University of Washington Tacoma

Access*: Interdisciplinary Journal of Student Research and Scholarship

Author Biography

Rebecca Dickson is a Senior at the University of Washington, Tacoma studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (Economics Track) and Global Studies. Through her studies, Dickson focuses on the impacts of historical, cultural, and political events on systems, nation-states and individuals. Dickson believes culture, economics, politics, and individual decisions impact each other; tracing the actions of one entity often leads to understanding another more broadly.

Document Type

Undergraduate Research Paper


Reducing disease prevalence within South America is critical for reaching global health goals and increasing life expectancy of vulnerable populations. Chagas disease, often referred to the “the New HIV/AIDS of the Americas,” is a prevalent cause of disability and death within Bolivia (Hotez et al. 1). The Plurinational State of Bolivia, a large South American nation-state, is a crucial player in promoting global health outcomes. However, intra-state political turmoil and historical tensions often affect its healthcare systems, which in turn affect individual health outcomes. This paper traces these connections within the Bolivian healthcare system- first by identifying political and cultural factors within Bolivia which contribute to the lack of access to healthcare among indigenous citizens, then by understanding factors of Chagas Disease which disproportionally affect indigenous citizens, and finally, applying these factors to a proposed solution which includes actions by domestic and international bodies.


University of Washington Tacoma


TBIOMD 490: Context for Global Health Experiential Learning; TLAW 424: ThePolitics And Law Of International Human Rights


Professor Karen Cowgill; Professor Elizabeth Bruch