26 Solving Health Problems
When Juanita had taken the medicine and was feeling better,
it was tempting to think that her health problem had been
solved. But she knew this was not true. When her husband
returned from the coast, she would get infected again if he did
not take the medicine and use condoms. She discussed the
problem with Suyapa and other women whose husbands work
at the coast, and together they decided to ask Valeria for advice.
Looking for the root causes of health
Step 8: Look for the root
causes of the problem.
Valeria agreed that Juanita’s health problem was not yet
solved, because many of the conditions that created the
problem still existed. She suggested playing a game called
“But why. . . . ?” to help everyone identify all the conditions
that created the problem.
Valeria gathered the women in a circle, and asked them to try
and answer her questions:
Q: Why did Juanita get sick?
Q: BUT WHY did she get
gonorrhea and chlamydia?
Q: BUT WHY did her husband
have gonorrhea and
Q: BUT WHY did he have
sex with other people?
Q: But WHY was he
away from his
wife for so long?
Q: BUT WHY does he
have so little land?
Q: Why else did
Q: BUT WHY
A: From gonorrhea and chlamydia.
A: Because she was infected by her husband.
A: Because he had sex with other people.
A: Because men are taught that they do not
need to control their desire, and he was
away from his wife for a long time.
A: Because he does not have enough land to
feed his family and must work on the coast
for months at a time.
A: Because most of the land is owned by big
landowners. (A long discussion follows
from this answer.)
A: Because her
husband won’t use
A: Because he doesn’t
know how STIs are
And so on.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012