again making people turn away from anti retroviral drugs that are keeping them alive.
By believing these lies and then preaching them to others is down right dangerous. If you had any of these disease the first place ud turn to is "western medicine". I know I'd be taking the drugs that have been proven to work. Anecdotal ("in my experience") evidence is not exactly the best evidence to base life saving treatments on. Lol. Sure doctors make mistakes. They are not perfect and drug companies do exploit people but none of the flaws in "western medicine" prove th efficacy of so called alternative treatments (still no evidence it works!). Oh and it's a logical falicy to use that line of argument. All it shows is that their are some problems with it and does NOTdisprove the vast amounts of evidence that show the efficacy of these

busman7

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  • Added on: November 21st, 2010
ucfbjwb wrote:Ughh! More ignorant unscientific woo! A simple question you have to ask is what would you rather have, a rigourously tested and regulated, scientific form of medicine or one that's based on superstition and ignorance that has no evidence showing it's efficacy? That's what we are talking about here. "western medicine" as u like to call it is based upon years of study, experimentation and many many repeatable, unbiased,observations following the scientific method. The human body is very complex and only through rigerous controled experimentation do we get some understanding on the causes of disease, treatments of them etc. Chinese medicine, homeopathy, witch doctors treatments, acupuncture etc show NO effect (beyond placebo, and even that's insignificant) on improving symptoms/curing disease when rigourously tested scientifically. Scientific illiteracy is rather high, and not just in third world countries, which allows for quacks to pedle their snake oil. This is very dangerous and leads to the needless deaths of millions of people.
Your example of malaria is one of the biggest killers is Africa and help be prevented using a simple net and also prevented/treated with drugs. Thinkin it's ok for witch doctors to tell people it's all in ur mind and u can think urself better is madness as people will stop usig the things that do work. Same for aids and HIV. People have been trying to Calim vitamins cure aids/HIV. Again making people turn away from anti retroviral drugs that are keeping them alive.
By believing these lies and then preaching them to others is down right dangerous. If you had any of these disease the first place ud turn to is "western medicine". I know I'd be taking the drugs that have been proven to work. Anecdotal ("in my experience") evidence is not exactly the best evidence to base life saving treatments on. Lol. Sure doctors make mistakes. They are not perfect and drug companies do exploit people but none of the flaws in "western medicine" prove th efficacy of so called alternative treatments (still no evidence it works!). Oh and it's a logical falicy to use that line of argument. All it shows is that their are some problems with it and does NOTdisprove the vast amounts of evidence that show the efficacy of these



WOW!!!

IMO western medicine is based more on graft & payoffs by the major pharmaceutical companies to greedy, corrupt politicians than trying to actually heal people.

To dismiss all traditional medicine as useless shows a complete lack of research on the subject!

Strange how when the local doctor here (with a medical degree) in El Salvador checked mother over & when writing new prescriptions for my mother, discarded 2/3 of the dogs breakfast of medications prescribed by her Ontario doctor + changed other high priced brands for the same medication of other companies. Gave a new diet regime.

Since these changes she has felt better, been less dopey from drugs & most importantly has not needed insulin injections.

Do what you want but I shall rely on a combination of a bit of western medications, when prescribed by a doctor who isn't being paid off by western pharmaceutical companies, traditional medicine, that has worked for centuries & most of all a generous amount of common sense :!:
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

ucfbjwb

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  • Added on: November 21st, 2010
Lack of research! Really? Come on then let's see what peer reviewed studies you have been reading that show the efficay of "alternative therapies". Cause I assume you must have evidence for saying these things and not just mere anecdotes like in your last post? I am glad to tell you that's not how the world of medicine and science work. It's far more rigerous than "but they made me feel better".
By the way alternative therapies have never worked. Just cause you have been doing something for a long time dosent
Mean it's true or working. Strange how the average life expectancy has double with the advent of modern "western" medical treatments. When science was applied (evidence based medicine) to medicine life expectancy has dramatically increased. So much the centuaries of hocus pocus alternative treatments.
Anyway, what u seem to be talking about with ur mother seems to be about a bad Canadian doctor and a good one from el Salvador both practicing "western medicine". Where the doc is from shouldn't make a difference is still the same medical skills they are taught.
I like how you have to infer some grand conspiracy to show the ills of medicine. So are you saying all doctors are being paid off by "big pharma"? Cause I am sure my dad would want to know where he could get in on this. There are an awful lot of doctors out there and the big pharma don't make enough to them all off. That's allot of people involved in this and none speak out or have been exposed. And the question if whether "alternative treatments" work is not a matter of opinion it is scientific fact that is does NOT. There is overwhelming evidence that's shows no benefit. So unless you have some amazing study that can overturn all this evidence then you can share that. If you don't then you are just being ignorent of the overwhelming evidence that shows u r wrong.

busman7

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  • Added on: November 21st, 2010
ucfbjwb wrote:Lack of research! Really? Come on then let's see what peer reviewed studies you have been reading that show the efficay of "alternative therapies". Cause I assume you must have evidence for saying these things and not just mere anecdotes like in your last post? I am glad to tell you that's not how the world of medicine and science work. It's far more rigerous than "but they made me feel better".
By the way alternative therapies have never worked. Just cause you have been doing something for a long time dosent
Mean it's true or working. Strange how the average life expectancy has double with the advent of modern "western" medical treatments. When science was applied (evidence based medicine) to medicine life expectancy has dramatically increased. So much the centuaries of hocus pocus alternative treatments.
Anyway, what u seem to be talking about with ur mother seems to be about a bad Canadian doctor and a good one from el Salvador both practicing "western medicine". Where the doc is from shouldn't make a difference is still the same medical skills they are taught.
I like how you have to infer some grand conspiracy to show the ills of medicine. So are you saying all doctors are being paid off by "big pharma"? Cause I am sure my dad would want to know where he could get in on this. There are an awful lot of doctors out there and the big pharma don't make enough to them all off. That's allot of people involved in this and none speak out or have been exposed. And the question if whether "alternative treatments" work is not a matter of opinion it is scientific fact that is does NOT. There is overwhelming evidence that's shows no benefit. So unless you have some amazing study that can overturn all this evidence then you can share that. If you don't then you are just being ignorent of the overwhelming evidence that shows u r wrong.



No point in wasting time debating with a brainwashed closed mind that won't even acknowledge that many "western" drugs are just natural substances, used in traditional remedies, for centuries, put in neat little pill form by big Pharma (your term) & sold at exorbitant prices!

'nough said!!
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

ucfbjwb

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  • Added on: November 21st, 2010
Lol. I dint think you would want to. First off I would hardly say I am closed minded as all I am doing is looking at the published medical studies that show the evidence that these so called alternative treatments don't work. I would hardly call looking at the scientific evidence being closed minded. So in ur eyes is being open minded ignoring the overwhelming evidence and going with something else? I am brainwashed? By whom? The entire medical establishment? Big pharmaceutical companies? Who has brainwashed me? I never once said that compounds from things such as plants, for example, had no part in modern medicine. Of course They do. Drugs are made based upon compounds found in nature such as plants, for example. These are mixed with other compounds to improve or alter the desired effect of the drug. This isn't alternative this is just medicine. I think u r confused with wat we mean by alternative treatments. They aren't just dumped into a nice packaged pill. The study that goes in to things such as safety of the drug, dosage, side effects etc is huge time consuming and expensive. Butido agree that the prices of some drugs are just over the top expensive. Big pharma, as wacko conspiracy theory people call them, are far from beig saints but how on earth Does this mean alternative treatments are better and make you turn to them? There Is zero regulation on alternative treatments as they don't do anything. If they did do something they would be brought under drug laws and would be subject to regulation

busman7

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  • Added on: November 21st, 2010
I hope your comments on the safety of big pharma's drugs was tongue-in-cheek, if not you haven't done as much reading as you claim. Also "scientific fact" isn't limited to a few books based on US propaganda!

Claiming that acupuncture doesn't work is foolish + makes all your other statements appear unfounded as well.

That's all the time I'm going to waste on this thread! ;)
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

ucfbjwb

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  • Added on: November 22nd, 2010
This is now the strawman arguement from you. Ur arguing a point that is in ur head and not something I said. Drugs aren't 100% safe, nothing is (And i didnt say they were 100%safe). But by studying and testing such drugs we can find any problems or side effects that may occur in some or all people who take it and take a course of action the alter the situation and make them as safe as possible. Sure there are problems with some drugs. The human body is an extremely complex thing ad changes o made by certain drugs can't be seen for a ling time or are never recognised in clinical trials but when they are noticed as dangerous they are pulled off the Market. They are regulated. Alternative treatments are not! So if they are bad or dangerous or even do nothing at all (and they don't) then nothing is done about it and the next poor shmuck will get the same treatment. And you are right. Science or scientific fact isn't based upon on few books that state US propaganda it is based upon manyany studes and experiments by many differnet people usually from all over the globe and any facts is based upon the consensus of those who study and work in that particular field of science. It also changes and evolves when new studies and new evidence comes to light that may contradict the scientific consensus (scientific fact) then if shown to be thorugh and true then the consesus will change. Scientific fact is what we can tell from the evidence we currently have but can change if new evidence comes to lit tomorrow. This is not the case for things such as acupunctre as placebo controlled studies have shown consistently. You claim it works but Where is the evidence!!! It's the same with all you kooks. Can never produce one rigerous trial that shows any efficacy beyond placebo. And "it worked for my friend" isn't really rigerous evidence. Lol. Oh and the BMJ and the likes are hardly American (it's kinda in their name) on a mouth piece for their propaganda. You sound like a conspircy nut now. Ur just more than a little ignorant. Big bad America strikes again via it's drugs companies. Oh by the way you do realise that only 2 out of the 7 largest drugs companies in the world are American? Probably not and it kinda shoots a hole in ur American propaganda theory. Should be more Swiss propaganda. Lol

busman7

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  • Added on: November 22nd, 2010
When one has to resort to name calling in a discussion it really shows that they know they have no evidence to back up their statements! You might learn this when you grow up? :paradance:
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

ucfbjwb

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  • Added on: November 22nd, 2010
I have asked before and I will ask again can you show one rigerous, placebo controlled, clinical trial that proves the efficacy of an alternative treatment? Simple really. Only want one. The reference to the peer reviewed journal will be fine if you have no copy of it. Why are u avoiding this? Oh hang I know y.

Kate and Dan

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  • Added on: November 22nd, 2010
Okay. I'll bite: Researchers prove acupuncture’s effectiveness in pain therapy.

The paper is published by the journal Nature Neuroscience. And it's peer-reviewed.

Note that I think that there's a middle way — where Western medicine can complement so-called alternative therapies. So — I'm really just fanning the flames for fun.
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ucfbjwb

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  • Added on: December 11th, 2010
Sorry for late response but have had bo internet where i been traveling. I actually read this and also saw it, sadly, reported in the same way as you read. Media is not the best at questioning science studies (and people who should know better also have a prob with that sometimes. Beleif can cloud judgment). If you excuse me I will have to be lazy in my response as I have allot to say about this but don't have the time or inclination to respond on my dam iPhone. Lol. So here is a response from Dr novella who deconstructs this study rather nicely (link below). I ll let him teach you all something. (it is part of his job after all. Lol)
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=5437

Qwovadis

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  • Added on: February 5th, 2011
www.malariahotspots.co.uk

Malaria is deadly killing millions worldwide

regardless of "fixation" on disease or not per the assertion for shammy shamans.

Malaria myths like this are pure quackery and cost lives.

Holistic approaches to health are good as long as they do not cost lives

and deny people life saving treatment.

Good recent developments on a vaccine by the Gates Foundation though.

Vaccines are one of the true time tested forms of preventive medecine.


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