SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH AND HEALTH DISPARITIES
Today, the world is dominated by inequalities in the health sector underlined by people’s areas of residence, areas of world, age, gender, and even ethnic backgrounds. The most affected areas are cities and other major urban centers. The neighborhood around North Dorchester is affected by life changes brought by immigration, income levels, age, and ethnicity. This paper explores the social determinants of heath and health disparities in Boston areas with focus on North Dorchester neighborhood. Overview Boston is the capital of the commonwealth of Massachusetts on the eastern side of the coast, at the mouth of Charles River. North Dorchester population is also comprised of 31 percent persons over 25 years of age without at least diploma education. 23 percent of the area’s children live below the poverty line while the number of elderly persons living below the poverty line constitutes 20 percent of the age.
These statistics compared to the other neighborhoods are significantly higher (Boston Public Health Commission). Health Status The area of North Dorchester is one the areas experiencing highest rates of chronic diseases. The areas are largely impacted by issues of obesity and overweight, cancer, asthma, environmental lead, premature and low birth weight, infectious diseases, substance abuse as well as violence. it improves knowledge on health and influences behaviors and hence improved outcomes. With quality education and habitable living and working conditions, the individual is able to sustain as well as promote healthy lifestyle and positive choices. Education also influences parental knowledge on health hence improving on child health. North Dorchester harbors different ethnic and racial groups, which have resulted in inequalities in education and therefore, saddening disparities in health.
North Dorchester health status is also impacted by employment. There are income and poverty disparities across the different races where Blacks, Latinos and Asians exhibit lower household income compared to the Whites. Compared to other areas in Boston, North Dorchester has higher percentage of residents living below the poverty level with 29 percent. Status of housing is one of the critical social health determinants. The underlying factor is the cost of housing in the region. The costs of housing are too high for most of the residents with some house owners charging $1500 in a month. Black, Latino, and Asian residents of North Dorchester perceive that are treated differently because of their race. Interventions Addressing the social determinants of health and health disparities require that the stakeholders identify the causative elements and developing a plan for intervention.
Understanding the elements require the community needs to be assessed and develop meaningful mechanisms for solution. In addressing the economic disparities, there needs reduction of the income gaps in order to improve the society’s control of their situations. This involves the development of measures that are aimed at reducing the exposure to vulnerabilities, health problems and develop income inequality. Both governmental and nongovernmental institutions are critical in the improvement of the provision of good and services to the people including better education, health care services, housing, and nutrition. There need to be established non-discrimination laws and the enactment of better regulations. As a development of need, there is, growing demand to establish key multifaceted interventions needs to develop lasting social changes.
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