4273.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Board 1

Abstract #12637

Advancement of health care in Tibet: reality, challenges and opportunites

John A. Mulder, MD, Chairman, Board of Directors, International Aid, Inc, 17011 Hickory, Spring Lake, MI 49456, 6168467490, jamulder@novagate.com

As a result of geographic isolation, traditional cultural paradigms, and political challenges, health care in Tibet is delivered under an environment of extreme scarcity of resources, personnel, and services. Because of poverty, a sparse population and rugged terrain, the health infrastructure is poorly developed. Public health measures that are now enjoyed by many communities in the Third World have not reached Tibet. The majority of Tibetans reside in remote villages with limited (or no) access to essential social services, including health care, adequate nutrition, primary education, and water and sanitation. As a result, maternal mortality is 90/1,000, and 15% of children die before their 5th birthday. Acute respiratory infections, diarrhea, malnutrition and infectious diseases (including hepatitis, echinococcus, and tuberculosis) are very common (International Child Health: A Digest of Current Information, Oct 1996). Basic improvements in the availability of drinking water, early education and nutrition could result in a dramatic impact on the overall morbidity and mortality of the Tibetan people. Initiatives are currently being developed or implemented by a number of governmental and non-governmental agencies from several countries to address these issues. This presentation will review available studies and data, and will include observations from a recent fact-finding mission to Tibet. Educational programs and commodity-based projects will be discussed, as well as opportunities and limitations of current and potential initiatives.

Learning Objectives: Participants will become knowledgeable of the current health care status in Tibet; cultural and political influences in health care delivery; and initiatives engaged and proposed to address the severe adverse health environment, including educational programs and commodity-based projects

Keywords: Access and Services, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA