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Understanding the social determinants of health

Understanding the social determinants of health. Health is not only about eating healthy food; it is also about the surroundings, including social and political circumstances that affect our health conditions. The public policies made by the government also make a big difference because they ensure the availability of resources to us. For good health, we need a good society, ample greenery, reach to better health services, etc. All these things are the elements of social determinants because we all live in a society and consume the opportunities collectively. In the absence of favorable circumstances, health is the first aspect to get affected, and this where we feel the need to pay attention to the social determinants. So, Let’s move to Understanding the social determinants of health.

Understanding the social determinants of health

Social determinants of health – Meaning

Social determinants of health are the socio-economic conditions of the people.  It is about the place where people born, live, grow, work and get old. The mix of social structure and economic structure makes these determinants, including education level, discrimination, marital status, income, etc.

The major social determinants of health

We can make a long list of the determinants, but the major ones dominate to impact our health, and we should know how they work.

  • Access to decent quality health services – Health services of acceptable quality are necessary to ensure the better physical well-being of the people in the society. Whether it is about the availability of hospitals for pregnant women or about the advanced medical science presence to treat serious diseases, people should have due facilities. Health services should also be affordable. Today, a considerable part of the world population is devoid of even the basic facilities of medical. The widespread access to support without inequality is the evident solution.

Major Global health issues of 2021 identified by the World Health Organisation (W.H.O)  

  1. Building global solidarity for worldwide health safety
  2. Give speed to covid-19 tests, vaccines, and medicines
  3. Tackling health inequalities efficiently
  4. Better planning to tackle communication diseases
  5. Assurance of advanced health facilities for all
  6. Act in solidarity against global health issues
  7. Build back a better, greener world after corona
  8. Treat and prevent NCDs and mental health issues
  9. Combat drug resistance with immediate action
  10. Improvement in child and women health services

Income is a direct factor to affect health

Of course, income right away affects our health conditions. Those who earn more have faster and easier access to health services and have more spare money to keep safe for medical emergencies. They can take more expensive health insurance plans and can also eat healthier food. They can borrow instant funds through medical loans with strong repaying capacity. But if a poor wants to get medical loans in Ireland for an emergency, can he do that with a weak financial capacity? Perhaps no. The other side is that people with low wages have restricted health facilities because they cannot afford them.

  • Children from low-income families are usually more prone to health issues, especially a weak immunity system. The lack of nutrition in daily life keeps them away from a healthy, happy life.
  • The stress level of high-income people is low. In fact, they are never under stress about materialistic needs. They have ample resources that ensure better health and medical services. It naturally reduces or removes the strain from life.
  • Less income also makes the families easy prey to the debt trap because they usually miss managing the proper ratio of 60:40 in income and expenses. Their credit score gets poor, and good health insurance policies. They have to depend on options like bad credit loans in Ireland to struggle with their medical expenses.

Food security  

Food security is about the access of all people to access a sufficient amount of nutritious food without discrimination in society. For a healthy and active life, nutritious food is the first requirement because to live in this world. We need a happy, fit body.

  • Through public-oriented government health policies, it is possible to improve the conditions. The worldwide issues of food insecurity can be tackled only with due attention by the local and national government efforts. Also, it is required to take this issue to the international platform and deal with the things collectively.
  • Eating ample is not sufficient. Eating healthy food is essential. Eating a specific type of food with less nutrition does not solve the purpose, even if it is in an adequate amount. The current chaos of corona has put many lives in danger because those who cannot eat healthily become prone to corona.
  • It is also necessary to remove corruption from the system that obstructs the smooth delivery of food to the less developed parts of the world. People starving from food should have assured access to food without any delay because it helps them live.

Education and literacy status

Understanding the social determinants of health, education, and literacy is a more important factor. The growth of human civilization started with the help of education only. We kept learning new things, which enhanced our lifestyle and taught us how to live a healthier life. It was only the magic of education that turned the Stone Age man into a decent urban human.  But unfortunately, that education could not teach us the lesson of equality. The parts of society that remained devoid of proper education could not connect to the mainstream of development. Unfortunately, even in the modern era, we have many people who are not adequately educated to survive in this materialistic world.

  • Lack of education keeps away from good job opportunities, which causes a lack of money. With a small income, they can’t manage even their basic expenses. With such conditions, it is even impossible to think about a plate full of nutritious food that can be expensive.
  • Literacy is the bigger picture, and education is the smaller element. Lack of education also becomes the reason for lack of literacy. The less or no understanding of a healthy lifestyle keeps people devoid of knowing what is good and what is bad for them. They do not understand the importance of vaccines, hygiene, delivery in hospitals, etc.
  • It is not possible to make wise health-related decisions without proper education. One cannot find suitable sources of medical facilities, which ultimately causes the risk to physical and mental well-being. Post-secondary education has become necessary nowadays to achieve better jobs and earn better to follow a prosperous lifestyle.

See also, 7 most effective ways to boost immunity

Employment opportunities

The opportunity to do a job that earns you an ample amount of money to have a stable income and feed all the needs is the need of the era. The old era of limited hours of the job with fewer desires and options is over now. The planet today has a globalized human civilization, which presents extreme competition and challenges for humans. Whether it is about an individual or a business organization, one has to work hard to survive in the world.

  • In every country, some parts are more enriched in employment possibilities, and some have fewer opportunities. Those on the latter side have to struggle a lot. Without a job or without a good job, one cannot manage even the basic needs of life. There are many things to do to live with peace of mind. Good education, shelter, food, etc. but without proper job chances, is that possible? No, it is not.
  • Less-educated families have weaker access to respectable jobs, and not everyone can do business, and for that too, one needs to be literate. The need is to make collective efforts to spread education without any equality. Without the proper knowledge, one cannot work in the desired manner. Education teaches us how this world works and introduces new advancements.
  • Everything that leads us to a happier YOU comes to us through education because we get to know about everything only through proper academic qualification. The vocational skills are there to enhance the competency and get high-paid jobs. Most important is getting access to an education system because not all of us are fortunate enough to have this education.

Homelessness and lack of suitable neighborhood

It is a matter of shame for us that we still have homeless people even after so much development.  The recent corona that turned the international economy upside down has made this problem severe. According to estimation, more than 120 million people across the world are homeless. Isn’t that a cause of shame for us all? Certainly, it is.

  • All over the world, affordable housing projects take shape to help people with a low income buy their homes and have a shelter where they can feel protected. The government schemes such as help-to-buy offer significant support to the people for a better status.
  • Those who own their homes have issues with their surroundings. The polluted atmosphere, poor road conditions, improper supply of electricity, poor water supply, etc., are some of the common issues for many people.
  • Homelessness can result from poor public policies. The need is to change the bigger picture and spread the opportunities equally to all. The housing policies need to more flexible and affordable. If not this, the employment chances should be brighter because all social determinants are interrelated, and they all have to work together to create a better place to live.

Why is it necessary to work on social determinants?

We, humans, are social animals; we stay together in a society and affect each other. Our dependence on collective development restricts us in certain circumstances. It becomes necessary to work on social determinants due to some reasons.

  • Mutual dependence to grow – We can’t develop individually because humans have to depend on other humans in some or another way. For example – we cannot produce all crops, for water supply, we cannot dig the grounds on our own, for electricity, we cannot do the wiring on our own. Imagine you need finance for you for an urgent financial need, but for that, a lender or a bank is required. You cannot generally help yourself. Similarly, in the case of health facilities, collective social efforts are needed.
  • Equality is necessary to stay healthy – Society is divided into varied classes, but unfortunately, all the classes do not get equal opportunities. To attain equality in society and spread good health opportunities to all, it is essential to work on social determinants. The absence of equal distribution of resources creates frustration and poverty in society, which is not the right path to attain better health. With even the spread of progress, we can realize the dream of a happy and healthy civilized society.
  • To invent better medical opportunities – It is not about the problem of a particular class of society. If a problem exists in one part of the world, it can quickly spread to the other. Do we need to take any other example than the recent incidents of corona chaos? It started spreading in Italy, but in a few days and months, the whole planet was under its effect. The countries worked collectively to find out suitable medicine. We have a vaccine today, and the nations are providing it to their citizens. People from all directions can realize the importance of working on the social determinants of health. We all are in the same boat because there is so much to do on the aspect of health.

The above social determinants of health apply to every human on the planet. There is so much to do in every aspect because it is a big war against all the adversities. The horrifying result of not paying attention at the right time can be monstrous. Before we take our bigger home, earth, to a pathetic stage for health, it is better to handle things at the right time. The efforts on all the above aspects are always ‘ON’. But as compared to the population, which is increasing every day, we need to move faster.

Description: Understand the social determinants of health and how they work for the significance of the people to make the earth a better place to live.

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Dinesh Gamagehttps://seekers-zone.com
Scientist | Designer | Developer | Blogger
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