lynsey addario, photographer

Healthcare in Mississippi

Click Here to Play Nowhere is the American health care system more broken and desperate than rural Mississippi. Which is why an approach born in a broken and desperate place — Iran — may offer the best chance of saving lives. Photographer Lynsey Addario visited the impoverished state of Mississippi to explore this new approach to health care and hear some of the stories of those suffering from health problems.
  
Vonda Wells, 41, stands with her Oxygen supply at home with her daughter, Brandyce Wells, 19, and Brandyce's four month old daughter, Imari, in Clinton, Mississippi, September 29, 2012.  Vonda suffers from Asthma, High Blood Pressure, congestive heart failure, and is a survivor of stage four Hodgkin's disease. she is on Medicaid. Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
  
Idenia Sturdevant, 32, Tia's mother, suffers from diabetes, kidney failure, and high blood pressure. She says she has difficulty walking due to her illnesses.
     
  
Tia Sturdevant, 15, watches 'A Different World' on TV at home as her mother lies ill with Diabetes and High Blood Pressure in the back room in Metcalf, in the Mississippi Delta, May 31, 2012.  Thousands of young adults like Tia suffer from obesity due to lack of exercize and poor diet, which often leads to Diabetes across Mississippi.
  
Lavatrice Jordan, 35, holds one of her twins, LaGlorian Jordan, who was born on April 1, 2012, at 26 weeks and just over one pound, in the Neo-natal Intensive care unit at the University Mississippi Medical College, September 30, 2012.  Jordan is from Starkville, Miss, and had high blood pressure during her pregnancy, and delivered prematurely.
  
Terry Coates, touches her four day old grandchild, Tayden Coates, in the incubator in the in the Neo-natal Intensive care unit at the University Mississippi Medical College, September 30, 2012. Teara Coates, 21, delivered her son at 26 weeks, at one pound 12 ounces, and the the infant has been in the neo-natal ward since then. Teara is 21 years old, and has a five year old son in addition to this child.  Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
     
  
Racquel Williams, 16, sits 34 weeks pregnant at home with her mother in South Jackson, Mississippi, June 1, 2012. Racquel was in 11th grade when she got pregnant, and dropped out of school as soon as she found out she was pregnant. Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
  
Maranda Corely, 19, sits in her bedroom with her three childrenin their bedroom in Ellisville, Mississippi, June 2, 2012.  Maranda got pregnant for the first time when she was 15, had twins that were born prematurely, and with serious disabilities, and four months ago, had a third child. Her aunt, Kelli Shoemake, 23, also has three children and lives in the same trailer.   Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
  
Maranda Corely, 19, sits in her bedroom with her three childrenin their bedroom in Ellisville, Mississippi, June 2, 2012.  Maranda got pregnant for the first time when she was 15, had twins that were born prematurely, and with serious disabilities, and four months ago, had a third child. Her aunt, Kelli Shoemake, 23, also has three children and lives in the same trailer.   Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
     
  
Downtown Jackson, Mississippi, May 31, 2012.   When the state of MIssissippi integrated its schools, many white families fled, shuttering the businesses and industry in downtown Jackson, and across the state.  Often linked to poverty and unemployment, Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
  
Downtown Jackson, Mississippi, May 31, 2012.   When the state of MIssissippi integrated its schools, many white families fled, shuttering the businesses and industry in downtown Jackson, and across the state.  Often linked to poverty and unemployment, Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
  
Downtown Jackson, Mississippi, May 31, 2012.   When the state of MIssissippi integrated its schools, many white families fled, shuttering the businesses and industry in downtown Jackson, and across the state.  Often linked to poverty and unemployment, Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
     
  
Posters are seen in a window in downtown Jackson, Miss., May 31, 2012.
  
A man is seen in downtown Jackson, Miss. When the state of Mississippi integrated its school system following Brown v. Board of Education, many white families fled, abandoning the businesses and industry across the state. Often linked to poverty and unemployment, Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, and AIDS in the United States. And though millions of federal dollars have been allocated to the problem, conditions have only worsened over time.
  
Dr. Aaron Shirley poses for a portrait in downtown Jackson, Miss. Since the very beginning of his medical training, Shirley has been involved with Mississippi's public health problems. He was the first black student to complete his residency at the University Medical Center in Jackson and he has since teamed up with another doctor and non-profit consultant to implement a health care plan modeled off of that used in Iran.
     
  
Dr.Mohammad Shabazi, an Iranian professor at Jackson State University, an historically-black college inJackson, Mississippi, is greeted by Luther Shelby Jr in Peaches Cafe in downtown Jackson, Mississippi, June 2, 2012.  Dr. Shabazi had moved to the States in the 80s for school andbecame fascinated by the US's health care problems, recognizing thesimilarities between the conditions in Mississippi and the conditionsunder which he grew up, as a member of a small nomadic tribe in Iran,and decided that Mississippi offered the best opportunity for hiswork.  He eventually teamed up with Dr. Aaron Shirley and non-profit consultant from Oxford, Mississippi, named James Miller, to try to implement a health care plan similar to that in Iran in Mississippi.  Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
  
Home healthcare worker and Nurse Claudia Cox visits with Caralyn Brewster, 29, her boyfriend, Melvin McGee, 26, and their 8 week old baby, Justin McGee, who was born premature at 31 weeks in Jackson, Mississippi, due to Caralyn's high blood pressure.
  
Home healthcare worker and Nurse Claudia Cox visits with Caralyn Brewster, 29, her boyfriend, Melvin McGee, 26, and their 8 week old baby, Justin McGee, who was born premature at 31 weeks in Jackson, Mississippi, due to Caralyn's high blood pressure.
     
  
Home healthcare worker and Nurse Claudia Cox visits with Regina Higgins, 45, who has lost 52 pounds since she got sick last year in Jackson, Mississippi, June 1, 2012.  Regina's daughter, right, collects social security for her mental illness, and it enables Regina to have enough income to live.  Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
  
Christopher Jackson, 11, at home with his family in Holmes County, at the edge of the Mississippi Delta, May 31, 2012.  Christopher, like his father, has diabetes, and though he is currently taking a pill to regulate his diabetes, his father thinks he will soon need to switch to insulin. Holmes county is known as 'the fattest county in America' and thousands of young adults across Mississippi suffer from obesity due to lack of exercize and poor diet, which often leads to Diabetes and further complications in severe cases. Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
  
Christopher Jackson, 11, watches his friends jump on a trampoline in Holmes County, Miss. Holmes County is known as 'the fattest county in America.' Thousands of young adults across Mississippi suffer from obesity due to lack of exercise and poor diet.
     
  
Joshua Alexander, 25, who is HIV+, sits at home in Greenville, in the Delta, mississippi, May 31, 2012.  Jordan is from Starkville, Miss, and had high blood pressure during her pregnancy, and delivered prematurely.
  
A house for sale for $22,000.  in Holmes County, at the edge of the Mississippi Delta, May 31, 2012.  Holmes county is known as 'the fattest county in America' and thousands of young adults across Mississippi suffer from obesity due to lack of exercize and poor diet, which often leads to Diabetes and further complications in severe cases. Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
  
A woman is seen at a religious service in Mississippi. Often linked to poverty and unemployment, the state has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality and AIDS in the United States.
     
  
Houses sit crooked and falling down in Baptist town, in the Mississippi Delta, June 3, 2012.   Often linked to poverty and unemployment, Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
  
An old cotton gin is seen on the side of the road in Indianola, Miss.
  
Racquel Williams, 16, sits 34 weeks pregnant at home with her mother in South Jackson, Mississippi, June 1, 2012. Racquel was in 11th grade when she got pregnant, and dropped out of school as soon as she found out she was pregnant. Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.
     
  
Teara Coates, 21, touches her baby, Tayden Coates, in an incubator in the neonatal care unit four days after he was born at the University Mississippi Medical Center.
  
Rundown houses are seen in Indianola, Miss.
  
Rundown houses are seen in Indianola, Miss.
     
  
An old cotton gin is seen along the side of the road in Indianola, Miss.
  
An old cotton gin sits along the side of the road in Indianola, in the Mississippi Delta, May 31, 2012.   The cotton gins were the staple of the economy  when plantations and industry flourished across the state decades ago.  Often linked to poverty and unemployment, Mississippi has some of the highest rates of diabetes, obesity, infant mortality, AIDs, among other ailments, in the country, and though millions of federal funds have been thrown at the problems for years, conditions have only gotten worse.