Got to write for this week’s blog. Hope you guys like it! God Bless!
Ayra and I take our seats on the bus, four rows from the front. It has become routine that I take the aisle seat, as it is easier for me to get out on the early stop. My classmates are all discussing today’s examination and of the mistakes they have made. I sit quietly and look out the window. The weather has started to cool down in October, but still remains arid. The sun is still high up, and the tires of the bus crunch along the rocky road as we leave the school and go home.
I cannot keep my mind distracted enough from the girl sitting two rows in front of me. Amongst my friends, she is known as the Troublemaker. She frequently speaks out of turn in class and disrupts the teacher’s lesson. During lunch, she often asks us to give input about extending school hours or partaking in after school activities. Does she want to die?
Many of my friends have left school to stay at home or to go to safer towns. Mother and father cannot afford to send me away, but at their insistence, I continue to go to school. They speak of a hope that is waiting for me. I do not understand. Every morning, I wake up so afraid that it hurts to swallow mother’s food. The Taliban have placed an edict to put an end to our education. I have been threatened many times while walking home, but I do not want to worry mother and father. The Troublemaker has put all of our lives at risk. She openly discusses reforming education, and calls out to the Taliban to put an end to this edict. Many schools in the region have been destroyed, and I know our days are numbered. Through the unrest, I can only find solace in my books.
The bus comes to an abrupt stop. We fall forward in our seats. Ayra and I look around to see the other girls crouching. A man enters through the front of the bus, yelling. Ayra grabs and holds tightly onto my hand. He pulls a pistol from his pocket, and proceeds to move back and forth along the bus. We do not understand his belligerent yelling, but he is calling for her. He insists he will kill us all if we don’t tell him who she is. Malala, the Troublemaker, slowly raises her head. She boldly meets his gaze.
I’ve been privileged to write for this week’s Global Health You, but for the past few days, I was at a loss to write something profound about global health. In my head, I kept reiterating the description about the blog: “GlobeMed members reflect on an aspect of global health they find important or inspiring”. What about the global burden of disease was inspiring? What was important in my life that led me to have an interest in global health equity? Sure, we can make strides to prevent disease, but what’s to say we will be successful against re-emerging diseases? Will the Affordable Care Act deliver on its promises? How will the national deficit look like come 2019? Will the WHO meet their goals by 2015?
This is where I got it wrong. I misconstrued global health to be something that is defined by diseases, policies, and statistics, when global health refers to something much deeper than all of this. Global Health refers to humanity. Beyond what plagues a human, if it be a disease, an inequality, or grief, achieving optimal health for the global community allows each human to really value and to fully enjoy the precious gift of life.
A few months ago, a 15-month year old girl from an urban town in Northern Pakistan garnered international attention for nearly losing her life in an assassination attempt by the Taliban. It was her determination and her courage that had placed her in that situation, and even in her recovery, it is her determination and courage that drives her to ensure that her peers are given an equal opportunity to a valuable human right. Her name is Malala Yousafzai, and she is sincerely, a champion of human rights.
Under Taliban rule, an edict was placed; threatening that basic rights would be taken away. For a 12-year old schoolgirl, it was the right to an equal education that she kept near to her heart. She vied for this right to be restored to all girls, and she did this by actively protesting, blogging, and gathering communities together. Her intentions were simple, yet grand: she wanted every girl to be granted the right to an education.
When I had first heard this story, I was upset, because this girl had to face death in the eye at such a young age, but with time and the large number of tragedies, I have become somewhat desensitized to these ruthless activities. Yet, when I heard that this girl’s request was for a right that I daily take for granted, I could not help but to feel guilty. With what resources she had, she inspired those who did not have a voice. She gave hope to those who had no direction. At 15 years, Malala sacrificed security to give a glimpse of what an education meant to a woman. Having access to knowledge can unlock many doors to opportunities; it offers the potential to use talents and passions to effect change in the world.
I can’t help but to think that Malala’s recovery is nothing short of a miracle. Her calling isn’t complete, but it has already made strides. To the millions of girls who had no voice before, Malala’s story is one that resounds across the globe. A time is coming where people will stand up for equality in the face of danger, so others can enjoy this gift of life. So for that, I thank Malala for this push.
When I reevaluate global health and reflect on an inspiring aspect, it is Malala whose fight for the right to education strives to bring humanity to an optimal place. Global Health is not constricted by the label of diseases, but is manifested through the well being of others. The spread of infectious disease has only been allowed through the systemic ignorance and disinterest to a large portion of humanity. By getting at the root cause of poverty, lack of education, and severe violation of human rights, we can strive to promote global health equity. The story of Malala Yousafzai is a display of greatness, not because she is courageous and determined, but because she inspires people. Her story has inspired this public health/pre-med student to value his education and to use his talents and passions to effect change for the betterment of humanity.
Friendship is one of life’s greatest gifts. True friends seek a special kind of good for their friends: the highest good, which is that they might know God and love Him with all of their heart, soul, and mind. German pastor and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “The aim of friendship is exclusively determined by what God’s will is for the other person.”
Pray for your friends and ask God to give you a word “in season” to help them find renewed strength in our God and His Word.
A true friend is a gift from God and points us back to Him.
In a monumental first for medicine, doctors announced today that a baby has been cured of an HIV infection. Dr. Deborah Persaud, who presented the child’s case today at the 20th annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infection, called it “definitely a game-changer.”
Persaud, of Johns Hopkins University Medical School, is the lead author of a report recounting the child’s treatment. The identity of the little girl, who was born to an HIV-positive woman in rural Mississippi, has yet to be released. What we do know is that she is only the second person in the world — and the first child — to be cured of HIV in its devastating 32-year history. If the case is confirmed, it is truly unprecedented.
The path to decency involves the manifestation of humility. Sacrifices must be made in order to …
Jumping on the Harlem Shake fad early.