I’m trying to study for my Health & Medical course and I need some help to understand this question.
Read “Social Determinants of Health Inequalities” by Marmot, 2005, located in the Reading & Study folder for this module/week. Discuss the following points in your thread. Review the Discussion Board Instructions before posting your thread.
- Marmot uses the more European term “health inequalities,” while most American authorities prefer “health disparities” when referring to the large differences of health status between different social groups. Discuss 3 reasons for these inequalities/disparities and what can be done to address them.
- According to a recent US Census Bureau report, over 1 in 5 American children live in poverty, and the rate is increasing. Discuss factors contributing to childhood poverty in America. Who is responsible? Offer realistic suggestions to turn this problem around.
- The poorest countries typically have the worst health. Explain the apparent paradox that China exhibits by having relatively good health despite low incomes of its people. By comparison, Russia is more typical in having lower incomes and relatively poorer health.
- The gospel of Mark records a story of Jesus’ disciples criticizing a woman for what they claimed was a misuse of resources (Mark 12:1–10). In his rebuke to them Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me (14:7).” Propose a solution to the age-old problem of balancing the internal administrative needs of the church with its obligation to help those in need. How much should the church help the poor in society?
Your thread is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, and your replies are due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.
Also answer replies:
One reason for health disparity is major diseases (infectious and chronic diseases). If we can put in more effort into the control of major diseases that kill and improve health systems we can address health disparity.1 If we improve access to vaccinations and contraceptives, facilitate screening, counseling and education of those at risk of infection, increase health education and awareness on healthy behaviors to control chronic diseases, we can reduce inequalities. Another reason for health disparity is poverty. We can deal with poverty through creating and improving access to jobs, empowering people living in poverty, removing barriers to equal access to resources and services, providing people with access to basic social services, etc. Finally, social determinants are at the root of much of these inequalities in health. Taking action on the social determinants of health can address health disparities.1 Each of the five key determinants have barriers and identifying and addressing these barriers could reduce inequalities.
Childhood poverty is one of America’s pressing social problems. The rate of child poverty in America is higher than most similarly developed countries.2 There are dramatic disparities in child poverty rates by race/ethnicity. Changes over time in economy, public policy and institutional practice is associated with higher levels of child poverty among, black, American Indian, and Hispanic children.2 Immigrant status is also closely associated with poverty. Immigrant children are likely to experience poverty relative to children whose parents were born in the US. The place a child lives also puts them at a greater risk of growing up poor. Children living in rural areas with economic changes that result in less stable and lower paying jobs are more likely to be poor.2 Some suggestions to turning poverty around would be ensuring children’s basic needs are met through increasing investments in housing assistance for poor families, increasing employment opportunities, and making sure that children have access to affordable health-care and high-quality early development and learning opportunities.
Poverty is a major determinant that influences health; however, it is not the only factor that contributes to the poor health of a population. According to Marmot, “Income poverty provides, at best, an incomplete explanation of differences in mortality among countries or among subgroups within countries”.1 The health of Chinese people have increased significantly and this has largely been a result of well-targeted public health campaigns that reduced infant and child mortality and communicable disease and improved economic conditions impacting nutrition, education and distribution of health services.3
I believe in helping if you can. If the church has the opportunity and means to help the poor, then they should do that. The church could hire the poor to complete the internal administrative needs. There are other ways the church could help the poor without breaking the bank. Churches can encourage their members to donate food items, clothes, essential items like toilet paper, pads and tampons, blankets, etc. They could also encourage members to go into the community, meet with the poor and help in any way they can.
- Marmot M. Social determinants of health inequalities. Lancet (London, England). 2005;365(9464):1099-1104. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mnh&AN=15781105&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed August 27, 2019.
- McCarty AT. Child Poverty in the United States: A Tale of Devastation and the Promise of Hope. Sociol Compass. 2016;10(7):623–639. doi:10.1111/soc4.12386.Accessed August 27, 2019.
- World Health Organization. China-WHO: Country Cooperation Strategy 2016-2020. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/206614/WPRO_2016_DPM_003_eng.pdf;jsessionid=52D048ED9AA160AD776A3E7D49B85C9D?sequence=1 Accessed August 27, 2019.
To understand the reasons for health disparities, we must understand what health disparities are. “Health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health…”.1 Health disparities are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations1 and are directly related to historical and current unequal distribution of resources.1 One reason behind health inequalities/disparities is due to major diseases that cause death.2 To positively address this disparity would be to improve health systems, educate regarding preventative care and providing better access to health care. Another reason for health disparity is poverty. The best way for poverty to be addressed and corrected is by creating more opportunity for jobs and increasing wages. Barriers, or various social determinants of health, are also a large factor when it comes to differences in health status among social groups. Identifying these barriers can greatly enhance understanding of factors that influence health behavior.3 This could take place when patients are admitted in the hospital. There, social workers and case managers can assist patients by helping them apply for Medicaid/Medicare, providing information on the local community service board for behavioral health resources and connect the patient with local transportation resources.
Childhood poverty starts in the home and family plays a powerful role in shaping the lives of children.4 I believe the largest contributing factor to childhood poverty is family economic hardship.5 Children in low-income families have shown delays in cognitive and behavioral development, as compared to children of higher income families.5 Another contributing factor is an increasing portion of American children who are being raised in single-parent families.4 Children living in these unfavorable environments are at an additional risk of dropping out of high school,4 which also contributes to childhood poverty. It is hard to say who is responsible for childhood poverty because the family may have no choice but to live in their current circumstances. My suggestion is to continue to engage with children by providing additional school programs to further their knowledge in basic life skills such as home economics, learning to create a budget, computer gaming, etc. By making programs actively appealing to students will hopefully help them want to stay in school!
The health of a population is a measure of whether the population is benefiting as a result of a set of social arrangements.2 Even though having lower incomes in their population, China’s population overall has good health, which is largely in part due to their social arrangements. Poor health is not only attributed to poor populations.2 There are other social factors that would contribute to the poor health of the population. Lower income countries, like Russia, suffer from increasing health disparities that contribute to their poor health.
The church could help those who are poor by employing them to help with the internal needs of the church. For example, the church offices and facilities would need to be cleaned weekly in preparation for congregation to meet. This is a task that the church could employ someone who needs money and in turn, the person would be able to provide for their family and perhaps be positively influenced by church members.
- Health disparities. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/disparities/index…
- Ozdemir S, Johnson FR, Whittington D. Process, ideology, and willingness to pay for reducing childhood poverty. Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis. 2016;7(3):373-399. doi:10.1017/bca.2016.17.
- DiClemente RJ, Salazar LF, Crosby RA. Health Behavior Theory for Public Health: Principles foundations, and applications. 2nd ed. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2019.
- Heckman J, LaFontaine P. The American high school graduation rate: Trends and levels. The Review of Economics and Statistics. 2010;32(2):244-262. doi:10.3386/w13670.
- Robbins T, Stagman S, Smith S. Young children at risk: National and state prevalence of risk factors. National Center for Children in Poverty.http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_1073.html. Published October 2012.