Afghanistan’s concerns about tick-borne illness and Eid Al-Adha

A PopHealth 795 student writes:

Hruschka writes that “once precise mechanisms linking cultural variants and health outcomes are identified and modified, cultural change and health improvements can occur quite rapidly.” This article is a good example of a public health agency’s response to a threat that is expected to increase due to cultural practices. Since Eid-al-Adha will fall earlier in the year for the next decade, coinciding with tick season, extra precautions are recommended. This also has interesting parallels to the plague and the butchering of tarbagan marmots.

http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/09/11/493126228/why-afghanistan-is-worried-about-the-meaty-feasts-of-eid-al-adha 

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One thought on “Afghanistan’s concerns about tick-borne illness and Eid Al-Adha

  1. This article shows the complex, interconnected nature of culture, environment, and policy with health. Due to environmental changes (global warming; an increase in the tick’s natural habitat), cultural practices (specifically in this case the celebration of Eid al-Adha), and a lack of formal policy preventing the unhygienic slaughtering of animals and testing for potential infections in animals, a health scare has emerged. I think this example shows the importance of making the public immediately aware of the issue, through education and widespread sources. However, it also shows how underlying policy measures could make a big difference in the health of a community or population, if it was feasible for them to pass new laws. In addition, the implication of global warming from a health perspective are clear. We have seen similar increases in tick ranges in the United States, contributing to an increase in the number of reported cases of Lyme disease. The connections between environment and health are certainly important to consider. Of course, it is also critical that the cultural practices are respected, so there must be sensitive protection measures taken that will not cause offense or anger. Overall, I think this was a great article about how complicated the underlying causes of health problems can be. Thanks for posting!

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