Population-Focused Determinants of Health
Effective health outcomes on the larger population can best be realized if various social determinates are promptly acted upon in order to minimize as much as possible the inequities and inequalities of health. One such action entails the prudent collection and management of health-related information not only at the national level but also internationally. By so doing, this information will correctly be interpreted in ways that are understandable for easier implementation of corrective measures. When correct data is at the disposal of health stakeholders, the intensity of a particular health problem will be known, by understanding which groups of people are most are affected and to also determine whether their condition is stable or not within a given duration of time. This will also help in the assessment of interventions made at the entry level as well as evaluating their impact at the end to establish their effectiveness (CSDH, 2008). Proper management of health information also entails proper presentation of the said information as this may be used to mobilize resources from governments and other potential donors.
Monitoring of health systems should, therefore, be embraced at all the stages of action throughout the world. Research has revealed that only a few counties frequently update their health information while those that update rarely conduct monitoring of systems to help reduce various forms of health inequities and inequalities that may be at play. Even though some countries are keen on conducting routine collection of health data, they never make follow-ups on how this data influences inequities and inequalities in health. Meanwhile, other countries have been found to collect data on health inequities and inequalities, but still, they lack information on social determinants to guide their intervention processes. It is, therefore, not just essential but mandatory for frequent research to be conducted in all countries to be accurate on social determinants of health as well as their corresponding inequities and inequalities to make interventions that will attract positive health results. Also, countries that have enjoyed long periods of political stability and peace are said to have proper data collection and management systems as compared to those that are conflict-prone (CSDH, 2008).
To be more specific, one example of an information system is registration of births and deaths. First world countries have been found to have a more comprehensive registration system compared to the second and third world countries (IHME, 2018). It is the work of the state to ensure that all its civilians are registered or deregistered in line with the number of new-born babies and deaths. The process of registration should be less tedious, easily accessible and less costly for every deserving citizen. This will help in the planning of health interventions in terms of budget allocation and mapping to determine areas or sections of the population that are needier than others to avoid any form of inequity or inequality during health service delivery stage
Registration should not only focus on births and deaths but need to go deeper in coming up with various categories of the population that are affected or infected with various diseases including chronic illnesses and other health-related problems. This data should be analyzed and utilized in a way that will prevent all the vulnerable groups of people from contracting illnesses, treat and minimize fatalities among those who are already infected (ODHP, 2018). Without a doubt, if all health departments focused on social determinants of health by the minimizing inequalities and inequities as a result of support from governments and other organizations, the strategic development goal concerning health will surely be achieved.
1. CSDH (2008). Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Geneva, World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/social_determinants/final_report/csdh_finalreport_2008.pdf
2. IHME. (2018). Data Visualizations. Retrieved from < http://www.healthdata.org/results/data-visualizations>
3. ODHP. (2018). Foundation Health Measures. Retrieved from <https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/About-Healthy-People/Foundation-Health-Measures>
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