Vulnerable Populations

According to the content of the recent article presented in the Breeze Newspaper, “Obesity: Another higher risk for at-risk children “, I would define the vulnerable populations as any group of individuals who are predisposed to various forms of harm or risk by the prevailing conditions in their daily lives.  The vulnerable populations succumb to various health, emotional, and social issues such as discrimination and neglect. In another perspective, I see the vulnerable populations as individuals whose social well being is either neglected or undermined in the society. The vulnerable populations do not get all the services they need in their respective societies.

As depicted in the article, the vulnerable populations include the foster children, the abused and the neglected children because these groups of children stand higher chances of being bypassed considering that they receive child welfare services in their homes.  Obesity in these children is a predisposition factor to chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and terminal cancer at adulthood.  Similarly, the obese children are more susceptible to diabetes, sleep apnea and fatty liver disease. Obesity remarkably renders the clinical treatment of asthma and other similar conditions very difficult. In general, obese children constitute another vulnerable population altogether.

There are several barriers that may prevent these groups of the vulnerable populations from getting the services they need in their daily lives. The most important of all is the mere fact that they are neglected by everyone, including their own parents, in the communities where they live. As a result of this negligence, the parents, guardians and care takers have very little or no time to spend with these children. Fully aware that the specialized needs of the vulnerable populations are multiple and demanding in nature, no one can easily notice them in their respective families or residential homes unless they regularly devote much time to their gentle care.

Secondly, these vulnerable populations are voiceless in many societies because they are often marginalized in the societies across the world. As such, their interests and needs are hardly represented in the major decision making bodies of the Congress and National Councils that are charged with the responsibility of allocating funds and other public resources for various purposes in the civil society. In addition, lack of public awareness on the needs and the rights of the vulnerable populations aggravate this kind of a situation. Worse still, most of the people discriminate against the obese deliberately in spite of the created health issue awareness. This leads to a perpetual neglect of the vulnerable in the society and the biggest stumbling block to the fulfillment of the services the vulnerable populations need in the society. 

In the course of my interactions with the vulnerable groups in the real life situation, I have garnered enough experience with the individual members. The vulnerable groups face a lot of challenges in the society since they are predisposed to numerous health and emotional issues. Besides getting overweight, the obese children suffer psychological trauma. They rarely engage their teasing peers in physical or sporting activities for the fear of any possible unpleasant repartee. In the nursing field, however, it is a common observation that an individual member of the vulnerable group suffers a multiple of blows in their health, emotional, and psychological well being.

It is a possibility that one vulnerable group member can simultaneously suffer from obese, psychological stigma, emotional breakdown, and later on develop cardiovascular complications and cancer (Schneiderman, 2008). In summary, there should be a concerted effort towards the attainment of a general welfare of the vulnerable groups in the public domain.

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