Determinants Essay

2047 WordsAug 9, 20129 Pages
Health Determinants INTRODUCTION Health maintainence has, from time immemorial, been an important topic. Longivity depends on this. However, its maintenance is not easy and not purely by biological factors alone. Thus, in order to provide appropriate health care to improve health, one has to look beyond the biological factor. A search of the literature has shown that aside form the biological factor, the social-economic and on a higher level, the cultural-political factors could not be ignored by health planners. This paper confines itself to address these two levels of health determinants. Before addressing these social-economic and cultural-political elements, a definition of what health constitutes is important : DEFINITIONS The World Health Organization (WHO) defines the word health as “good health as not merely, the absence of disease ( biological ) but a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being” (WHO, 1981) (social-economic). The latter may be demonstrated by participation in society, pursuance of our life goals, and the ability to enjoy our family and friends. The interpretation of health can also be viewed from a cultural perspective in various ethnic groups. Durie (1994) established that the Maori defined health in a broader sense; with the understanding that health incorporated physical, spiritual, as well as mental aspects. A large proportion of Maori believing their spiritual beliefs are the core values to better health. Thus , the definition on health itself behoves the health providers to look beyond the biological to include psycho-social-cultural ( political ) elements . Within the scope of this paper, the author intends to examine the evidence for the relationship between health and social-economic factors and to cite the literature regarding the rationale behind the relationship. The paper would conclude, basing on

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