Monday, September 14, 2009

First Class!

After our first class, it finally hit me that I will actually be traveling to Mozambique this October. This moment of realization came when Professor Krause began explaining the structure of our class and what his expectations were. This class and this's actually happening! After listening to Professor Krause, I have a feeling that this class is going to be unlike any other experience I have had at Wayne State so far. Professor Krause is pushing us to think outside the box and present ideas that go beyond the typical textbook.

Through research and persistent questioning of the nature of things; not just memorizing facts but fully grasping the events that lead to a particular event, we will hopefully make this seminar experience the best it can be!

While traveling to Mozambique is exciting, I also realized how little I currently know about the country. Although I researched some general facts about the country and read Ann Pitcher's book called
Transforming Mozambique : The Business of Privatization, 1975-2000, there is still a lot to learn about this country with a history of colonial rule, fight for independence, socialism, and the emergence of capitalism. One striking fact that always catches my eye is looking at the HIV/AIDS prevalence rates of developing countries. For example, according to the World Health Organization, approximately 12.5% of Mozambique's adult population is currently living with HIV in 2007. The number of children and adults who died from HIV in 2007 is approximately 81,000 people.

After learning these facts and figures, so many questions arose. How are all these people dealing with their disease? How are the people being educated by the government about safe sex practices? How are the deaths of so many people affecting the labor supply and thus the overall productions levels of the country? While there are many questions, my main question for Mozambique is how the health care system is meeting the needs of its people in order to maintain their overall health.

In order to research and find the answer to my question, I believe that prior to the trip, much reading must be done. Whether it is in the form of facts, statistics, or journal articles, the group of people interested in the health care aspect of Mozambique has to understand how health care is currently being delivered as well as its overall outcomes. I also believe that one of the best ways to get a firsthand glimpse about Mozambique is to ask people who have been to the country. For example, at our next class meeting, Professor Ann Pitcher, the author of the book we just read will be here to answer questions and explain her experiences in Mozambique. I think she would be an essential person to start asking questions, which will start our investigation.

When we are in Mozambique, I believe that the best way to obtain answers to our questions about health care in Mozambique will be to ask the leaders and politicians what they are currently doing to solve the HIV/AIDS epidemic as well as providing health care to all their citizens. In addition, I would like to ask the people on the streets about what they think about their government and the service they are receiving.

While writing a paper would be a good way to show the effects of health care in Mozambique, I believe it is more important to catch the people's spirit and discuss their concerns. In the United States, health care reform has sparked such an incredible amount of momentum amongst the population. I would not be surprised if it is not the same for Mozambicans if they were given a chance to talk about their frustrations!

However, since our small groups have yet to be formed and we do not have a clear understanding of our specific question, we will continue to research the health care sector of Mozambique for now.

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