As an individual, I have grown to recognize that “equity” is very important for our nation’s development and for individuals. According to Healthy People 2020 “health equity means that everyone has a fair opportunity to live a long, healthy life” (Healthy People 2020, 2016).
Therefore, it is easier to say that an individual’s health should not be interfered because of their ethnicity, income, social-economic status, gender and many more. To attain health equity will require finding ways to create an equal/fair opportunity for health and closing the gap in health outcomes between different social classes (Health People 2020, 2016). How can one live a healthy life if they do not have access to good homes, school, and most important jobs? From a public health perspective, this paper will focus on the influence poverty and education has on equity, removing barriers such as poor transportation to improve the health of a community, and last important why these are important.
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Firstly, the importance of poverty and education on health equity is critical. It is very necessary to create an education system that will assist and support children regardless of their socio-economic status. I choose to address education because in the United States to be precise suffers from disparities in opportunities. There is a huge gap in providing children with an advance early learning experience, with minority and low socio-economic students suffering the most(Center of Disease Control,2013). The process of having educational equity is to assure that every child has the same access to materials/resources and coverage they deserve while in school despite their ethnicity, sex, race, or other characteristics outside of their control.
Providing a fair education system will equip the children with knowledge and necessary skills they will utilize to have productive lives and contribute to their communities. If children are prepared early with a fair educational environment, it will open a better life for themselves, their region, better social outcomes and even improved economic status. However, before this can really take an effect, policymakers and rightful educational leaders should come together to address the challenges these children are facing to learn. Their challenges can be understood if policymakers are working effectively with children and their families who really need it.
Children from disadvantaged backgrounds should have open access to educational resources needed to promote optimal futures. Secondly, I strongly believe one of the main components of equity is removing barriers. Removing barriers to jobs and transportation has a big impact on our health. A well-paying job allows workers economic opportunity to live in healthier environments, provide a better education for their children, and be able to afford good healthy food for their families. Individuals who have good jobs are able to provide good benefits.
Unemployed individuals suffer a lot from serious health challenges which causes them to develop stress-related conditions such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke (Center of Disease Control, 2016). For instance, many people work full-time or more in America however, they are considered as the working poor. Being classified as working poor comes with a lot of health implications. Because individuals with good salaries are likely to have a higher insurance coverage while those with low salaries are not likely to get full insurance coverage and this can limit their access to health services such as getting screened for cholesterol levels or breast cancer. Transportation system also has an influence on our health; for an example, millions of dollars always goes towards accidents, environmental hazards and lack of physical activity.
However, many are unaware of the health implications transportation infrastructure can cause when it is one of the social factors that contribute to our health (Equity, 2018). Thirdly, experiences and outcomes from our at-risk populations show how we choose to protect or disregard the health of the certain population. Using the United States as an example, every American deserves an equal right that will direct them to stay healthy. In America again, for instance, everyone deserves the same opportunity to stay healthy but when it comes to education, transportation, and housing disparities persist which disadvantage various populations. Advancement can only be enforced if policies and programs which will affect the health of families, and communities are funded, implemented, enforced, and improved upon.
In conclusion, each of the factors addressed is to give an in-depth of what we mean by health equity and why health equity is very vital to us. If we focus more on health equity it will empower us to reduce health disparity. If we provide everyone with affordable healthcare which will be available for everyone irrespective of where they live, individuals living in rural areas should not have any difficulties getting access. Not everyone can afford a proper experience when it comes to health and these are caused by low socioeconomic status, and illiteracy. An individual health should not be interfered with because of all live matters irrespective of the individual’s social class. It will be very much appreciated if the government can create a program or implement policies that will help the lives of immigrant and citizens of the country, especially in the United States.