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Transportation: A Determinant of Health University Transportation: A Determinant of Health Determinants of health are the internal and external factors that affect the health condition of a person or a population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2012), the determinants of health include the social and economic environment like the income, social status and social support; the physical environment that includes the health services, transportation, urbanization, and working conditions; and the person’s individual behavior and characteristics taking account of genetics, gender and educational status…
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Download file to see previous pages Transport and its Effects on Health Transport in all forms is a crucial part of people’s daily lives. Walking, cycling, riding a car, buss, train or any other private and public transport vehicle has become an integral part because it aids people to reach their desired destination and execute daily tasks of equal importance for living. Transport as part of the physical environmental determinant of health is in itself a compound subject with multiple health impacts that needed more evaluative studies. Global Condition In its effort to promote healthy transport choice the World Health Organization has identified global positive and negative effects of transportation. Clearly transportation helps increase access to medical and social services as well as personal needs such as employment, shops and market. It has also improved health from active transport such as walking and cycling and has been contributing to “economic development and recreational uses of road spaces” (WHO, 2012). On the other hand, transportation is also known to have caused negative health impacts such as noise pollution, injuries and fatalities due to vehicular accidents, cardiovascular ailments and visual impairments, land loss when converted to highway, air pollution from using fossil fuels, ozone depletion and climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions, psychosocial effects like community severance, and limitation of children’s movement due to big highways, and spread of vector borne diseases like mosquitoes known to transit with luggage, parcels and crates. Australia is known to have the second highest car ownership in the world with transport placing as the second highest item in household expenditure (Catford, 2003). Accordingly, 10% of Australians are subjected to noise pollution caused by traffic and about 40-49% of their motor vehicles are responsible for pollutant emissions that cause cardiovascular diseases to the people most notably the children (Catford, 2003). In the last 30 years in the country, the pedestrians and the cyclists are the most common victims of road fatalities in urban areas while vehicular accidents with death of drivers and passengers mostly occur in the rural areas. In Asia, there is a high probability that air pollution will increase in the next three decades due to rapid urbanization and various levels of economic development. Burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas for power generation, industrial processes, domestic heating and motor vehicles is the main cause of urban air pollution (Haq et al., 2002). In Bangkok alone, studies have shown that its residents are harmfully affected by air pollution compared with citizens in Thailand. Bangkok residents are found to have varying degrees of respiratory diseases and throat irritation as high as 60% of its total population (Haq et al., 2003). National Condition According to the American Public Health Association (n.d.), obesity is one of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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