Reducing Health Inequities through Early Life Investment – Child Development Example

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"Reducing Health Inequities through Early Life Investment" is an excellent example of a paper on child development. About 200 million children in the whole world are believed not to achieve their full potential. This results in huge implications on their health as well as on the society at large (WHO, 2010). Investment in the early years ensures greater potentials that reduce health inequities within a generation. This is the most efficient way of closing the generational gap. To ensure success in reducing such health inequities, the commission for social health determinants calls for a comprehensive package that provides quality programs for every child, mothers, and caregivers, setting up of an interagency mechanism to ensure the coherence of policies of early child development and provision of high quality and compulsory primary, as well as secondary education for every child. Living places also affects our health.

For the first time, many people are now living in urban areas, where about 1 billion of them live in slums ((WHO, 2010). The daily conditions that people are exposed to strongly influence health equity. Clean water, quality housing, and sanitation ensure healthy living.

Investments that upgrade urban slums help the people access affordable and quality housing. Moreover, safe and healthy behavior should be equitably promoted. Investment in sustained rural development and social and economic policy responses to changes in climate also account for health equity. Working conditions and employment powerfully affect health equity. Where they are good, financial security, personal development, and social status prevent psychological and physical illnesses. Social protection from childhood, throughout working life to old age provides health equity. Social protection is essential in illness, loss of work or income, and disability.

Access to health care is also important to equitable and good health. Therefore, health care systems should be based on equity principles health promotion, and disease prevention with universal coverage irrespective of the ability to pay. Key Contributors to Infant Mortality Rates in Canada   In Canada, the infant mortality rate is high as a result of malaria and measles. To reduce this rate, the National Malaria and Measles Campaign have been vaccinating all children under five years against measles. In an effort to reduce malaria, treated mosquito nets, supplementation with vitamin A, and deworming are also being included in the campaign.

According to World Health Organization (2009), malaria accounts for about 33% of deaths of children who are under five years in Canada, while measles accounts for about 41%. Before the campaign, it was estimated that only 42% of children who are under five years were sleeping under treated mosquito nets (UNICEF, 2009). Together with UNICEF, the National Malaria and Measles Campaign have launched a frontal attack on childhood killer diseases by immunization. Another contributor to the infant mortality rate in Canada is malnutrition, though the effect is low compared to many developing nations like Sierra Leone.

However, parents are being advised on how to feed their children on a balanced diet. Malnutrition is mainly a disease of children from poor families. However, the Canadian government is helping such parents’ access quality food from health institutions so as to curb the problem.   Unfortunately, the number one childhood killer diseases are vaccine-preventable (UNICEF, 2009). With modern developments in science and technology, the prevention and cure of such diseases are now affordable and cost-effective.   To ensure children's survival in the future, efforts of fighting these killer diseases and malnutrition should be redoubled.

References

World Health Organization (WHO) (2010). Social Health Determinants. Retrieved on 17th July 2011 from http://www.who.int/social_determinants/thecommission/finalreport/closethegap_how/en/iindex1.html

UNICEF (2009). Annual Report on Child Mortality Rates. Retrieved on 17th September 2011 from http://www.unicef.int.annual.report:childmortalityrates.canada.html.

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