Why do poor countries have a predominance of infectious diseases as opposed to the lifestyle-related diseases of wealthy countries? What is your response to the global health inequalities that exist? By Marcela Step One: Why do poor countries have a predominance of Infectious diseases as opposed to the lifestyle-related diseases of wealthy countries? What Is your response to the global health Inequalities that exist? Step Two: Willie’s sociological imagination template has made me understand how factors including historical, cultural, structural and critical components affect the way one fives their life (Willis, as cited in Germen, 2014).
As each factor is linked to one another, a variance of health issues worldwide continuously exists. I have experienced global health inequality first hand due to structural factors such as undeveloped technology and education. During the semester break of this year, I was fortunate enough to travel throughout South America. Unfortunately whilst traveling I became very ill and was taken to a clinic for medical assistance. One attended to, patients, including myself were treated in an unhygienic environment, with poor attention to sanitation such as clean sheets on the examination bed.
Poor health practices also occurred with very few health professionals wearing appropriate clothing such as gloves when vaccinating a patient or correctively washing their hands before and after examining a patient. Personally, the experience of being treated with such medical attendance under poor conditions has led me to believe that the predominance of infectious diseases in developing nations Is somewhat because health practices are not being followed In accordance to clinical practice guidelines.
Marcela Merles S00107898 using my experience as an example, the environment Itself and the negligence of hygiene from health professionals themselves creates an easy exposure and outbreak of Infectious diseases to patients. Both examples are easily preventable and the health Inequality here exists when comparing the treatment given to patients using health standards of developed nations In comparison to undeveloped nations. On another hand, I have seen the predominance of lifestyle-related diseases In Australia from a cultural component.
Born and raised in Australia I know that the Australian culture consists of social gatherings such as barbeques, which increase the likelihood of choices such as alcohol consumption, smoking and unhealthy diet. Ordinance of diseases in wealthy nations such as Australia are due to lifestyle choices made by the individual. The individual is putting themselves at risk with behaviors such as lack of exercise and unhealthy dieting contributing to obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
In comparison, I believe the predominance of diseases in underdeveloped nations is primarily infectious-based due to the quality of care received by patients. A large percentage of citizens have difficulty accessing health care of greater-quality because of their socio-economic status or the unavailability of such health care found within reasonable traveling distance. I believe health inequalities are preventable, but barriers as those mentioned previously including a lack of education from health professionals as well, obstructs any preventative measures from being put into action, exposing patients to a greater risk of diseases.
Manila Merles s00107898 Step Three: Further research into health sociology, in particular the sociological theory of modernity (Lives, 2008), has given me greater awareness of how and why particular health problems exist. Lives (2008) defines modernity as a modern outlook of the world driven by economy, politics and science. Breakthrough in these areas has not only shown structural changes to the development of industrialization and political democracy, but also a changed way of thinking with modernization of knowledge and ideas.
Modernization represents a complete change from the past out breaking into a different type of society. The theory
In respect to health, advanced technology may include medical treatment including resources used that are of higher quality than those used in undeveloped nations. Likewise, modernity allows for advancements in education and in reference to health inequality, health education must be put into further action for undeveloped societies to be taught at least the basic forms of prevention of diseases. An insight into the theory of modernity has shown me that everyone sees health and illness fervently and hence is a reason why there are health differences among cultures and countries worldwide.
As the structural components of a social organization affect people’s lives, it is important to look at the role the government of undeveloped nations play within their health care system. Using my personal experience as recalled in part two, citizens in South America do not have control over the health care they receive. In Australia, we are fortunate to have Medicare as the basis of Australia’s health care system, covering many health care costs for its citizens. Such health care system does not exist in South America, therefore the financial status of each individual impact greatly receive care and treatment at all.
Additionally, economic disadvantages within a nation may not have substantial funds to build health care centers such as hospitals and medical centers or provide those in need with medical supplies that are economically in reach. I believe that Australia has developed chronic lifestyle-related diseases due to behaviors such as eating patterns while South America has developed infectious diseases through unhygienic practices. Furthermore, I used the social model of health as a reference to make rather understanding of health inequality and possible methods for providing better health for those in need (Germen, 2014).
This model highlights “health inequalities suffered by different social groups based on class, gender, ethnicity and occupation” (Germen, 2014). Having this in mind, I can make reference to the Australian lifestyle and culture as a determinant for chronic diseases suffered in this country. Manila Merles s0010789 I believe that Australia has developed chronic lifestyle-related diseases due to behaviors such as eating patterns while South America has developed infectious sissies through unhygienic practices.
In addiction to unhygienic practices as a factor of infectious diseases, the social model of health has made me understand that education; economic status, ethnicity and access to health care systems also contribute to this as well. Step Four: The World Health Organization (2014) has defined health inequality as “differences in health status or in the distribution of health determinants between different population groups”. The social, economic and environmental conditions in which a person is born and lives in strongly influences one’s health (WHO, 2014).
Health inequalities can be due to natural variations or personal choices, I. E. The growth of lifestyle-related diseases in Australia, and others are due to outside environment and conditions the individual cannot control, I. E. The predominance of infectious diseases in poor countries (Turrets, Stately, De Eloper, & Oldenburg, 2006). The uneven distribution of health inequality worldwide is unjust and unfair but such unfairness is not only found within the distribution of health itself (Irradiate and Allotted, 2007).
This has created a significant gap of health status between the wealthy and the poor. Not only are health inequalities apparent between different socio-economic groups but also between genders and different ethnic groups (Allotted, Irradiate, Kumar, & Cummins, 2003). To begin with, Irradiate and Allotted (2007) have researched health inequality as an outcome of economically deprived populations. Differences in population health are associated with global health outcomes (Irradiate and Allotted, 2007).
Health inequality due to economy is unfair as the difficulty a population experiences in health care is determined by the population’s wealth (Irradiate and Allotted, 2007). Poorer countries have shown to be affected by an uneven distribution of health of up to five times worse off than the standard of health experienced in wealthier countries (Irradiate and Allotted, 2007). It has been shown that wealthier countries have higher capacity to support poor health than in poor countries, with the impact of poor health on an individual and societal level being significantly less (Allotted et al. 2003). Reasons for this include the investment in social and healthcare services and higher-quality physical infrastructure found within wealthier regions, controlling the impact of death and illness (Allotted et al. , 2003). Likewise, new scientific discoveries such as the vaccine against the human papilla virus preventing cervical cancer offers advanced and improved health. However an individual’s economic status remains an obstacle to ensure the availability of such vaccination to those most at risk (Senator, Gill, & Beaker, 2011).
Alkali and Chin (2004) have also concluded that socioeconomics disadvantaged groups experience greater ill health, as they are likely to put themselves at risk engaging in behaviors that are linked with poorer health status. In this case, such groups are also less likely to act on improving their health as well (Alkali and Chin, 2004). Additionally, powers that have the ability to effectively sustain caring social services, including health care systems to citizens of each country also shapes population health (Turrets et al. , 2006).
This may not be the case in poorer countries as the nation’s government may lack governmental institutions such as Medicare available in Australia, covering many health care costs, making it possible for citizens to receive medical treatment when in need. Extra alternatives such as private health insurance are also available in Australia but such service may be unavailable in poorer countries or financially inaccessible to the individual. Also, over half of the population in developing nations do not have access to medicines for the treatment of diseases such as cholera, malaria or typhoid fever (Gelid, 2005).
Lack of access to basic medicine supplies such as antibiotics, decongestants or analgesic also expose people as being vulnerable to infectious diseases (Gelid, 2005). Secondly, population health has also been shaped according to educational level Turrets, Stanley, De Eloper, & Oldenburg, 2006). Cutler and Leers-Money (2012) conclude that education is key to ending bad health habits and a crucial factor that contributes to the transmission of infectious diseases. According to Denton (2003) wealthier, well-educated populations live longer than poorer, less-educated populations.
An educated person is said to have a higher capacity to understand and apply health benefits for themselves as well as have greater access to health care Reflecting back on my personal experience, some health professionals may lack impotency to follow clinical practice guidelines of the same standard followed by health professionals in Australia. Health professionals in undeveloped nations may not realism the importance of following such guidelines or may not be put into action as strictly as they are in Australia.
In Australia clinical practice guidelines state the extent of clean and highly sanitation service that must be provided to the patient. The lack of education and knowledge to do so including following procedures such as hand washing puts the health professional primarily at fault for the spread of infectious diseases from patient to patient. Likewise, not only health professionals but also citizens of underdeveloped nations do not have substantial access to education, therefore it is difficult for knowledge of good health to be practiced. Developing countries are also lacking in promotion of good health as well (Senator, Gill, & Beaker, 2011).
Education will also end poverty through employment and develop skills that help improve health status in underdeveloped nations (Cutler and Leers- Money, 2012). Additionally, poor nutrition also contributes increases unhealthy lifestyles. Those who are at a financial disadvantage do not have access to essential nutrients. Lack of clean water in undeveloped nations also increases the spread of infectious diseases. Those who do not have access to fresh, uncontaminated water have no choice but to bath, drink and wash food such as fruits and vegetables all with the one water supply.
These situations increase the exposure of infectious diseases (Gelid, 2005). The global increase of food costs also lead to unhealthy nutritional status. There is evidence to suggest that those with low income can no longer buy quality products eating to household restrictions, affecting the country economy as well (Bloom, Brinkman, De Pee, Sandhog, & Suburban, 2010). As discussed poor countries have a predominance of infectious diseases from reasons such as lack of education or financially unable to afford better-quality health care.
These reasons are opposed to the predominance of disease in wealthier countries that have been found to be lifestyle-related based due to personal choice, individual behavior and increased access to fast food, tobacco and alcohol in wealthier countries also increases the chances of these diseases (Cutler & Leers-Money, 2012). Wealthy counties have shown to be dominated by lifestyle-related diseases and very rarely having outbreaks of infectious diseases (Cutler & Leers-Money, 2012).
Health-related behaviors prone to produce lifestyle-related diseases can include the overcompensation of alcohol intake, smoking, unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity (Adam et al. , 2011). By acting upon these behaviors, the individual is exposing themselves to cardiovascular diseases and various types of cancers such as lung and liver, only to has led to a high percentage of skin cancer, as people do not take sun protection into inconsideration when doing so (Turrets et al. , 2006). It is important to note that not only does health inequality exist from country to country, but within country ethnicity groups as well (Healed, 2004).
Health inequality within Australia is evident with Indigenous Australians who have shown a lower level of good health and access to appropriate health care treatment than non-indigenous Australians (Healed, 2004). Step Five: To sum up, this essay has provided me with the graduate attribute of thinking critically and reflectively. It is essential for all students to develop this particular skill, to only for university purposes but also to use throughout their future careers. This essay has allowed me to reflect on past experiences and evaluate health inequality between wealthy and poor countries.
From this, I was able to think critically for reasons on this such as economy and educational level found within undeveloped countries and lifestyle choices within wealthier countries. Developing this skill has made me conclude that health inequality does not only exist within a country as a whole, but can occur within country regions as well. Additionally, I was able to not only reflect and think about my own perspective based n my living conditions, but the need to step outside of one’s shoes to see how others in undeveloped countries experience health inequality.