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What are these health disparities you speak of?



Almost 40 % of the population of Detroit live in poverty. What does that mean for everyday life? Stress. Chronic stress.

Chronic stress leads to cellular changes in the brain, which lead to decreased attention. This is called the stress-brain loop. What does that have to do with anything?

Living in poverty has a significant impact on one’s quality of life. So it’s no surprise, that the average life expectancy in Detroit is lower than in the US.

To experience the kind of problem people in Detroit face in everyday life, we split up in groups and researched in different neighbourhoods. For this exercise, Asha Shajahan, Medical Director of Community Health at the Beamont Hospital-Grosse Point, had prepared very likely personal stories and struggles that go along with those.

The task took us to East, North and Southwest Detroit, exploring institutions and posibilities for these case studies.

The experiences reached from overseeing a bus stop over driving to the wrong direction to visiting the coolest grocery store so far.

But what was the point of it all?

The realization of how many factors play in to one‘s wellbeing and health. This includes transportation (to get to the doctors), environment (the toxins you are exposed to), food (what you can afford to buy and make), and health care more generally.

It all boils down to: Can you afford to take care of your health?

The poorer you are, the harder it is. Not only because of the costs, but also of the structural discrimination faced in institutions and the general infrastucture. Taking into account the fact that the vast majority of people suffering from this asymmetric power structure, once again the root cause seems to be racism. Making it as hard as possible for disadvantaged people to fullfill their basic needs or even formulate their demand for human rights, just so one is able to exploit the one‘s who don‘t have much anyways.

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