Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health are the social and economic conditions and how they are distributed among people and how they influence their health status. They are factors found in individuals living and working conditions which promote health. Distribution of these social determinants is determined by civic policies which show the current political ideologies of the governing authority. There are resources that enhance the quality of life and they have a great impact on the peoples health outcome. These resources include; education, safety, good health services, good food and a clean environment free of pollution. There are various determinants of health and if they are not addressed well they can make the health of the people to deteriorate more.

 
 

Education

Education is one of the socio-economic factors that affect the health of the individuals. It affects our incomes, our homes and the lives our children live. Education attained can determine the lifespan of an individual. Children who get early childhood education at the age of four have good health than those who have not attended school. The advantages they get by being in school include, low obesity because they play in school, low exposure to violence and they normally have less toxic stress. When kids go to school they are taught good healthy behaviors such as; hand washing, doing regular exercises and they can get the recommended vaccines in school.

Education is a vital establishment for a healthy life which increases the chances of being successful in life. It gives people an equal playing ground in life that helps them to overcome other social determinants which could threaten their lives in future. Education which is beyond school grades can also have great impacts on health. Education is a key pillar in getting a healthy society because individuals are able to take care of their health. In addition, people with education have the resource to support a healthy living.

Economic Stability

Economic Stability is about peoples ability to provide for themselves the required resources such as food, shelter, and healthcare. When people are poor it means that they can provide for their basic needs. They have low living standards which can make them vulnerable to health problems. People living in poverty also cannot access proper medical care when they are sick. When people are employed it means they can afford to pay for their basic needs and also they can afford to access medical care when they are sick. On the other hand, unemployed people cannot access basic human needs. They cannot feed themselves properly which can expose them to diseases related to diet. Generally, individuals who are unemployed have low living standards which can be a recipe for health problems.

Lack of food security is another social determinant of the health of the people. Enough food for the population is essential for a healthy society. Inadequate food in the region can cause health problems to people such as Kwashiorkor. It is a disorder which emanates from poor feeding especially for people experiencing famine. Food insecurity also can make people have deficiencies of essential food substrates which are important in the development of the body. People who are not economically stable normally cannot afford good houses. They sleep in shanties which can expose them to various health problems. They can be exposed to respiratory diseases to exposure to cold during the nights. Also, houses for poor people lack hygiene and proper sewage system that can expose them to dangerous diseases such as diarrhea.

Social and Community Context

Social and community context consist of a social environment where people live. Health outcomes of individuals can be affected by their social environment and their community where they come from. Some communities have cultures and behavior which impact negatively on the health of the people. The living in areas with poor neighborhoods are associated with poor health. So the social background of individuals can dictate their health outcomes. The social environment has different features which impact on the health of the people which include; discrimination, ethnicity, social cohesion and healthy behaviors. If an individual lives with smokers and drug addict it can be concluded that the person participates in the same habits. These habits can dictate individuals health outcomes.

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Neighborhood and Built Environment

It is widely accepted that doing exercise helps to manage weight and combat heart diseases which prolongs life expectancy among other benefits. However, neighborhoods can be a stumbling block to this remedy. Sometimes the terrain of an area may not be favorable for people to walk around and also security reasons may also prohibit outdoor exercise. Another reason is that there may be no public space for jogging or riding. This clearly shows how neighborhoods shape the lives of the people. Given that neighborhoods have impacts on health outcomes through resource deprivation, psychological factors and health behaviors it can cause ailments like cancer.

Neighborhoods play a very crucial role in the overall health of the people. For example, if people can live in places which are very safe, clean, space for exercise, with healthy foods and clean air people will be living a very healthy live. The built environment is made up of all resources in the surroundings which are man-made. They include structural features affecting locomotion and presence of resources that promote health. If the built environments are close to undesirable facilities such as liquor stores, they may influence the health behaviors of the individuals negatively. Such acquired behaviors may have devastating effects on the lives of the individuals.

Health and Health Care

The public health sector has grown over the years. This clearly shows that public health can address basic issues in health such as the social determinants of health. Availability of health care to many people will make many people stay healthy. If people cannot access health care easily, it means that they will live unhealthy lives. Due to this, the government should make health services accessible to all citizens in order to maintain a healthy nation. Health literacy is also very imported for individuals to remain healthy. People should know when to seek medical attention; some may just keep away from the hospital when they are sick thus making their health to deteriorate. Individuals should also know how to live healthy lives which is free from unhealthy behaviors. People should visit hospitals when they are sick in order to get the correct diagnosis and treatment.

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Conclusion

There are various determinants of health and if they are not addressed well they can make the health of the people to deteriorate more. Education is a vital foundation for healthy life which increases the chances of being successful in life. It gives people an equal playing ground in life that helps them to overcome other social determinants which could threaten their lives in future. Economic Stability is about peoples ability to provide for themselves the required resources such as food, shelter, and healthcare. Health outcomes of individuals can be affected by their social environment and their community where they come from. Neighborhoods play a very crucial role in the overall health of the people.

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