Public Health Essay on Poverty and Hunger in Kenya

Paper Type: 
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1731 Words
Date:  2021-03-25

Final Project Component 1: Introduction

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The public issue this paper aims to deal with is focus on poverty and hunger. Poverty and hunger are global phenomena that pose major public health concerns. These two are the leading causes of disease and death among people all over the world. Children are the most vulnerable population with regards to the effects of poverty and hunger. Accordingly, studies show that about 21% of the population in developing countries lives below the level of $1.25 a day. This is compared to 43% in 1990 alongside 52% in 1981. The poverty levels, despite reducing over the decades, are yet to reach milestones set by global prospects. Moreover, it is estimated that more than 1 billion people in the world live in poverty, and a significant population of these people have children making them quite a vulnerable population to the effects of poverty and hunger (Brooks-Gunn & Duncan, 1997).

Statistics from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimate that close to 795 million people were affected by largescale undernourishment between 2014 and 2016. This is equivalent to one in nine persons suffering from undernourishment. Moreover, the statistics go on to show that one in eight people living in developing countries live in undernourishment. Eleven million people remain undernourished in developed countries, thereby creating the center of interest for this paper.

In most cases, children are the most apparent victims of undernutrition. Undernutrition has various adverse effects to the child including growth restriction, wastage, deficiency, and stunted growth. Moreover, child immunity is reduced as a result of undernutrition leading to higher adverse effects of diseases such as malaria and measles. Additionally, malnutrition could be caused by diseases that limit the body's capacity to convert minerals in food to useful absorptions in the body (World Hunger Education, 2016).

Final Project: Component 2: Health Indicators

Indicators Statistics Year

Population (millions) 318.9 2014

Population aged under 15 (%) 5.95 2014

Population aged over60 (%) 20.70 2014

Population living in urban areas (%) 80.7 2010

Total fertility rate(per woman) 1.88 2012

Number of live births(thousands) 3988 2015

Number of deaths(thousands) 2616 2016

Birth registration coverage (%) 80 2014

Gross national income per capita (PPPint$ 16990 2014

Cause-of-death registration coverage (%) 87 2015

WHO region North America 2015

World Bank income classification Upper 2015

Poverty and Hunger

Kenya is one of the developing nations found in the sub-Saharan Africa. The country still faces a lot of challenges in its health system as most of its citizens lives below poverty line.

Global Health Issues and Indicators Observed

Health indicators have been inextricably linked to poverty and hunger which are some of the global health issues that continue to be experienced. The causes of poor health for millions of people worldwide are rooted in social, political and economic injustices. These injustices are experienced in first world countries as much as they are present in third world countries. Poverty is both a consequence and a cause of poor health in most countries. The community is then trapped into poverty as a result of poor health as most people are not able to work when they are feeling unwell. Every year, infectious and tropical disease that has been ignored weaken majority of individuals in marginalized and poor communities (Korenman, Miller, & Sjaastad, 1995).

Furthermore, poverty has led to poor overcrowded and poor living conditions which have drastically contributed to the spread of airborne disease such as tuberculosis and pneumonia (Bumpass & Lu, 2000). Notably, populations in American cities that have been afflicted by poverty engage in practices such as cohabitation, which help meet the costs of living between the individuals. Additionally, present legislation in the United States concerning the access to healthcare services for the poor and uninsured remains a challenge of implementation. While the American system may have opened up care services to many individuals in the country, the challenges of implementation, including limitations in access to care have hampered the individuals access to care facilities.

As a result, the poor in the American society face largescale marginalization, which has a bearing on the childs development. Research has pointed to various adverse effects that are linked with poverty, especially on socio-economic disadvantage (McLoyd, 1988). Poverty for a child in the United States means that certain basic services are no longer available to the child leading to challenges such as access to clean water, housing, food, sustainable education and child productivity. Health, growth and school achievement are all challenges associated with poverty among American children. Moreover, psychological torment among children occurs when they are subjected to the lack of or deprivation of food. This has been a source of social and psychological distress that manifests itself as stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and delinquent tendencies (Kleinman, et al., 1998).

Health System of Kenya

The Department of Health is responsible for the provision of public health services to the American public. The Department manages the operations of dispensaries, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and different level hospitals in the country. Moreover, the health insurance system provides the users with access to healthcare at subsidized prices. Health insurance assures its beneficiaries that there is constant access to healthcare facilities should one get ill. Furthermore, legislation has provided for the access to healthcare facilities for persons who enjoy insurance cover, but their cover is not sufficient for the treatment that they seek. Evidence-based practice in hospitals has ensured that the United States healthcare system is one of the best systems in the world, providing high-class services in light of patient-centered care practices and quality of care initiatives. Major government support to healthcare institutions assures that the highest level of attention is given to treating patients at all levels of healthcare.

Despite the state-of-the-art facilities being developed in American hospitals, the poor, underinsured and uninsured face the singular challenge of access to healthcare. Although most individuals will access the basic healthcare from American hospitals, the cost associated with specialized treatment of children with acute conditions is especially challenging for poor, underinsured or uninsured persons. Moreover, the system has left out several classes of socio-economically challenged persons from the realm of receiving specialized care, especially after being subjected to hunger and poverty. Notably, research has shown that not only are the effects physical, but also emotional and developmental. Therefore, it is of necessity that specialized care be involved in the treatment of these effects. Notably, counselling can be engaged. Nonetheless, this is not the case as children often have no resource to facilitate further care apart from the basic that is provided.

Additionally, the problem of street children in the United States exists, especially during the transition between parents and foster care. In certain regions of the country, poverty leads to siblings raising each other, thereby reducing the overall effectiveness of any care. As a result, the healthcare system in the United States struggles to incorporate a system that assures the inclusion of everyone, and the fundamental right to the access to healthcare services. Additionally, the cost of drugs further impedes the populations ability to adequately enjoy the benefits of the healthcare system, despite it being opened up for the benefit of the entire public. As a result, there is increasing deaths and child mortality within the jurisdiction.

Influence of Resources and Infrastructure on Health Issues

Generally, American care institutions possess the necessary infrastructure that would ensure the access to proper healthcare. However, some referral institutions exist for the purpose of special medical attention. For example, research and university medical institutions exist where general hospitals have no practices with regards to the specific problem a patient may have. Here, sets of research hospitals, childrens hospitals and surgery referral hospitals are available for the sake of specialized treatment and care of specific rare-type conditions. Big cities will normally host these institutions, but naturally the costs are significantly higher. To obtain care in these institutions, socio-economic disadvantage must surely not exist for such a patient. The result is that such a childs fate could be sealed. Hunger does not alleviate the situation.

To alleviate hunger, social intervention programs have been developed in the United States, including the food stamp program. Such programs have alleviated food shortage, especially among disadvantaged populations. However, more initiatives are required to adequately cater for hunger needs present in the country.

Final Project: Component 3: Health Determinants

Increasing costs of living in todays society necessitate that the worlds poverty levels go lower. Living under $1 a day is not sufficient to meet ones needs, let alone that of a family and children. The United States yet battles with poverty and hunger and seeks to eliminate this menace by means of policy application and implementation. Periodical reviews have been held into the health determinants that exist in the United States to find out the most suitable method of eradicating children hunger in the country. With the majority of the American population living in urban areas, it follows that the largest amount of poor people is also in urban areas. Specific strategies need to be centered on reaching out to children in urban areas and rescuing them from hunger and poverty.

Therefore, health determinants will focus around the economic situation, which will empower currently poor sections of the population to become empowered towards accessing healthcare and food sufficiency.

Access to Opportunities

It is notable that the lack of access to opportunities seems to be an inherited phenomenon of poverty. Children in the United States born to poor families will often lack the opportunity of a good education, thereby beginning the chain of poverty again. Due to the social pressures of living in their environment, such children are exposed to delinquent behavior, which includes domestic violence, crime, and other forms of riotous living. As a result, the child becomes virtually unable to access the correct environment for their growth and development. Moreover, such children will face challenges with regards to early engagement in relationships with the opposite sex, which may lead to early pregnancy and school dropout (Cook & Frank, 2008). As a result, poverty within their environment brings about a chain of reactionary results.

Empowering persons for equal opportunity is thus necessary in the transition from hunger and poverty to economic stability, where health is more accessible. This might mean the provision of facilities that are equally accessible in upper-end people and offering the poor individual a chance to move out of their poverty. Empowering children to take advantage of opportunities such as scholarships and business opportunities must have significant root in disadvantaged societies.

In conclusion, the provision of equal opportunities for growth offers children in America suffering from hunger and poverty a chance at being different people in future. Of necessity, the government must aid suc...

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