In many parts of the world, healthcare is not free nor is it cheap, placing huge financial stress on families who may already live under the poverty line. Potential job losses and/or time off work due to illness or injury add to monetary burdens and have an adverse affect on economic development while children who lose their parents to infectious diseases face an increased risk of being exploited. In poor countries, many people do not have access to health services of any kind. (The box below explains one reason why this problem has become worse in recent years.) And because of discrimination against women, the little money that does exist will probably not be spent on women’s health needs.
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In short, poverty is instrumental in cultivating conditions that allow disease to spread. In turn, infectious diseases exacerbate certain factors that contribute to poverty.
Over 90 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are located in developing countries. Despite this, the link between HIV/AIDS and poverty is not as clear as with other diseases. One study found that in sub-Saharan Africa, wealthier people might be more at risk of infection than poorer people due, in part, to increased wealth leading to higher rates of mobility.
So a woman may not be able to get good care even if she can afford to pay for it. Some reproductive health services may be provided, but to meet all of her health needs, she would have to travel to the capital city or perhaps even leave her country. Mira and her family were poor, so she was forced to marry and start having sex when she was very young. She had no control over when and how many children to have, or over her husband’s relationships with other women.
Infectious and neglected tropical diseases kill and weaken millions of the poorest and most vulnerable people each year. On the other hand, health inequity is the pattern of systematic, unjust differences in the distribution of illness and disease based on race, gender, class and other differences. Research shows that social injustices such as community decay, exposure to environmental hazards, job insecurity, lack of affordable housing, low wages and food insecurity impact disease and mortality rates. In other words, inequity makes us sick and impacts the distribution of disease, illness and wellbeing based on differences. In addition to the institutional and systemic examples of inequity already mentioned, human interactions grounded in prejudice and racism can also impact health.
- Health care inequality is when one group of people in an economy is in much worse health than another group.
- Research has found that the higher your income, the better your health.
- In the United States, health inequality is correlated with income inequality.
According to Doak Bloss, health equity and social justice coordinator of the Ingham County Health Department , health equity is the fair, just distribution of the opportunities and resources needed to obtain wellbeing. Sometimes called the social determinants of health, these include access to safe and affordable housing, quality education, a living wage, healthy and affordable food, transportation, social connection, safe communities and other factors. More than 40 million people across the globe are infected with HIV/AIDS.
The team focuses on what is most important to the person in our care and what is most concerning to them about their health. Since 2014, the team has helped over 1000 people in Hamilton to improve their quality of life and in doing so reduced their cumulative emergency department visits by 40 per cent. The causes of poor health for millions globally are rooted in political, social and economic injustices.
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For example, several studies link racism experienced by women of color to maternal and child health outcomes including very low birth weight babies and preterm infants. In order to address underlying root causes of disparities in infant mortality and other health issues, such as diabetes and obesity, it’s important to understand the concept of health equity.
Her family’s poverty meant that she suffered from poor nutrition her whole life, which weakened her body and left her more at risk for disease. Some reproductive health services may be provided, but to meet all of her health needs, she will probably have to travel to the capital city or perhaps even leave her country. In many parts of the world, a third arthritis to half of young women become mothers before they are 20 years old. Withoutfamily planning, many of these women will not have time to get strong again between births.