ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Comparing "Mountains Beyond Mountains" to a Speech by Jim Yong Kim at the World Health Assembly

Updated on November 22, 2017
H. P. Loveboat profile image

Vince is a technical writer working in the medical research field. He also enjoys exploring literature in his free time.

Source

The book Mountains Beyond Mountains and the speech by Jim Yong Kim (2013) at the World Health Assembly are, on the surface, too very different texts: one a narrative and one an exhortation to the world governments. The reader can observe certain similar, underlying themes that affect each of these works and, in fact, are the very reason both of these works exist. These themes are health disparity by way of economic disparity, positive thinking as a catalyst to change, and fragmentation as a barrier to progress in the global health field.

Disparity

Both Dr. Kim and Dr. Farmer make it a point in their careers to address the needs of the less fortunate with regard to health care access. It is no secret that Farmer, who was dubbed “the man who would cure the world” is involved in limiting health disparities. However, Kidder (2003) portrays Farmer as more than a mere idealist, but rather as a man with a comprehensive understanding of how health disparities spring from economic ones. In Chapter 19, Kidder describes Farmer’s goal as “a preferential option for the poor.” This option is not some naive attempt at curing poverty and fits in well with Dr. Kim’s belief in narrowing the economic gap as a way to improve health care costs for the impoverished. These are reasonable, thought out ideas, and though Dr. Kim dabbles with idealism while saying that the current generation must be the “scourge of inequality that divides and destabilizes societies,” this sentiment is backed by a realistic plan of action (Kim, 2013).

Positive Thinking

What is shown of Dr. Farmer in Kidder (2003) and what can be gleaned from Dr. Kim’s own words is that both men are advocates of positive thinking and the benefits of optimistic approaches to advocating change in global health care. At the beginning of the speech, Dr. Kim shows a clear preference for optimism, describing himself as such. He describes a situation that is going to change on its own for worse, but through human intervention can be made better. While perhaps lofty in his goals, Dr. Kim demonstrates that positive change can only come from people actively attempted to attain excellence in their actions. Dr. Kim believes that this generation could see the end of “absolute poverty” and that it is not through pessimism that this will occur (Kim, 2013). This corresponds with Dr. Farmer’s outlook on life and on being a good doctor. Whenever asked about his accomplishments by Kidder (2003), he responds with a genuine expression of positivity as the source for his success. In Chapter 24, Dr. Farmer goes so far as to denounce the presence of “curmudgeons” in the medical field.

Fragmentation

Fragmentation of health care services is an insidious problem for global health, with well intentioned organizations competing against each other for funding and to enact policy. Dr. Kim (2013) discussed this problem at length and even acknowledged a time when his own organization, The World Bank Group, had to admit to having been wrong when they advised against Thailand’s proposed health care system. Dr. Farmer experienced the effects of competing health care organizations when he came head to head with the Directly Observed Treatment, Short-course (DOTS) program when addressing tuberculosis treatment protocol in Peru (Kidder, 2003, Chapter 15). Both men have first hand experience with the damage that can be caused by competing attempts to do good.

Conclusion

Both Kidder (2003) and Kim (2013) have profound implications for the future of health care. One is speaking from first hand experience, showing the past and the exploits of a doctor who made great strides toward removing health care disparities. The other looks to the future and encourages health care leaders to be constantly striving for betterment. The impact on this reader has been considerable and has opened doors for new avenues of thought. The issues facing global health care seem insurmountable at times, but with the exploits of Dr. Farmer and the encouragement of Dr. Kim breaking down these issues into manageable goals, this reader can see how true change may someday be possible.

References

Kidder, T. (2003). Mountains beyond mountains. New York: Random House.

Kim, J. Y. (2013). Speech at world health assembly: Poverty, health and the human future. Retrieved on August 13, 2016 from http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/speech/2013/05/21/world-bank-group-president-jim-yong-kim-speech-at-world-health-assembly


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)