Our common enemy: Combatting the world's deadliest viruses to ensure equity health care in developing nations

Zygon 44 (1):51-63 (2009)
In a previous issue of Zygon (Carvalho 2007), I explored the role of scientists—especially those engaging the science-religion dialogue—within the arena of global equity health, world poverty, and human rights. I contended that experimental biologists, who might have reduced agency because of their professional workload or lack of individual resources, can still unite into collective forces with other scientists as well as human rights organizations, medical doctors, and political and civic leaders to foster progressive change in our world. In this article, I present some recent findings from research on three emerging viruses—HIV, dengue, and rotavirus—to explore the factors that lead to the geographical expansion of these viruses and the increase in frequency of the infectious diseases they cause. I show how these viruses are generating problems for geopolitical stability, human rights, and equity health care for developing nations that are already experiencing a growing poverty crisis. I suggest some avenues of future research for the scientific community for the movement toward resolution of these problems and indicate where the science-religion field can be of additional aid.
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