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Determinants of Health - Essay Example

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The life and progress of every community is greatly dependent on the health of its individuals.There has been tremendous advancement in the field of medicine and health for mankind recognizes health of people as the most basic necessity of a moving society…
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Determinants of Health Essay
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Determinants of Health

Download file to see previous pages... The life and progress of every community is greatly dependent on the health of its individuals.There has been tremendous advancement in the field of medicine and health for mankind recognizes health of people as the most basic necessity of a moving society. More recently, this has also pushed scientific attention to probe what are the underlying determinants of health in modern societies in the first place? Interestingly, quite significant sensitivity has been noted of health to the environment and to what are referred to as the social determinants of health (Whitehead 1992).This paper recognizes and discusses some powerful determinants of health functioning as important subsystems in our community. These include lifestyle of the individual, his living and working conditions, and the effects of unemployment, good food, transportation and use of drugs etc (WHO). These factors can be broadly characterized into two classes: personal i.e., pertaining to the individual human being, and environmental i.e., those coming from the surroundings at large. In what follows, the paper discusses some of these factors and throws light on their interrelation to the entire community and relevance to health and well-being. Social living conditions come first and foremost in determining health. Life expectancy is shorter and most diseases are more common as you move down the social ladder in each society (Morris 2000). Economic and social conditions characterized by poverty affect health throughout life. The lower end of the social hierarchy runs twice the risk of serious diseases and early deaths as compared to the top end (Bartley 2002). This can be both because of physical and/or psychological factors, for example, raising a very large family, having poor housing or lack of private assets. In addition, the greater the length of time spent in such conditions, the more adverse the effects. The negative impacts of these factors keep on concentrating over the same people overtime and the constant psychological and physical suffering gradually becomes a permanent fact of their lives, silently taking away good health from their lives for good (Barker, Osmond, Simmonds 1992). Of the other notable health determinants, working conditions is one of the most crucial ones. Having a job is better for health than having no job, but the nature of job, stress at work, the style of management and relationships at workplace all play important roles in shaping health. At the workplace, health problems vary from class to class. Higher social class experiences more psychological problems than physical while the opposite is true for the lower class. For the higher social class, factors such as having the right job, opportunity to practice your skillset and having enough authority determine mental satisfaction levels (Bosma 1998). The health problems arising from these factors include backache, head ache and cardiac diseases. On the other hand, the lower class has more to do with the physical demands of the job. They are mostly exposed to physical injuries and muscular problems. Research has also found “job Control” to be a paramount determinant of health at workplaces (Schnall et al 2000). Having little control lessens satisfaction levels and increases risk of health problems significantly. Conversely, people having more control over their work enjoy better health. On the more macro level, in societies, factors such as the government health policy, the prevailing unemployment situation, pollution conditions and transportation systems of the cities have been frequently recognized as determinants of health in literature. Regarding government’s role and policies, a lot has been said and written. Providing health facilities and ensuring a healthy living for every person is essentially a state’s responsibility. Even in the most affluent of countries, there are significant issues regarding health that go up and are debated at the policy making level in the government. Moreover, the country wide movements organized ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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