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Image from the story Compare Health Issues in Ecuador and the United States

Target Grade Levels:
Grades 7-12

The Activity
Video Discussion Questions
Taking It Further
Connections to Curriculum Standards

The Activity

Show students where Ecuador is on a map. Explain that Ecuador is one of the poorest nations in Latin America, and that many residents donít have access to medical services. Tell students that they will be watching a video about how one man has tried to address Ecuadorís health care issues. Play Ecuador: Country Doctors (length: 16:19) and focus student viewing with the Video Discussion Questions below.

Discuss student responses to the video questions and then have them compare Ecuadorís health care issues to those in the United States. A great source of data for such a comparison is the World Health Organization, which provides downloadable documents and tables. Download spreadsheets that will help students compare the statistics of these two countries side by side. Compare life expectancy, infant mortality rates, immunization coverage, the number of adults who are obese, number of physicians per 1,000, the prevalence of tuberculosis, and other data of interest to the class.

What are the similarities and differences between the two countries in terms of health problems and health care issues? What factors could account for the differences? Research how these issues are being addressed in each country. What solutions do students propose for health and health care problems in the U.S?

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Video Discussion Questions

Focus student viewing of Ecuador: Country Doctors (length: 16:19) with the following questions:

  • Why did Dr. Rodas begin providing health care services to the poor through his Cinterandes Foundation?
  • How is the Cinterandes Foundation funded?
  • What methods does Cinterandes use to provide medical care to Ecuador’s poor?
  • What geographic and social obstacles do you see in the video that stand in the way of providing good health care in Ecuador?
  • What value is there for doctors to work with local healers as they provide medical care in remote areas?


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Taking it Further

Research legislation or other plans put forward by politicians to address U.S. health care issues. Debate the pros and cons of these plans and summarize opinions in a letter to the editor.

Connections to Curriculum Standards

These standards are drawn from Content Knowledge, a compilation of content standards and benchmarks for K-12 curriculum by McRel (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning).

Business Education, Standard 15:
Knows unique characteristics of an entrepreneur.

Level IV, Benchmark 2:
Knows that entrepreneurship relates to the capacity to take responsibility for one’s own future, to initiate creative ideas, develop them, and to carry them through into action in a determined manner.
Geography, Standard 10:
Understands the nature and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics.

Health, Standard 2:
Knows environmental and external factors that affect individual and community health.

Language Arts, Standard 9:
Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media.

Mathematics, Standard 6:
Understands and applies basic and advanced concepts of statistics and data analysis.

Technology, Standard 6:
Understands the nature and uses of different forms of technology.

World History, Standard 44:
Understands the search for community, stability, and peace in an interdependent world.

World History, Standard 45:
Understands major global trends since World War II.

Level IV, Benchmark 2:
Understands causes of economic imbalances and social inequalities among the world's peoples and efforts made to close these gaps.

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