Health is the foundation of the growth and development of any nation. If there is any lack of it then the repercussions can be very serious. There are various social determinants of health that are responsible for it. They include all the major aspects that can play a role in affecting one’s health. In this research paper, the various social determinants of health and how they do affect health would be discussed. It would include all the major categories under the “SDH Assessment Circle” that affect the well-being of an individual in a society of an Indian community.
Social determinants of health are all those factors in which a person, lives and grows. It includes the gender, age, and living conditions that can influence one’s health. It consists of all the psychological, biological, and social conditions that may affect the health status of a person. These include food, work, social status, and living conditions creating a list of ten categories affecting the health of the Indian community (Ferrer, 2018). The major Social Determinants of Health responsible for health and well-being are:
- Income and its distribution
- Living and working conditions
- The health of the Indian community
In spite of being promoted on so many levels, there is still huge discrimination against the social health being of various communities of India. Due to various factors, the social treatment received by people differs a lot from one another resulting in a huge gap in terms of life expectancy and health condition. When described on the basis of the social determinants of health, the following outcome was received.
Income and its distribution– Income is one of the most influential causes when it comes to social determinants of health. There is a huge difference in the health of the rich and the poor people of India. Due to this the treatment of the same also varies resulting in more persisting issues among the lower poor section of the community. The GDP of the nation is drastically favoring the rich making it difficult to maintain a balance between the two (Goldberg, 2017). This leads to poverty and inequality in the Indian community making it a huge cause of disparity in the nation.
Gender– Gender inequality in the Indian community is not hidden from anyone. Being a male dominating society, it supports theories that follow the same notion. A male child is given more preference and better treatment in almost all aspects of life providing them with a better health condition. Many issues of the female gender like pregnancy and early marriage are often neglected to lead to many health problems and even death in certain situations (Adler. et.al, 2016). Also, most of the medical treatments are based on data of the male gender which is not at all applicable to females. This leads to many issues and complications which if given proper care can be easily avoided.
Living and working conditions- This is the most prominent social determinant of health which has a huge effect on the lives and health of the Indian community not only in the country but across the world. The living conditions include the premises in which one resides. They reside in slums where there is too much dirt causing a lot of diseases to grow. The condition of working is not any different. Unavailability of proper working conditions, poor drinking water, and sewage are some of the prime factors causing the workers to suffer from many health issues. There is no provision for health conditions of them resulting in no treatment or poor treatment (Cantor. et.al, 2017). It all takes a huge toll on the health and well-being of the people forcing them to suffer from innumerable diseases which may even lead to death.
Education– The social determinant of health that can be a huge defining factor in the Indian community is education. The disparity between rich and poor affects various spheres of life, education being one of them. If a person is educated they can take better-informed decisions when it comes to matters related to their health. Health literacy also is a great matter of allowing people to take better care of their health. But the income along with the lack of education resulting in unemployment in the community is forcing people to become unaware of many basic diseases which are hard to miss. Lack of education makes it difficult for people to even utilize the various policies and schemes run by the government for their better health. Poor education in the parents leads the same to the child allowing them to suffer from many lifelong diseases which could have been avoided if tackled at the right time.
Food habits– You are what you eat. This proverb is very true for all the food habits that prevail in the Indian community. Due to lack of income and employment, the food habits of the major Indian community are not up to par. People rely on cheap habits to fulfill their basic needs resulting in a lack of various essential nutrients in their diet (Marmot, & Allen, 2014). Also, habits like smoking and drinking make it an added issue that causes a drastic effect on the food habits causing a lot of incurable diseases for the people in the respective community
Hence, it can be said that the social determinants of health are in serious need of change as far as the Indian community is concerned.
A social determinant of health is a collection of factors causing an effect on the health of an individual. This is because they define the areas that play a role in affecting health and its related aspect. Factors such as education, income, work, etc play a huge role resulting in huge differences in the health status of the Indian community. Major steps need to be taken by the respective government to make sure that the conditions are improved.
Adler, N. E., Cutler, D. M., Jonathan, J. E., Galea, S., Glymour, M., Koh, H. K., & Satcher, D. (2016). Addressing social determinants of health and health disparities. Discussion Paper, Vital Directions for Health and Health Care Series. National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC. https://nam. edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/addressing-social-determinants of-health-and-health-disparities. pdf.
Cantor, M. N., Chandras, R., & Pulgarin, C. (2017). FACETS: using open data to measure community social determinants of health. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
Ferrer, R. L. (2018). Social Determinants of Health. In Chronic Illness Care (pp. 435-449). Springer, Cham.
Goldberg, D. S. (2017). The Social Determinants of Health & Public Health Practice. In Public Health Ethics and the Social Determinants of Health (pp. 43-50). Springer, Cham.
Marmot, M., & Allen, J. J. (2014). Social determinants of health equity.