Health: Obstacles to improving and maintaining a society’s health

Address the following based on the Instructor Insights, lecture, and Webtext materials:

  • Sanitation is a critical component to maintaining the health of a population. In many countries sanitation is poorly functional or even nonexistent. In Medieval Europe, poor sanitation often resulted in massive plagues and death of large portions of the population. As sanitation and hygiene improved, so too did the health of the population. Sanitation and hygiene are the first steps to improving the health of a population.
  • Sometimes, the culture of a population may hinder a country’s ability to improve the health of the people. For example, it is not uncommon in some countries to allow open littering in the streets, animals from roaming freely, or even to drink from the same water as sewage. Other cultures believe it against the cultural norm to harm animals, thus leaving large groups of diseased animals to freely roam the streets and come in contact with humans. Some cultures even out rightly refuse to permit immunizations from even the most basic diseases. These are cultural aspects that affect a society’s overall health.
  • In other areas of the world, the capabilities of the health system form the second steps needed for improving the health of a population. Naturally, not all areas of the developing or underdeveloped world have access to modern medicine. Some countries have better medical technology than others.
  • In developed countries we see a problem with the existence of modern medical technology, but people are denied access to that technology because the centralized government health system considers the treatment too costly for the small benefit it sees as a result of that modern treatment. Thus, many people who have access to “free” government care seek treatment in the United States.

Consider the following when crafting your response:

–  Outline the most significant obstacles to obtaining better sanitation and hygiene, and thus improved health, in developing countries?

–  What are some cultural issues associated with poor sanitation or hygiene (i.e., animals on the street, how other countries view trash and littering on the streets, etc.)?

–  Where (realistically) can the money come from to pay for improved sanitation, hygiene, and health in developing countries?

–  What are some cultural aspects regarding health the hinder a country’s development or hold people back from improving health?

–  How does the Brain Drain discussed in Week 6 affect the availability of trained medical professionals in a developing country?