Letter to the Reader: Maya Lakshman

Dear Reader, Maya_Lakshman

Thank you for taking the time to learn about several issues that are so important in our world. I hope this publication empowers you to want to find a way to make a positive impact. The topic I chose to focus on for the 2014 WorldLink Reader was “Global Health.” The correlation between global conflicts and health is important to recognize and explore. My research process consisted of closely examining conflict-related health issues specific to three global regions: Africa, Asia/Europe/The Middle East, and the Americas.

The topic of “Global Health” in context with armed conflict is incredibly complex. They each affect the other in a variety of ways. For instance, in parts of South America and Africa, armed conflict has led to an increase in femicides (genocides against women) and a general decrease in health services for women and, subsequently, children. In times of conflict, sexual violence itself is often used as a weapon, which results in weakened mental health states and the spread of disease. Malnutrition and other diseases caused by unsanitary conditions are also common results from armed conflict. A study was conducted in Africa that found that a child’s height decreases by a specific value for each additional month that the country is exposed to armed conflict. These relationships between conflict and health serve to make “Global Health” an important and necessary area to research.

Thank you very much for taking the time to learn about all of the issues explored throughout the 2014 WorldLink Reader. I hope you will feel informed and empowered to take a stand on these issues and choose to educate those around you. You have the power in your hands.

Warm regards,

Maya Lakshman, La Jolla High School

WorldLink 2013 Summer Intern

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