Matteo Da Ros

PhD student, University of Turku
Turku, Finland

About Matteo


English, Italian

Areas of Expertise

Molecular Biology, martial arts

Comments & conversations

Matteo Da Ros
Posted over 3 years ago
What's the most effective model of global health aid/development, given interventions can have complex, unpredictable and longterm impacts?
First of all I want to say that I am not a doctor and I have no direct experience of humanitarian help in developing countries. But I have watched several TED talks about this subject, reading newspapers and discussing with friends. In my opinion imposing the help from the "developed nations" is partially wrong. Our life still is undeniably better but we cannot impose it as such. We should think historically how we get here: it was a slow process, it was done step by step. It means as a population we got use to it, the development of our life style was also followed at the same time by an awareness of it. We didn't have a model to aim to, we made our own model step by step, tuning it to the characteristics of our own culture. And now we are pressing the Third World to get to our standards skipping all the intermediate steps. This cannot work. Those people are losing their own culture trying to copy our one. Culturally, they should be able to develop their own culture independently. What we can do is to educate them to do so. From the health care point of view we have to realize that the biggest improvements were not about the use of drugs, nowadays we don't leave better and longer because of them, but about a better culture: hygiene first of all, good diet, reduced heavy physical work thanks to technology. Prevention is the real deal, not drugs. From this point of view giving a basic knowledge about hygiene first and the basic use of modern drugs would be much more effective on the long term. Drugs are effective only if taken the right way, otherwise they make things worse: people in Africa are given drugs against tuberculosis for free, but they don't complete the treatment because there are not enough supply for everybody and those who gets the pills share them with their relatives; in this way nobody gets cured and p strains of pathogens develop that are resistant to the drugs. A school can be better than a sickbay.