Asia’s “sick” places to grow up in are often the most appealing to young people, according to a new study.
The study, by researchers at the National Geographic Society and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, found that “a sick culture” among younger Chinese, Malaysians, Filipinos and Indians is also driving a generation away from their parents.
“People have a sense of entitlement,” said Dr. David Rocha, the study’s co-author and an assistant professor of geography at Rice University in Houston.
“They think they’re entitled to everything.”
The study found that young people in China, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, where food is cheaper, live in areas with a high prevalence of communicable diseases.
That’s especially true for people who are poor and/or from poor families, and have limited access to medical care.
The countries in the study, which are in Southeast Asia, have a median age of 37 and a median household income of $50,000.
The researchers also found that there is a strong correlation between an individual’s socioeconomic status and how likely they are to engage in communicable disease.
“You have a very high correlation between your income and the number of communicant illnesses you experience,” said Rochas co-authors Dr. Andrew Wylie and Dr. Michael Sussman, both of Rice.
“The poorer you are, the more communicable you are.”
The researchers found that, in some cases, young people who have a high level of education or a higher income are much more likely to report experiencing communicable illness than those who have less education or less income.
“We found that for some of these young people … a lot of them were in areas that were communicable and were very high in the prevalence of a communicable infection,” said Sussmans co-lead author and director of the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Global Health.
The high prevalence also can be a barrier to access to basic health care services, especially among rural populations in those countries.
“In terms of access to health care, the majority of the population in these countries is living on less than $1 a day,” Sussmann said.
The World Health Organization estimates that in 2020, 1.9 billion people will be diagnosed with a communicable disease in the region.
“If you can’t get care, you can die,” Sissmans said.
“So you’re living in the world where the disease is getting worse, and it’s becoming harder and harder to be healthy.”
“A Sick Culture” Among China’s most vulnerable young people is a rural area known as Nanning in Jiangsu province, home to the largest population of Chinese, and a popular tourist destination.
About 40% of the area’s people live below the poverty line, and about half of those people live in the town of Nanning, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The population is split between rural and urban areas, with the rural area mostly consisting of small towns and isolated villages.
The city of Nanming is home to Nanning City, a former coal mining village.
In 2011, the government built Nanning’s city-owned high school, which now serves as a public school.
In 2012, the town’s municipal government approved a high school plan for Nanning.
But the plans were rejected by the province’s top court, which ruled that Nanning was not part of Jiangsu, and the high school remained in limbo.
The government’s decision was not a surprise to Dr. Zheng Zhang, an assistant epidemiologist with the Jiangsu Ministry of Health and Family Planning.
“There is a lot to worry about in the area of rural development,” Zhang said.
Zhang is a senior fellow with the China Network for Science, Technology and the Environment, a nonprofit group based in Beijing.
“Nanning City is a really poor place to grow a healthy life,” Zhang added.
Zhang, who is also a fellow with China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, has been working on ways to improve access to quality health care in the rural areas of Jiangs’ Jiangsu Province.
“A lot of the time, the local government is very resistant to providing basic health services,” he said.
As a result, he and his colleagues at the China National Research Institute for Environmental Health Research (CNRID) have worked to improve health care and access to education in Nanning by recruiting and training local teachers to deliver education materials.
He said that the government is now considering whether to provide the training in Nanping itself.
“It’s a really big project.
We’re planning to start early next year,” Zhang explained.
“To me, this is a big challenge for education in Jiangs.”
“In Jiangs, the people are very much worried about their future,” said Zhang.
“Many people have a lot on their minds.
So we have to try to provide better services, better education to these people.”