From your perspective, what are three key recommendations regarding the social determinants of health that you would like to suggest for the Regional Position Paper?
Health care,moreover proper health care should be paramount on any government’s agenda because the longevity of any population is shaped by the good health of its members.
I have taken into consideration three areas that I believe should be looked at for the Regional Position Paper. They are migration, poverty and education. Migration People move from one country to another for various reasons,whether it’s for work or join relatives, among others. Often times migrants are seen as being a burden to the host country’s health system.
As a consequence, the are sometimes asked to pay exorbitant sums for the same health care that the natives receive freely even though they(migrants) pay taxes.
In other instances migrants are flatly refused treatment as they are seen as persona non grata. I believe that governments should have a more liberal policy for those they are welcoming into their countries and give then national treatment as it relates to health.Also health care providers should be aware and put into practice, ‘care for all’ , no matter who you are.
Poverty Countries,especially those in the Caribbean and South America are impacted with health issues as it relates to poverty. For too long men,woman and especially children are dying as a result of malaria and water related related diseases simply because the don’t have the means to financially equip themselves.
It is the onus of governments to ensure that those members of society who cannot afford proper health care be given it freely.In these modern times it is difficult to believe that governments are not catering for their less fortunate but the fact remains that poverty is a reality. Decision makers must be more vigilant and stop making promises and act now. It is no secret that funds are allocated for health related projects but it never gets there in some instances. More accountability, compassion and professionalism is needed on the part of governments if anything is be done.
Education Education is fundamental in any society or country, it should not only be seen as a tool to move from one social class to the next but also as an instrument of better health.
The more the population becomes educated the more people will eat healthy and become health conscious. Too many children and adults alike are relying on fast food and junk food as a daily diet. Governments need to refocus their efforts of good eating habits from nursery to university. I am cognizant of the fact that large companies are very influential in what people consume but decision makers have to draw the line somewhere because the future of the nations depends on healthy individuals. More advertisements should be done to educate the population.
Set up youth clubs, get communities involved ,focus on eating healthy,exercise etc. This approach will help to change the way people think which will change their behaviour. It is alright to write or talk about the ideal society that we would like to see but its another thing to actually see that society functioning. Why is it taking so long for us as humans to realize that that the world is suffering to the extent that we really do something tangible about it.
PAHO I believe, as an organization, is doing a mammoth job as it relates to health issues but it all comes down to individual countries and the leaders to do the right thing. They need to see beyond politics and realize that a healthy society is a wealthy society.