Research Proposal: The Impact of Poverty on Healthcare

Date:  2021-06-14 14:38:23
5 pages  (1246 words)
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Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
Research proposal
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Poverty is a situation where an individual lacks the resources or means to enable him/her to acquire the necessities like food, housing, and clothing. In such a situation, an individual lacks the money to purchase food, pay rent, and even acquire clothing. Health, on the other hand, is a state where an individual is free from any illness, whether physical, mental or even social. For a person to maintain good health, he/she must be able to access quality healthcare (Das, 2015). This topic covers how poverty relates to health among individuals in any given country. It also includes a discussion on how poverty affects both mental and physical health and a discussion on how poverty does not necessarily lead to bad health.

In every country in the world, there is a given percentage of the population living in poverty. The prerequisites of good health are many some of which include education, food, shelter, living conditions, among others. These conditions are the major factors in determining the current, as well as the future health of a person (Das, 2015). However, these conditions are also the prerequisites of poverty, that is, food, shelter, education, clothing, as well as the surrounding environment. This means that poverty and health are thus intertwined, and each affects the other. Poor people have limited access to good health food, as well as water. This increases their risk of acquiring contagious diseases like typhoid. Poor people also live in neighborhoods with high rates of crime, poor sanitation, poor education, and health facilities, among others. These conditions increase the risk of poor people acquiring diseases as compared to the wealthier persons. The poor people are also unable to afford quality health care when faced with illness. Families are thus forced to drop children out of school as they try to raise the cost of healthcare for the ill member (Walraven, 2013). This implies that the illness of one member affects the health of the other family members as they are forced to limit their education, food, and clothing expenses. To understand the relationship between health and poverty a review on unaffordable healthcare is necessary.

Poverty has adverse effects on both the physical and mental health of individuals living under it. One of the major physical effects of poverty is malnutrition, especially among children. It is difficult for poor families to access healthy food, which is not only sufficient but also a balanced diet. People living in poverty are usually unable to purchase nutritious foods. Some poor people even cannot buy any food at all and rely on begging to eat. The food is, therefore, not nutritious and never enough. For this reason, many poor people are malnourished and thus have poor physical health. According to research by WHO, 14.3 percent of people in developing countries are malnourished, and this leads to 45 percent deaths in children aged five years and below (Esposito, 2016). This malnourishment among poor people makes their immune systems weak, and they are, therefore, prone to many other diseases. People living in poverty usually live in areas, which are congested and have high rates of insecurity. This makes it difficult for these people to carry out physical exercise activities, which is a necessity for good health. The poor also spend most of their time working and searching for food and income. They, therefore, have little or no time to exercise, and this lack of exercise makes their immune system weak. Poverty also exposes people to poor sanitation, and high rates of crime and violence, all which lead to poor physical health.

Poverty also affects the mental health of individuals and their children in a significant manner. People living in poverty usually have a lot of stress. This is caused by the constant anxiety caused by the unknown when it comes to generating income for food. These people also live in areas with violence and crime, which causes anxiety. The poor people thus have numerous worries, which burn up their cognitive capacity otherwise used for other body functions (Esposito, 2016). For children, prolonged exposure to this stress affects their brain growth and development. The children thus perform poorly in school and experience discrimination. The mental stress also usually lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, as well as heart attack. Research by UN has shown that prolonged mental stress can lead to a condition called Psoriasis (Walraven, 2013). This is a condition where the skin surface acquires flaky sores. This autoimmune condition is triggered by stress, anxiety, and depression. Poverty, therefore, continues to have adverse effects on both the mental and physical health of people living under the poverty line. Exploration of the connection between poverty and poor healthcare will, therefore, help governments and healthcare agencies on the need to come up with policies that will bridge the healthcare gap that exist between the rich and poor.

The target audience for this topic is governments of underdeveloped nations.

Impoverished citizens of third world countries are the most susceptible members of the society. They are the ones that are affected by poverty and poor healthcare. Poor households cannot afford proper clothing, shelter, and food, and this puts individuals from these households to the dangers of malnutrition, water borne and food borne diseases, and premature deaths (Esposito, 2016). This explains why child and adult mortality are high in third world countries. To this end, this proposal will focus on investigating how poverty affects the health of people from underdeveloped countries with the aim of providing insight to the governments of these nations will relevant knowledge of addressing this challenge.

Research questions

1. What is the meaning of being poor and how is it measured?

2. Are people who are currently experiencing poverty better off compared to those of the past generation?

3. Are the commonly held stereotypes concerning economic hardship and poverty accurate?

4. How many people in the world live low-income households?

5. What are some of the impacts of economic hardship on young adults and children?

6. Are there children and families that are more susceptible for economic hardship in comparison to others?7. What actions can the government take to elevate economic security for its citizens?

8. Why should governments care about household economic hardship?

Problem statement

All children have a right to healthcare as stipulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and third world countries, thus have a moral and legal duty to ascertain that children develop to become adults since children who do not get access to proper healthcare before and after birth are likely to develop complications that hinder their growth into healthy adults.Hypothesis

Poverty is amongst the most fundamental social determinants of health in third world countries. It is responsible for numerous negative impacts on health exerted via some of the behavioral, biological, psychosocial, and environmental mechanisms. Poor health outcomes are the consequences of being exposed to disadvantage, or exposure during critical or sensitive times, or both of these. Chronic cumulative poverty causes diseases such as obesity and asthma. Moreover, poor health, specifically, in crucial times of childhood and teenage, could hamper the future development with eventual impacts on health and social status later in life. This can be tested using qualitative studies.



Das, V. (2015). In Affliction: Health, Disease, Poverty (pp. 229-248). Fordham University Press. Retrieved from

Esposito, L. (2016). The Countless Ways Poverty Affects People's Health. Retrieved from,

Walraven, G. (2013). Health and Poverty: Global Health Problems and Solutions. New York. Routledge. Print.



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