Essay On Upstream Approaches To Canadian Population Health
Upstream approaches in the health sector are intended to look into the root causes of a health problem. The method covers the social, environmental and economic status concerning health. These three factors may lead to health disparities. Health disparities refer to the differences experienced by persons because of biological and genetic factors and more often by unequal access to factors that affect the health such as education, income, employment and social supports. People belonging to different races, ethnic communities, sexual orientation and socioeconomic classes may have inequality in aces to treatment. One intervention, to treat these inequalities, is MHHDRE Act of 2000. This Act created the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities and authorized it to develop the NIHSP to look into health disparities.
An example of a health inequality is breast cancer among black women. While white women are more likely to develop breast cancer, the blacks are more likely to succumb to the same. The different social environments of the white and black woman could inform this disparity. The social environment may affect the person’s health by determining their ability to respond to environmental stimuli and change of psychological state. The socio-environmental condition may also influence mental states through the stigmatization it engenders (Smith, Smith, & Manuel, 2013).
Economic inequality also plays a significant role in contributing to health disparities. A high level of economic inequality leads to societal disintegration. Decline in health is one major arm of societal disintegration. When one looks at the infant mortality rate, a big role is played by economic status that influences pre-natal and antenatal care and access to health facilities (Leiyu & Douglas, 2011). The social status of individuals affects health by determining the control one has over circumstances and in the end their capacity to take necessary action.
Another approach is the Best Start: Community Action for Healthy Babies that is aimed at reducing the incidence of low birth weight. It is a provincially funded project and deals specifically with the poverty aspect causing illnesses in infants. According to the NCCHP Policy, health inequality cannot be healed unless the level of educational failure, unemployment, and housing standards are looked into (Raphael, 2008).
The root of health disparities is in the factors mentioned including economic, socio- environmental and educational sectors. The interventions and policies should focus on the local level (Rainer & Dennis, 2011). The regional governments have competencies in areas from which they can contribute positively to narrowing the gap caused by the socio-economic classes of different people.
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Leiyu, S., & Douglas, S. A. (2011). Non-Medical Interventions. In The Nation's Health (p. 706). New York: Jones & Barlett Leraning.
Rainer, R., & Dennis, R. (2011). Poverty in Canada; Implications for Health and Quality of Life. Ottawa: Canadian Scholars' Press.
Raphael, D. (2008). Poverty, Income Inequality and Health in Canada. New York: UBC Press.
Smith, B., Smith, P., & Manuel, D. (2013). Reducing Social Inequalities in Health. Epidemiology & Community Health, 23-29.