The object of the summary is the chapter “A Time to Choose” from the book by Hilts Rx for Survival: Why We Must Rise to the Global Health Challenge. In this text, the author presents personal reasoning and arguments relating to such an important issue as the relationship between globalization and the spread of diseases throughout the world (Hilts 1). Despite significant progress in the field of medicine, humanity still cannot control the transmission of illnesses, which is reflected in periodic epidemics and the mutation of viruses.
People’s desire to search for convenient ways of communication has led to the fact that travels around the world have become accessible. Despite the convenience of such a lifestyle, humanity has brought upon itself the threat that has dangerous consequences. The social problem of globalization, in particular, the loss of control over the spread of diseases, is more significant than countries’ economic growth (Hilts 2). The lack of proper sanitary control standards in some states is a favorable environment for the spread of viruses, and their movement on a global scale is a risk for the entire population of the world.
As a result, mass epidemics have become part of human history, starting from the medieval plague and ending with AIDS. Insufficient attention to the monitoring of diseases, their spread, and development under the influence of globalization is condemned (Hilts 3). As arguments, Hilts cites examples from medical practice when, for instance, pneumonia mutated into Spanish influenza that claimed thousands of human lives.
An irresponsible attitude towards the timely identification of illnesses is described as the key cause of the epidemic (10). AIDS is another example of a disease that the medical community has learned too late. Statistics from different countries are given (Bangladesh, Sudan, Pakistan, and other states with insufficiently high levels of economic development) (Hilts 23). The third world countries are at the greatest risk of epidemics since the healthcare systems of these states are not sufficiently advanced, and free entry is generally allowed.
This, in turn, is emphasized as another consequence of globalization and is viewed from the position of vulnerability experienced by local populations (Hilts 23). Therefore, the statistical facts provided are alarming, and there are periodic calls to action in order to solve the existing global problem until it is too late.
The lack of appropriate medical facilities and experience in monitoring the spread of numerous ailments are considered the key factors that are aggravating the effects of globalization. It is emphasized that the attempts of scientists and physicians to explain the nature of mutations and their danger do not have the desired effect (Hilts 35). Although the population is aware of the threatening consequences of epidemics and the health risks that they carry, many people consider the problem frivolously. As a result, the danger increases, and the examples given from the world medical practice prove this assumption. Constant historical references indicate the relevance of the problem raised.
Hilts also review global programs aimed at combating the transmission of infections as potentially effective methods (31). At the same time, the role of the world’s governments is considered essential since these are official agencies that are responsible for ensuring public safety and protecting health (Hilts 35). In the conclusion of the chapter, the thesis repeats that today, it is the time to take active measures and strive to prevent the terrifying spread of dangerous viruses and their mutations (Hilts 39).
Hilts, Philip. Rx for Survival: Why We Must Rise to the Global Health Challenge. Penguin, 2005.