Economist Articles-Hailing the Google Bus and Growing Pains - HistorySmith
One of the good things about Western aid to less developed countries is that it brings technology and medical aid where it has been previously lacking.  However, this is not always a wholly positive thing.  In the two articles you read tonight from The Economist ("Hailing the Google Bus" and "Growing Pains") identify and discuss some of the failings of Western aid to developing nations in terms of medical support and technology support.  What is the motivation of Google in providing a free mobile cybercafe?  Why is the medical support being given to the developing world not necessarily helping people in the long run?  What do you think might be a better way to provide the type of technology and medical care that will help the developing world?
10/9/2011 03:20:39

Many developing countries around the world are facing problems on medical care. Western aid is very helpful for less developed countries because it brings technology and medical aid in which the country may be lacking. But, sometimes western aid fails to support developing countries in medical and technological aid. In Uganda for example, cancer, diabetes, and heart and respiratory ailments, have not been priorities for the country’s health-care system. Only 4% of the Ugandans who died of cancer went to a medical practitioner. Only one institute has a cancer unit in Uganda. Developed countries should help the less developed countries in technological aid so they could be able to treat their patients. Also, in equatorial Africa, a type of cancer, known as Burkitt’s lymphoma, is linked to malaria. The article I read on Growing Pains mentioned that in India, more than two-fifths of children under the age of five, are malnourished. Nowadays, developing countries have more than 80% of the chronic illnesses. Diseases are increasing every day in poor nations. The World Health Organization expects deaths from diseases, to rise by 15% in the years between 2010 and 2020. And in Africa and South-East Asia, it might jump to over 20%. The medical support being given to the developing countries is not very helpful to people in the long run because non-communicable diseases keep on increasing in poor nations and developed countries can’t find a way for reducing these diseases. I think rich countries should try to give more money to poor nations, so they would be able to buy technology used medically. The more medical technology, the more people will be able to get cured and live a healthier life. The Google Bus provides mobile cybercafe that passed through 120 towns and in 11 states, since it first operated in 2009. About 1.6 million people had their first online experience in this Google Bus. 100,000 of those people signed up for internet connection of their own. Google says, this way, it gains a better understanding of the people’s needs and so this lets it develop products for the local market. From 2000-2010, internet users in developing countries, almost tripled and in the rest of the world, grew almost ten times more.

10/9/2011 03:34:52

In previous years developing countries did not know the cause of their diseases. But now they have an understanding and that’s because of the spread of technology. Google for the past 2 years has been sending this bus, now being called the “Google Bus,” to roam around India’s small towns and inviting locals to access the internet. And shocking as it might be for some users it was their first time online! Google has estimated that of the 1.6 million people that have been offered their first online experience 100,000 have signed up for an internet connection of their own. As Sam Pitroda said, “We are trying to democratize information.” And that on its own might save many lives. The key word here is ‘might’. Just because now it is easier to get hold of information to properly diagnose individuals with non-communicable diseases, many of which include cancer, diabetes, heart and lung disease. Does not mean the government or other organizations will help fund necessary equipment, medicine, and facilities. So far the world’s response has been to have meetings. And those meetings passed a “political declaration,” but of course could not meet and agreement on goals to reduce non-communicable diseases. Guess why..? Well because it costs a lot of money.

10/9/2011 03:39:05

Like the article states, Google's motivation in providing a free mobile cybercafé is to "hook them young and keep them coming back". Google might be doing this, like it says, to get a better understanding for the users' needs and to spread awareness of the benefits of the internet. However, Google is doing this mainly for profit. Also, a big disadvantage of this cybercafé is that it won't be actually spreading awareness. For example, in India, the bus will attack all the urban areas, who already knows about the internet. However, the villages, which form 2/3 of the population, would be neglected. I think a better way to provide this type of technology is to establish permanent, government-funded cybercafés in the areas that are not able to have internet, like the villages of India.
Having a non-infectious disease like cancer or diabetes in Uganda is the equivalent of a death sentence. Uganda's medical care system only covers infectious disease; 96% of the people who die from cancer in Uganda never see a medical practitioner. The idea here is that diseases like cancer and heart disease are "diseases of the rich countries". What causes cancer? Tobacco coming from rich countries. Of all the money donated to Uganda's health care system, only 3% of it goes to non-infectious diseases. The article stated a great solution to reduce the number of people infected with those diseases. An example to decrease the number of cancer patients is to put high tariffs on tobacco products. Awareness should also be raised about how non-communicable diseases are as dangerous as infectious ones and how, if not treated soon, might not only affect the country's population health, but its economy too.

10/9/2011 03:54:02

After reading ‘Hailing the Google bus’ I think that spread of internet is more in the world. This does not have any negative aspect as internet will definitely have a very big positive effect as it will open the people to globalization. So, I really support the idea of Google bus. However other than internet, kinds of technologies such as transportation means (vehicles) can become disadvantageous. Too many vehicles can cause pollution. Pollution causes deadly diseases like cancer and breathing problems. These types of diseases, which are not infectious, are rich-country diseases. The medications in the countries are especially for infectious diseases and there for these non infectious diseases are being ignored. As the developed countries are spreading their technologies and medications to the poor countries they are also spreading their diseases to the poor countries. The types of food (like food from McDonalds) and the cheap tobacco are causing obesity and lung diseases. So, the medical support given to the developing world is only to fight infectious diseases where as there are more people dying due to non communicable diseases for which medication has not been provided enough. Therefore it is not helping most of the people. The motivation for Google Buses is that they are spreading the idea of internet, then more people will buy internet connections it and they will profit in the market. I think that medical support by the developed countries can be improved if they primarily concentrate on the diseases like cancer (non infectious). I think that the developed countries are doing well enough with the technology sector. However I think they should improve the environmental factors of the developing countries.

10/9/2011 03:56:04

Helping people be developed and civilized is a relatively difficult thing to do. When the Google bus shifted to places that are not technology friendly, it did so in interest of itself and the company it belongs to. While they gave people free internet, they were looking at the profit they'll make on the long-run. I don't remember a time when I didn't have internet but I do remember when I had dial-up connection. It was cheaper than the fast internet we have today, but as soon as the fast internet was available, people bought it without thinking twice. These people gave 3 months of internet for free. The reason why they did that is similar to the reason why the Google bus is there. Both of them want people to get so attached to the internet that when they stop giving internet for free, people would buy it blindingly. Google bus claims that it intends to solely help people be civilized which is not logical. IF they gain 0 money out of the internet industry, how will they get money to pay for the electricity bill and the internet bill and the computers they buy to help the industry grow?

As for the health care, it's very helpful for things that happen now, but on the long run, it'll be very hard for middle/high class people to get insulin injections. I don't mean to be rude or classicists, but middle/high class people will benefit the country more. When more money is available in the country's industry made by high class people, the country will become richer. A result of that would be that the country will continue to develop as opposed to the country degrading and entering a stage of decadence when only the lower class people are alive. If a middle class person and a lower class person's life depends on one insulin injection and there's only one available, they will give it to the person with the most money. I'm not saying this is the right thing to do; however, people in the health industry care both about people's health AND about the amount of money they'll be receiving for the amount of time, effort, and supplies spent on the patient.

Hussein Zahran
10/9/2011 04:31:25

Google, the multi-billion dollar company is promoting internet use in India by launching a "Google Bus" that allows people who have never been online to get online and on the internet. Google believes that by getting the remaining 92% of the Indian population that is not yet online. If the rest of the Indian people and the population of the world get online that will provide a better education and work for everyone. Google claims that the internet can lead to fewer illiterate people and more educated people in the world. They are giving people a taste of a drug so that they can run back for more. Internet.

Healthcare and medical support in LDCs is not divided fairly nor equally. The healthcare is more concentrated on sicknesses such as AIDS, HIV, and non-communicable diseases. They are missing the bigger issue, the chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease. These "first world" is diseases have been brought on and fortified by unhealthy diets and habits. Such as smoking and eating junk unhealthy food. These diseases are very popular in LDCs but are not concentrated on. They are very important and are responsible for the deaths of a lot of the population and should be taken care of as well. Technology and healthcare in the developing world should be available for all and both at minimal cost. Also healthcare should be widely available and successful.

10/9/2011 05:19:32

A vast amount of developing countries suffer from a poor medical system. The Article Growing pains talks about the development of rich people’s diseases in impoverished countries. For example people are getting cancer and diabetes when they can barely afford food, let alone buy a pack of cigarettes. They have lung diseases, when there is nothing to cause it other then their poor health care, but in developed countries you have things like cars, pollution, and cigarettes. Western aid is very beneficial to the developing countries, because it provides them with both medical care and technology. In Uganda people were dying of cancer because they lacked knowledge of the disease. 96% of cancer patients die without seeking medical care, and the other 4% would go check up after it was too late for them to survive. Another failing of Western Aid is how they focus all their attention on diseases that have no cure, like AIDS. Thousands of dollars are being spent on ONE patient with HIV but nothing is being spent on a cancer patient, and cancer is a disease you can control now, and patients can get better. But HIV is basically death sentence when they could treat patients with diseases like diabetes.
Google sent out a bus that circled around developing countries, and provided them with internet access. This introduced many people to the internet, which is a huge contribution to development. I personally think that google was doing it with the purpose of advertising, and for profitable reasons. Another failing of the Western aid is that it is abused as a method of publicizing. Technology is a great way for a country to develop, but, too much money might be spent on technology rather on other essential things like health care.

10/9/2011 05:32:01

In these articles, one talks about some of the negative aspects of medical care, although positively delivering medicine and a variety of medical needs to countries that lack these things, and the other on technology, which like medicine, can be delivered to countries that are lacking. But there are negative aspects for both. In medicine, certain diseases that are non-communicable are always in a sense "ignored" compared to the larger diseases like HIV and AIDS. Back then, people were not obese becasue they were too busy working for their lives, and most ended up starving in the process. But in some countries, well, the developed countries, they have developed to such an extent that with food, there's so much of it, it's like it's an infinite source. They keep eating and eating until they become practically huge, whereas in other, less developed countries, people are practically starving for food, for at least a handful or at least a mouthful of something to eat. I think what would be better in medical care is if the hospitals focus more on the more common diseases that are killing so many people, and leave the "big-deal" diseases to the scientists, who can analyze the cells of the disease and eventually figure out a way to treat it.

In technology, countries like India have only 8% of people using it. The "Google Bus" was to an extent a great idea because it offered the Internet for people who have rarely or never gone online before. Because of the lack of local content in India, contraptions like the Internet cannot thrive throughout. I believe that people should be given a lot more accessibility to the Internet and to technology, because when that's so, people can connect more easily, and not only that, they can have a lot more access to a very large amount of information (although this depends on the government and its censorship methods).

Overall, I believe that both medical care and technology should be cheaper, so in that way, it will become more accessible for people to make use of, and at the same time, creating a sense of stability.

10/9/2011 06:00:37

After reading “Hailing the Google bus,” I have clearly understood the motivation behind this. Google is trying to get a chunk of population who haven’t gone online to come online for the first time. It has already covered 43,000 km and has already offer 1.6m people to come online for the first time in their life. The whole point is that they show and interest the young to like the idea and keep them coming back for more. The bad part about all of this, is that they are trying to aim it at the cities where only 1/3 of the population lies. 2/3 of the population still lack basic internet access. I think they should direct their resources to go into villages and set up connections over there. Another reason that it isn’t spreading a whole lot in India is that, it’s expensive for a common man to afford this “luxury.”
If you have a non – communicable disease like cancer, diabetes, and heart problem in Uganda, you might as well be dead. 96% of the people who died from cancer didn’t even get to see a medical practitioner. Those 4% of the people, who spent their whole life savings to receive treatment, come to late in the stage of the cancer. It’s a shame why the money isn’t put in the right places when it comes to medical issues. All these bad habits of smoking tobacco and eating junk food came from the rich countries. Medical support given to developing world isn’t really helping, because it’s rarely ever used in the right places. I think a better way to provide better outcome is that the government sits down and decides where there resources should be used, both for technology and healthcare.

10/9/2011 06:02:57

In Uganda, if you have a non-infectious disease, like cancer or diabetes, you will most likely die. 96% of Ugandans that die of cancer never see a medical practitioner because non-infectious diseases are not a priority of the country's health care system, whereas infectious disease are, such as tuberculosis. The only cancer unit for 34m people is Dr. Orem's Institute. Uganda has only seven dialysis machines and the cheapest transplant is $40,000. Two thirds of Dr. Orem's cancer patients also have HIV and none of the HIV resources went to cancer. Thousands of dollars are spent on those with AIDS, but not with those with diabetes. Drugs needed have tariffs on them and are poorly distributed. Dr. Orem spends most of his money on drugs and more money would increase palliative care and help to train nurses. The medical support is not helping people in the long run because it is ignoring the non-infectious diseases, only focusing on the infectious ones, such as AIDS, and this is causing a lot of people to die from cancer in Uganda and other parts of the world. A better way, I think, would be to help train nurses to help the ill and pour in a lot of money to spend on drugs needed for non-infectious diseases because these diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, are being neglected and need to be taken care of.

The Google Internet bus is a free, mobile cybercafe dreamed up by Google and run with BSNL, an ISP. The motivation of Google in providing a free mobile cybercafe is to get the remaining 92% of India online. This program, I believe, will lead to a future where the whole world have Internet access and access to information. It will educated people and teach them how to read, as well as provide better work for everyone globally. Having Internet for the first time for a little while will make people want the Internet for themselves and it will inspire them to establish it in their country, hopefully, and this will lead to a literal world wide web.

10/9/2011 06:54:45

Western aid helped less developed countries by giving then the use of technology and medication. This is a good and helpful but at the same time it is also harmful in some other ways. Google brought a free internet bus in some poor villages in India. They gave free access to the people there. For some people it was their first time to use the Internet. Google’s main purpose to do this was to tap India’s internal emerging markets. The bad part about this is that there are still places in India that don’t have the access to Internet. Google is doing this because once people start using the Internet they will want more and they will then end up buying the Internet connection. This process will mostly benefit Google. Moving over to medicine. Of Ugandans who die of cancer 95% don’t see a medical consultant. The countries system is to treat infectious diseases like tuberculosis. Diseases like cancer, diabetes and heat and respiratory has not been treated properly because they are non-infectious diseases. As globalization spreads the medication problems also spread. For example obesity is spreading rapidly for all the fast food restaurants that are all over the world. The best way to provide technology and medication is to do it the right way. To see that if you are providing technology that it does not affect the people around and if your providing medication then you should also think about the non-infectious diseases too.

10/9/2011 07:02:24

Internet plays a major role in development, communication and access to the web is one of the most useful things. The Google Bus is like a free cybercafé that passes by a lot of developing countries, 120 towns in 11 states. This is actually designed to let the poor people access the internet for free. This event for google is to get a better understanding of the people's needs. This would spread the idea of using internet more in the world. All of this is related to globalization of course because poor people are actually learning more about communication and accessing the internet and make the best out of it. When the bus went to India, for 1.6m people, it was their first time to access the internet and 100,000 of them have signed up for settled internet at home.
Many developing countries have a big problem, which is curing diseases because they don’t have a stable medical system. The common diseases in developing countries cancer, diabetes, heart problems. Western aids helps these countries it brings them medical aids. Most of the people affected by these diseases do not react or even try to cure themselves, for example, in Uganda, 96% of them never see a medical practitioner. A lot of patients without health insurance have to delay their treatment until it is too late, and they die, or suffer a lot. We also find rich diseases in poor countries, like diabetes and respiratory diseases.

Hania Sultan
10/9/2011 07:10:30

Google created something called the "google bus" it is a white but the went around in India. It invited local people to try using the internet and for free. It passed through 120 towns in 11 states. Google did an estimate and it turns out that for 1.6 million people this was the first time they use the internet and of those 100,000 have signed up for an internet connection in their homes. What I liked about this article is that it compared using the internet with using drugs. Because once you try it you are automatically hooked. The internet development there is far behind than those in the west. The global average of internet users is 30 out of 100. But that number is changing rapidly as the internet is growing. In India only 8% of the population are internet users, compared to china's 36% there is a big difference. The internet development is not distributed amongst the world fairly.

The healthcare and technology is not at all balanced. THe west is leading mostly on technologies use for healthcare and medicine. Take Uganda for instance, of Ugandans who die of cancer, 96% never see a medical practitioner. Because they are focusing on diseases like AIDS,malaria, HIV, and non-communicable diseases.And they are not focusing at all at diseases like cancer and lung diseases, and that is where i think the western medicine and technology and funds should step in. They need to start realizing that there are very important issues that they are missing. Because a huge number of people are dying of these diseases every year. Some of these can come because of the terrible living conditions, for example the water they drink. I think that medicine should be both accessible and affordable around the world.

10/9/2011 07:33:06

The productivity of Internet usage is becoming one of the most important factors nowadays. There is a massive number of people using the Internet around the globe, but there is also too many others that have no idea about its usage. Therefore, Google launched a bus that moved around towns and cities in India. Its goal is to aid people in their knowledge on how to use the Internet. When more people gain ideas through the Internet, it will develop products for the potentially huge local market. Only 8% of Indians are using the Internet, which leaves 92% of the population with less knowledge. Google are trying to use the Internet as a drug, so after people have a taste of it, they come back for more.
Another problem that developing countries have trouble with are chronic diseases. Most of the developed countries provide medical care for cases with non-communicable diseases like AIDS/HIV. Chronic diseases such as cancer, heart and respiratory ailments, and diabetes receive less global aid. These diseases result from continuous habits like smoking and overeating. Dr. Jackson Orem stated, “They come too late.” The clinic’s director described the way Kenyan people spent their life’s savings for a chance of cure. The lack of money these countries enclose causes vast death numbers. Consequently, highly developed countries should interfere in aiding these countries by providing them with money. Finally, as technology develops, medical solutions should higher in capacity in order for poor countries to rise.

10/9/2011 07:48:28

The web is a major role in our lives, interaction and accessibility to the web is one of the greatest and most amazing things you need. The Google Internet bus is a free, mobile cybercafé. It has covered over 43,000km and spread through 120 towns in 11 states since it hit the road on February 3rd, 2009. Nowadays, developing countries have more than 80% of the chronic illnesses. Many of the diseases include cancer, diabetes, heart and lung disease. This does not mean that the government or other organizations will help fund necessary equipment, medicine, and facilities. So, the medical support given to the developing world is only to fight infectious diseases where as there are more people dying due to non-communicable diseases for which medication has not been provided enough. Therefore it is not helping most of the people. I think that the developed countries are doing well with the technology that they have nowadays. However I think they should improve the environmental factors of the developing countries.

Mounzer Sammakieh
10/9/2011 10:18:42

It is known that Western countries provide aid to less developed countries by introducing technology and medical services to them. Is this always a positive thing?

Identify and discuss some of the failings of Western aid to developing nations in terms of medical support and technology support

Western aid failed to support nations like Uganda’s health-care system. A very small number of Ugandans who were diagnosed with cancer were able to see a doctor or gain any form of health care. The article on “Growing Pains” says that in India, more than 2/5ths of young children under the age of five are malnourished. The Western nations also provide the under-developed nations with fast-food restaurants and cheap tobacco. Smoking and eating junk food usually lead to lung problems and possibly obesity or health issues, which Western aid doesn’t cure.

What is the motivation of Google in providing a free mobile cybercafe?

I think Google’s main motivation in providing a free mobile cybercafé is to advertise Google and at the same time provide under-developed countries with the chance of using the Internet to become more knowledgeable. When poor people get exposed to the Internet, many of them start signing up for their own connection. Google says its main purpose for creating this cybercafé is to find out what people need and produce items based on their needs. The number of Internet users has been rapidly increasing lately thanks to the Google Bus. The Google Bus sees lots of potential in India so it is trying to increase the number of internet-literate people there.

Why is the medical support being given to the developing world not necessarily helping people in the long run?

The medical support that is provided to the developing world only helps people on the short term but not on the long run. The problem is with the Western aid is that it is focused more on infectious diseases such as AIDS and HIV, ignoring the cure of main chronic diseases like cancer, heart and lung diseases, and diabetes. More than 80% of the world’s chronic diseases are now evident in the under-developed nations and this number continues to increase because people aren’t able to find a cure for these diseases.

What do you think might be a better way to provide the type of technology and medical care that will help the developing world?

I think Western aid should increase its money donations so that poorer countries can have a good amount of medical needs and can learn a lot from the improvements in technology. The richer countries should provide the poor countries with more advanced medical support so that the diseases could get cured. The health care should focus more on the non-infectious diseases as well as the infectious ones. It is important to make sure that the surrounding environment in the less-developed nations is kept clean to prevent diseases. It is important for technology and healthcare to be offered to third-world countries at the cheapest price possible because these are very important factors to help the countries develop.

10/9/2011 17:42:27

Google wants a world that can access the internet from EVERYWHERE. That is why they created this mobile internet cafe. 92% of india is blind. I mean that in the in the cyber world, they are almost non existant. India reminds me of Uganda, so blinded from the internet world. That is why Google has came to save the day for India, and delight them with internet, but only like a biscuit given to a puppy before the meal is actually made, which, in Indias case, might be never. Or, at least, in a long time.
The money for medical support is being distributed among the people who are infected with diseases that are contagious. Medical support should be spread out to the people who have long term illnesses, like Diabitis. These illnesses require medicine that will try and cure the disease, before it is passed down to their children. The money should also go to training future nurses and doctors that could help better these developing countries.
Organizations such as the United Nations should be aware of this, and take more action to help the future of these countries. Sometimes, doing a good thing may not seem to be making a difference in the mean time, but ultimately, will make a huge difference in the long run.

10/9/2011 18:38:31

Western aid is very helpful for less developed countries because it brings technology and medical aid in which the country may be lacking. This issue is being improved by the spread is technology. Google is attemptong to contribute to the world and help spread knowledge and technology through something they have been doing for a couple of years; something called the "google bus" . To wander around India’s small towns and streets to invite locals to access the internet. And to my suprise some of them were accessing the internet for the first time. Google has estimated that of the 1.6 million people that have been offered their first online experience 100,000 have signed up for an internet connection of their own. Why is the medical support being given to the developing world not necessarily helping people in the long run? well becasue it helps them only for a short period of time... nothing lasts forever, plus these things cost money, although some people are very genourous, they will NOT keep paying money out of their own pockets to help others FOREVER! What do you think might be a better way to provide the type of technology and medical care that will help the developing world? the best way is to give poorer countries a chance to engage in trade and earn money and have a stable gross income to sustain their living conditions and help mainitain a moderate, healthy way of life.


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