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Indicators of health paper - Coursework Example

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Indicators of health paper

An analysis of certain indicators of health and evaluation of the determinants of health is done in this essay to ascertain the cause of poor health in the country. Indicators of health The indicators of health which can be compared and evaluated are death rate, infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate. According to statistics of Haiti, in the year 2009, the death rate is 8.65 per 1000, infant mortality rate is 59.69 per 1000 live births and maternal mortality ratio, as determined in the year 2005 is 670 per 100,000 deliveries (Global Health Facts, 2010). In the United States, according to the 2009 statistics, the death rate is 8.38, the infant mortality rate is 6.25 per 1000 live births and the maternal mortality rate according to 2005 statistics was 11, per 100,000 deliveries (Global Health Facts, 2010). On comparing all the 3 indicators, it is evident that despite similar death rates in both the countries, the infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate are very high in Haiti when compared to the US. Determinants of health Key determinants of health in Haiti are poverty, illiteracy, environmental factors like calamities and political factors like violence. During its creation, the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948 defined health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Critics argued the completeness of this definition and in 1986, in the Ottawa Charter for health Promotion, the WHO modified the definition of health and defined it as "a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities." Even this definition has not been accepted completely and thus several models of health have come up in an aim to provide complete definition of health. Health is determined by an interplay of several factors which are known as health determinants. The main determinants of health are social factors, environmental factors, physical environment and; various behaviors and characteristics of the individual. While some of these determinants are in the control of the individual, many factors are beyond the scope of direct control of the individual. These factors contribute to health inequalities in a society. Some such factors include social status and income, education status, physical environment of the individual at home and work place, "social support networks", individual genetics, accessibility to various health services and gender (WHO, 2010). Higher the income, higher is the health status of an individual. Thus, poverty is a major contributor for health inequality. Individuals with lower education levels have poorer health status, lower levels of self esteem and decreased self confidence when compared to those with higher education status. Physical environment constitutes of clean and safe air, water, environment and food at home and workplace. Those who have better support form friends, family member and various community groups enjoy better health than those who do not have established social networks. Genetics often influences health -related behaviours like smoking, alcohol, coping skills and balanced intake of food and thus indirectly influences health of an individual (WHO, 2010). Public health researchers have identified social determinants as the main cause for health inequa ...Show more

Summary

Health Indicators and Health Determinants of Haiti Introduction Haiti is a Carribean country that occupies the Western portion of the Hispaniola island. It is an under-developed country. Though it is the first independent nation of Latin America, it is the poorest country of the Americas (World Fact Book, 2010)…
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