Health and Disease in the Developing World

Health and Disease in the Developing World

Paul Rose

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Health and Disease in the Developing World

The nature of health in people living in developing areas is poorer than in any other setting. In low-income urban minority neighborhoods, health is poorer than in other American neighborhoods. They are faced with more health hazards than the middle income and rich people being at a higher risk to get chronic diseases than those who are financially more able (Lillie-Blanton, Martinez, Lyons & Rowland, 1999). This is because of various contributing factors. One of the factors is the increased stress levels, which may be because of low incomes and large families for which to provide. The poor cannot afford healthcare insurance or to take their elderly to homes hence they are faced with the task of looking after them. Minority groups that live in these areas constantly face discrimination and racism, with a society that accepts that the minority groups do not deserve an equal opportunity. This is demeaning and results in stress with children growing in these areas having personality complexes, which would explain the high level of gangs and violence.

The other factor that is attached to the increased health issues is poor diet that is attached to their low-income level (Ross, 2010). Fast foods and other unhealthy diets are cheaper and more readily available than healthy diets hence the poor minority find them affordable. The neighborhoods have fewer parks that tend to be dangerous making exercising an almost impossible task to perform. These areas have fewer healthcare provision centers that tend to be overcrowded making the doctors overwhelmed (Lillie-Blanton, Martinez, Lyons & Rowland, 1999). Most health risks in developing areas are unanimous although there are those that differ mainly being as an effect of the diet of the people in that area. Therefore, the health state in Haiti is likely to have its similarities to that of the poor minority neighborhoods. Hence, based on the two settings, the similarities in health issues will be identified and ways to dealing with these problems identified, focusing in the most effective methods to ensure that these health issues are identified and addressed.

Similarities and differences expected in healthcare for poor urban minority background and the Haiti background.

In most developing areas, the nature of problems faced is almost similar, as the driving force of these problems is the lack of finances. This will result to stress and these factors combined with poor diet will weaken the immune system making the person prone to falling ill, both less serious and life threatening illnesses. Two similarities that are expected in the nature of health between the Haitians, and the inhabitants of poor minority neighborhoods are their vulnerability to getting sick and their inability to access healthcare.

The main sources of their vulnerability that are expected are poverty and lower education levels as compared to the less vulnerable in terms of health care. Poverty being high among the inhabitants of Port au Prince is likely to be a significant contributing factor, as this will affect their dieting habits and their ability to access health care (Ross, 2010). This will result in their inability to identify sickness at an early stage or even to access timely treatment, which could worsen the situation. Less education acquirement could result in fewer chances to get employment, and a contributing factor to poverty hence these two factors are intertwined.

One difference that is expected in the Haiti situation from that of the poor backgrounds in the States is that health care provision is more advanced in the States than in Haiti. Hence, the hospitals in the States will be more equipped to handle chronic diseases and more complex health issues than the hospitals in Haiti. This is because, in terms of hospital funding, the hospitals in the poor urban minority neighborhoods will have better funding than hospitals in Haiti. Therefore, even though they will be serving a high number of patients they will be better positioned to taking care of the patients than the Haitian hospitals. This will make them better positioned to acquire the resources needed to handle situations arising due to these illnesses.

The best ways of dealing with the health problems identified

With the major similarity in problems identified being their vulnerability to getting sick and their inability to access healthcare due to higher poverty levels, the solutions will have to be directed to focus primarily on these major setbacks in healthcare (Swartz, 2006). Most people living in these areas have fewer opportunities to accessing quality healthcare, and this is caused by the high levels of poverty. Hence, to solve this problem, a solution will have to be aimed at the main cause, the problem of poverty. Some of the causes of poverty are the low education levels that the inhabitants have hence hindered them from acquiring decent paying jobs.

One of the reasons of the level of education that minorities acquire is the nature of their neighborhoods. There is a lot of insecurity, and negative attitude from the society directed towards them and this if impacted in them from a tender age will affect their outlook on life (Lillie-Blanton, Martinez, Lyons & Rowland, 1999). Hence, it lowers their esteem and affecting their mental development making them less able to grasp education, which will result in high levels of dropping out of school. This in turn results, in involvement in vices creating a social stigma towards them, hence with the low confidence towards them, and the lower education levels, it becomes difficult for them to acquire jobs. Without income, maintaining a good diet that will help in strengthening the body’s immune system becomes impossible and so does acquiring healthcare.

One way in which this trend can be curbed is by creation of awareness in the society on the effects of discrimination. Discrimination is one of the major setbacks of progress in minority groups as it affects their self-esteem resulting in stress and poor performance. Hence, by fighting against discrimination and encouraging others to adapt an attitude of acceptance of every person as equal, health related issues will eventually be fought. This can be done by approaching the government to negotiate creation of laws that discourage discrimination and encourage respect of every person.

A step can also be made to emphasize on improvement of education facilities in minority areas and Port au Prince, in Haiti. Through improvement of education facilities, better education can be provided where there can be incorporation of health studies and guidance and counseling programs to help in improving minorities’ outlook on themselves (Ross, 2010). In lessons on health, the minority should also be taught the importance of family planning hence enable them to make informed decisions and having sizeable families that they will be capable of catering. The residents should also be taught on ways that they could make money at a young age hence making them self employed. This will teach them to be self reliant, a mentality that will see a great improvement in aid dependence hence profoundly influencing their esteem in the positive direction.

The other step that can significantly improve the health state of the residents is by taking measures aimed at eradication of poverty. This can be by indiscriminately providing job opportunities and better housing projects by the government that will significantly reduce the occurrence of diseases such as asthma. The inhabitants of these places should be given equal chances of employment, as this will enable them to afford healthy balanced diets and healthcare, where they can invest in health insurance for themselves and their families (Swartz, 2006). Funds should be injected into projects that aim to improve cheap and affordable healthcare provision.

Reasons as to why these are the two best ways to tackle health issues in this societies

For a complete solution to a problem to be implemented, the cause of the problem has to be identified. Hence, the cause in health problems having been identified as low education levels, and lack of finances these solutions will provide the most effective and permanent solution that will result in improved health for the entire neighborhood in general. By improving the education levels of the people in this region, this will increase their competence level in the job market making them more likely to be considered for job opportunities (Ross, 2010). This will result in improved income levels, which will then make them able to afford healthy diets and healthcare related services. Hence, they will be able to avoid diet related illnesses and lead healthier lifestyles. They will also afford better housing that will also be vital in avoiding illnesses, such as asthma, that may be because of living in damp and stuffy surroundings. Getting a place to work will make them more active, this will improve both their physical and mental health, and will eventually result in improved emotional health, as well.

The other solution identified was by taking measures aimed at eradicating poverty such as indiscriminate job provision. This will result in reduction of the stigma and discrimination against the minority groups a step that will lead to the creation of better relations between different races. This is important, as it is a step towards the creation of excellent, emotional health and reduced stress. This will in turn lead to a significant reduction of illnesses and overall improved health.

Side note

Yes, the suggestions were immensely helpful especially in the arrangement of my work. They enabled me to arrange my work systematically, and to relay my ideas in systematic flow. I suggested to my partner how to identify the relevant ideas in relation to the main topic and how to discuss the information gathered clearly, in relation to the discussion topic.


Lillie-Blanton, M., Martinez, R. M., Lyons, B. & Rowland, D. (1999). Access to Health Care: Promises and Prospects for Low-Income Americans. Washington, DC. Print.

Ross, C. (2010). Background on Haiti & Haitian Health Culture. Cook Ross Inc. Journal.

Swartz, K. (2006). Reinsuring Health: Why More Middle-Class People Are Uninsured and What Government Can Do. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Print.

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