Why do poor countries have a predominance of infectious diseases as opposed to the lifestyle-related diseases of wealthy countries? What is your response to the global health inequalities that exist?

Topics: Medicine, Health care, Developing country Pages: 10 (2658 words) Published: September 10, 2014
Step One:
Why do poor countries have a predominance of infectious diseases as opposed to the lifestyle-related diseases of wealthy countries? What is your response to the global health inequalities that exist?

Step Two:
Willis’s sociological imagination template has made me understand how factors including historical, cultural, structural and critical components affect the way one lives their life (Willis, as cited in Germov, 2014). As each factor is linked to one another, a variance of health issues worldwide continuously exists. I have experienced global health inequality first hand due to structural factors such as undeveloped technology and education. During the semester break of this year, I was fortunate enough to travel throughout South America. Unfortunately whilst travelling I became very ill and was taken to a clinic for medical assistance. One attended to, patients, including myself were treated in an unhygienic environment, with poor attention to sanitation such as clean sheets on the examination bed.

Poor health practises also occurred with very few health professionals wearing appropriate clothing such as gloves when vaccinating a patient or correctively washing their hands before and after examining a patient. Personally, the experience of being treated with such medical attendance under poor conditions has led me to believe that the predominance of infectious diseases in developing nations is somewhat because health practises are not being followed in accordance to clinical practice guidelines. Mariela Mereles S00107898

Using my experience as an example, the environment itself and the negligence of hygiene from health professionals themselves creates an easy exposure and outbreak of infectious diseases to patients. Both examples are easily preventable and the health inequality here exists when comparing the treatment given to patients using health standards of developed nations in comparison to undeveloped nations.

On another hand, I have seen the predominance of lifestyle-related diseases in Australia from a cultural component. Born and raised in Australia I know that the Australian culture consists of social gatherings such as barbeques, which increase the likelihood of choices such as alcohol consumption, smoking and unhealthy diet. Likewise, using the knowledge I have from my nursing studies I understand that the predominance of diseases in wealthy nations such as Australia are due to lifestyle choices made by the individual. The individual is putting themself at risk with behaviours such as lack of exercise and unhealthy dieting contributing to obesity and cardiovascular diseases. In comparison, I believe the predominance of diseases in underdeveloped nations is primarily infectious-based due to the quality of care received by patients. A large percentage of citizens have difficulty accessing health care of greater-quality because of their socio-economic status or the unavailability of such health care found within reasonable travelling distance. I believe health inequalities are preventable, but barriers as those mentioned previously including a lack of education from health professionals as well, obstructs any preventative measures from being put into action, exposing patients to a greater risk of diseases. Mariela Mereles S00107898

Step Three:
Further research into health sociology, in particular the sociological theory of modernity (Livesey, 2008), has given me greater awareness of how and why particular health problems exist. Livesey (2008) defines modernity as a modern outlook of the world driven by economy, politics and science. Breakthrough in these areas has not only shown structural changes to the development of industrialisation and political democracy, but also a changed way of thinking with modernisation of knowledge and ideas. Modernisation represents a complete change from the past out breaking into a different type of society. The theory of modernity can be linked...

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Livesey, C. (2008, November 17). What is modernity? Retrieved from
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Reidpath, D.D. , & Allotey, P. (2007). Measuring global health inequalities, International Journal for Equity in Health, 6 (16) doi: 10.1186/1475-9276-6- 1607
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