Koch Vs. Virchow Essay

1455 words - 6 pages

Koch believes that most health issues arise because of biological issues, and thus can only be cured with medical advancement. On the other hand, Virchow believed that the main cause of adverse health was because of poverty and biological principles. Both men have fantastic arguments, but to see which makes more sense in our modern world, we will have to delve into some real world examples. First we will take a look at an article on malaria, which is scholarly work by Packard. Secondly we will analyze a video on Guatemala’s new approach to health care. And lastly I will bring up a real world example on the Colorado Haiti Project. While looking at these three very different subjects, I will conclude whether these regions side with Koch or Virchow.
First let us look at Packard’s articles that he wrote on malaria. Packard gave many examples of why and how malaria spread rapidly in some regions. The first examples are as follows, “The drought that damaged the crops and undermined peoples’ resistance to disease, the subsequent flooding that produced breeding conditions for local anopheline mosquitoes, and the mass migration of people in search of food who returned infected with malaria (Packard, 2).” In this example Packard states that the spread of malaria was a result of three specific actions. The first action was the drought, which was followed later by the flooding, and lastly mass migrations. All three of these things had to be in play in order for malaria to spread in the Archangel region. But the argument stands, who is right in this situation? Koch or Virchow. In the following example, I think that Virchow holds the upper hand. These people had a lack of wealth and government development, and because of that they were affected by the floods and droughts. And not only were they damaged by the flood and drought, they were also in search of food. Meaning they had no set standard of agriculture.
Another example of why malaria spread more in some regions is in the example of Bengal. “Much of the area is inundated with floodwaters during the monsoon period from June to October … And in fact during the second half of the nineteenth century, the western half of this region experienced high levels of malaria morbidity and mortality (Packard, 3, 4).” Once again I think that Virchow is correct with his argument, when it has to do with Bengal. The authorities knew that every year there is a monsoon season coming, and yet there were no preparations or accommodations made for the public to protect them from multiplying mosquitos which infected and killed the population.

Now that we have analyzed the examples on malaria, let us move to the video on Guatemala’s new approach to health care. While watching this video, I found two specific examples from the film about how this approach was more like Koch or Virchow. In the video, the narrator talked about inequalities in health care. But these inequalities did not affect everybody, but a certain group...

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