Health Riders and Human Geo

When watching these videos, I quickly realized that a lot of human geography terms are applicable, especially to the Health Riders documentary. Human geography studies the spatial distribution and development of populations, which is why I think this discipline proved to be so relevant. The main issue in the Health Riders video is that these Sub-Saharan countries do not have adequate infrastructure in place that would allow for rapid responses to medical emergencies. This could be related to the concept of neocolonialism in human geography. Neocolonialism is the idea that countries that used to be colonies of wealthier, often times European countries, are often times unable to break away from this colonial role and hierarchy, even though they are presently officially recognized as independent states. That is because as colonies their economies were manipulated in such a way that would provide as much income and resources to the colonizing country, without paying attention to whether the colony could function on its own. Since all development in the colony was focused around the one resource the colonizing country wanted from it, after becoming independent, the colony quickly realizes that it is unable to function independently, that it is still economically reliant on its former colonizer. This former colony then has trouble stimulating its own economy, which leads to such sad circumstances as the one presented in the video. The African country does not have the funds to build adequate roads, acquire vehicles and personnel, and also maintain all current resources. This leads to a sub par medical response system. All human development and medical responses are dependent on transportation.

Another human geography concept that could be connected to this video is the concept of population density and distribution. The Health Riders documentary featured an African town that experienced low levels of development, had low population density and was very widely distributed. There are definitely benefits to such a situation- disease is a lot less likely to spread and become deadly because people come into contact less often. However, at the same, responses to severe cases are delayed because people live farther apart from each other and it takes longer for qualified individuals to get to the location at which they are needed. If we also take into account the low development of infrastructure, such as roads, the image of the health plight currently occurring in Africa becomes strikingly vivid.

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