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Assessing SARS-CoV-2 Disease Morbidity within the Navajo Tribal Nation in relation to the Reduced Access to Equitable Water Infrastructure and Health Policy

Cory, Sarah (2024) Assessing SARS-CoV-2 Disease Morbidity within the Navajo Tribal Nation in relation to the Reduced Access to Equitable Water Infrastructure and Health Policy. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Public health is defined as the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities (Prevention, 2023). The access to clean water is and basic sanitation infrastructure is critical to public health and the health of a community. Lack of or limited access to uncontaminated water and associated waterway infrastructure within the Navajo (Dine) Nation is resulting in higher rates of infectious disease morbidity among indigenous community members.
The Navajo Nation is a federally recognized tribe with over 200,000 enrolled members, making it one of the largest in North America. The treaties of 1849 and 1868, signed by both the Navajo and the U.S (United States) federal government, ensured the U.S. recognized the Navajo Nation as a self-governing entity and were supplied with the adequate resources to be self-sufficient from the U.S federal government. The Navajo tribal reservation land spans across areas of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and is entirely situated within the lower portions of the Colorado River Basin. Due to extreme climatic conditions, water scarcity is resulting in increased water competition. The effects of reduced water access and associated resources exacerbated the threat of Sars-CoV-2 (Covid-19) on the Navajo reservation.
The main aims of this paper include addressing the water crisis faced by the Navajo and how the reduced access to potable water increases the burden of infectious diseases, referencing Covid-19 and Hantavirus events on Navajo Nation as framework. Additionally, discussing the relationship between tribal and federal government entities and how that has led to gaps in the current public health policies. The intended outcomes of this essay are to address the adverse public health impacts associated with the lack of access to clean water on Navajo Nation in relation to government-to-government (i.e., U.S. Federal Government and Tribal Governments) policy interactions.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cory, Sarahsac425@pitt.edusac425
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMartinson, Jeremyjmartins@pitt.edujmartinsUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberHershey, Tina Batratbh16@pitt.edutbh16UNSPECIFIED
Date: 3 January 2024
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 15 December 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 34
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: n/a
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2024 16:54
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2024 16:54


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