UNNATURAL CAUSES is inequality making us sick? HEALTH EQUITY research topics and resources to learn more
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Image Thumbnail Addressing Poverty in TB Control: Options for National TB Control Programmes E-mail to a friend
REPORT from the World Health Organization, 2005

WHO's commitment to the promotion of equity and pro-poor policies in its disease prevention and control activities is based on the recognition of poverty as a major barrier to health and health care. In the case of tuberculosis (TB), the links between poverty and disease burden have been documented for many years. This document addresses the integration of national TB control programmes on the practical issues involved and options for action.

Image Thumbnail An Economic Quandary E-mail to a friend
NEWS ARTICLE by Christopher Leonard, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,

Part of the series "Leaving the Islands," an exploration of Marshallese migration to Arkansas, this article provides background on the nation's economic situation and the choices, or lack thereof, faced by its residents. The article does not draw linkages to health.

Image Thumbnail Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum E-mail to a friend
WEB SITE

APIAHF is a national advocacy organization dedicated to promoting policy, program, and research efforts to improve the health and well-being of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander communities. They approach activities with the philosophy of coalition-building and developing capacity within local communities, and advocate on health issues of significance to these communities, conduct community-based technical assistance and training, provide health and U.S. Census data analysis and information dissemination, and convene regional and national conferences on AA,NHOPI health.

Image Thumbnail Atomic Testing in the Marshall Islands E-mail to a friend
WEB-EXCLUSIVE VIDEO, Unnatural Causes

Between 1946 and 1958, the U.S. detonated 67 nuclear devices in and around the Marshall Islands. The impact of these tests on the Marshallese people was profound - in terms of both actual radioactive exposure and the displacement of people from their home islands due to contamination and to accommodate the U.S. military.

Image Thumbnail Barriers to Health Services Perceived by Marshallese Immigrants E-mail to a friend
SCHOLARLY ARTICLE by Deanna Perez Williams and Ann Hampton, Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 2005

The Marshallese immigrant population, part of a growing Asian American and Pacific Islander population in the United States, has adverse health conditions and disparities that are mainly attributed to their pre-migration health status. Little is known about the perceived and real barriers Marshallese experience in accessing and utilizing health services in the United States, but their health status is known to exacerbate. This study used an ethnographic approach to identify the ethnocultural and socioeconomic barriers to existing health services as perceived by immigrant Marshallese living in Northwest Arkansas. Recommendations are made to improve timely, culturally competent, and appropriate health services.

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Image Thumbnail Collateral Damage - Episode Description (pdf) E-mail to a friend
UNNATURAL CAUSES, Episode 6

The lives and health of Marshall Islanders in the south Pacific were disrupted in a unique fashion when the United States used their outer islands for extensive nuclear testing after World War II. Their lands, culture, and traditional way of life destroyed, many Marshallese, desperate for jobs, now crowd the island of Ebeye. Here, they face the worst of both the “developing” and industrialized worlds.

Image Thumbnail Collateral Damage - Transcript E-mail to a friend
UNNATURAL CAUSES, Episode 6

The lives and health of Marshall Islanders in the equatorial Pacific were disrupted in a unique fashion when the United States used their outer islands for extensive nuclear testing after World War II. Their lands, culture, and traditional way of life destroyed, many Marshallese, desperate for jobs, now crowd the island of Ebeye. Here, they face the worst of both the “developing” and industrialized worlds.

Image Thumbnail Collateral Damage - Transcript with Citations E-mail to a friend
UNNATURAL CAUSES, Episode 6, Copyright Vital Pictures 2008
Image Thumbnail Debating Policy to Improve Population Health: A Case Study and Simulation of the Marshall Islands (pdf) E-mail to a friend
LESSON PLANS by Jamie D. Brooks and Larry Adelman for California Newsreel, 2009

How should limited public resources be deployed to tackle inequities in health? This lesson plan uses a real health crisis in the Marshall Islands and a parliamentary simulation to help students assess the strengths and weaknesses of different health promotion policies and examine the roles of government, business, medical and public health systems, individuals, and community-based groups in governance. By the end of this activity, students will be able to argue and defend different approaches to tackling the root causes of health inequities and will better understand how the making of social policy is often influenced by political and economic factors that may have little to do with the merits of the proposals themselves.

Image Thumbnail Diabetes in the Marshall Islands E-mail to a friend
WEB-EXCLUSIVE VIDEO, Unnatural Causes

Their traditional diet and way of life disrupted by globalization and the American military presence in the equatorial Pacific, Marshall Islanders now struggle with high rates of diabetes, among other health problems.

Image Thumbnail Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands E-mail to a friend
WEB SITE

Includes health statistics, information on history and culture, and a section on nuclear issues.

Image Thumbnail Globalization (pdf) E-mail to a friend
REPORT from the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, July 2007 

This report examines how globalization’s dynamics and processes affect health outcomes: trade liberalization, integration of production of goods.

This is an interim report, submitted by the Globalization Knowledge Network to develop the Commission's final report in May 2008.

Image Thumbnail In Dependent Solutions E-mail to a friend
CASE STUDY based on UNNATURAL CAUSES

A look at the history of the Marshall Islands shows a long chain of colonial occupiers, who each influenced the lives of island residents for better and worse. Since the end of World War II, globalization and the U.S. military presence have turned any vestiges of traditional life upside down. Today, an unequal power relationship keeps the island nation dependent on the U.S., yet Marshall Islanders continue to carve out a unique hybrid existence. Improving living conditions and health outcomes means striking a delicate balance between U.S. interests, island politics and the needs of the Marshallese.

Image Thumbnail Marshallese Displaced from Home Islands after U.S. Nuclear Testing E-mail to a friend
VIDEO EXCERPT, Unnatural Causes - Episode 6

Dise Langrus is one of many Marshallese who were relocated from their home islands 40 years ago after U.S. nuclear testing rendered it uninhabitable. Others were moved to make room for the construction of the U.S. military base on Kwajalein Island. Today, the Marshallese confront the worst of the "developing" and urbanized worlds: infectious disease running rampant because of poverty and squalid conditions and chronic illnesses resulting in part from the stress of dislocation and cultural loss.

Image Thumbnail Nuclear Claims Tribunal E-mail to a friend
WEB SITE

Accounts of U.S. payments for damage done by nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands.

Image Thumbnail Pacific Islands News Association E-mail to a friend
WEB SITE

PINA is the main professional association of the Pacific Islands news media. It links radio and TV stations, newspapers, magazines, online services, national associations of news media practitioners and journalism school in 23 Pacific Island countries and territories. Its site contains news from the region.

Image Thumbnail Pacific Magazine E-mail to a friend
WEB SITE

A news outlet for Oceania, the magazine frequently reports on health-related issues in the Marshall Islands, with much content available online.

Image Thumbnail Remembering the Marshall Islands E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE by Jane Goodall, Rick Asselta, June 30, 2006

Opinion piece commemorating anniversary of Bravo detonation, 60 years after the commencement of U.S. nuclear testing in the South Pacific, urging us to remember the health effects of nuclear testing on the residents of the Marshall Islands.

Image Thumbnail The Political Economy of Health Promotion: Part 1 - National Commitments to Provision of the Prerequisites of Health E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE by Dennis Raphael, Health Promotion International, Dec 2011

Part 1 of two-part article published in Dec 2011 issues of Health Promotion International. Part 1 of this article examines how health promotion rhetoric specifically concerned with provision of the prerequisites of health differs among nations identified as being either liberal, social democratic, conservative or Latin welfare states.

Image Thumbnail The Political Economy of Health Promotion: Part 2 - National Provision of the Prerequisites of Health E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE by Dennis Raphael, Health Promotion International, Dec 2011

Part 2 of two-part article published in Dec 2011 issue of Health Promotion International. Part 2 of this article documents the extent to which public policy activity that provides the prerequisites of health through public policy action differs among varying welfare state regimes.

Image Thumbnail The Questionable Contribution of Medical Measures to the Decline of Mortality in the United States in the Twentieth Century E-mail to a friend
SCHOLARLY ARTICLE, The Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly. Health and Society, 1977

This article makes the case that social reforms, not improvements in medical technology, have been largely responsible for the major improvements in population health over the past century. "Legislators, practitioners, and the public may deem it "heretical," but analysis of United States data shows that introduction of specific medical measures and expansion of services account for only a fraction of the decline in mortality since 1900. Even acknowledging that "mortality" and "health" are not synonymous, analysis of age- and sex-adjusted rates still suggests important trends and generates hypotheses for informed social action."

Available online by JSTOR subscription or purchase only.

Image Thumbnail The U.S. and the Marshall Islands E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE by Bernice Powell Jackson, Commission for Racial Justice

Rev. Dr. Jackson, executive director of the UCC Commission for Racial Justice, presents the history of the U.S. relationship to the Marshall Islands and makes a case for our continuing obligation to Marshallese citizens.

Image Thumbnail This is Only a Test: Missile defense makes its mark in the Marshall Islands E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE by JoAnn Wypijewski in Harpers, December 2001

Wypijewski discusses the the history and current status of the U.S. military presence in the Marshall Islands.

Full text available only to subscribers.

Image Thumbnail Trouble in Paradise E-mail to a friend
ARTICLE by Christopher Reuther, Environmental Health Perspectives

Overview of the environmental health threats to the Pacific Islands, including Hawaii and other U.S.-associated islands.