Discussion Board Instructions
For each forum, post a thread in response to the topic prompts provided. Your post should contain 400–500 words and adhere to AMA writing style guidelines.This word limit promotes writing that is thorough yet concise enough to permit your peers to read all the posts. If the Discussion Board Forum prompts you to answer a series of questions, make sure you address all of them thoroughly within the word limit. Do not restate the questions in your post; simply begin a new paragraph for each new thought. The goal is to have a seamless written argument closed by a brief conclusion tying together your individual responses. Use your best critical reasoning skills, employing the Universal Intellectual Standards as a guide, but not a strict outline. Refer to specific statements of the author(s) whenever appropriate but limit direct quotations to a maximum of 25 words for your entire post. Since this is a personal discussion, you may use first person; however, you should maintain professional decorum at all times.
After reading your classmates’ threads, post a reply. These replies are designed to stimulate thought-provoking discussion, building upon or expanding the knowledge presented. Your instructor is looking for substantive, reasoned comments, not mere agreement with the initial thread on which your reply is based. In your replies, state why you liked or disliked a comment, adding additional thoughts or ideas to your classmate’s, and/or providing alternative ideas or disagreeing thoughts. Your comments should be critical but kind, “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). Help one another with good communication skills, both by example and instruction. Substantiate your position by referencing pertinent statements from the resource under discussion, but avoid lengthy quotes from it. Each reply should contain 200–250 words and adhere to AMA writing style guidelines.
Initial post topic
Read “Social Determinants of Health Inequalities” by Marmot, 2005, l. Discuss the following points in your thread. Review the Discussion Board Instructions before posting your thread.
- Marmot uses the more European term “health inequalities,” while most American authorities prefer “health disparities” when referring to the large differences of health status between different social groups. Discuss 3 reasons for these inequalities/disparities and what can be done to address them.
- According to a recent US Census Bureau report, over 1 in 5 American children live in poverty, and the rate is increasing. Discuss factors contributing to childhood poverty in America. Who is responsible? Offer realistic suggestions to turn this problem around.
- The poorest countries typically have the worst health. Explain the apparent paradox that China exhibits by having relatively good health despite low incomes of its people. By comparison, Russia is more typical in having lower incomes and relatively poorer health.
- The gospel of Mark records a story of Jesus’ disciples criticizing a woman for what they claimed was a misuse of resources (Mark 14:1–10). In his rebuke to them Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me (14:7).” Propose a solution to the age-old problem of balancing the internal administrative needs of the church with its obligation to help those in need. How much should the church help the poor in society?
Reply to Classmate #1-
Health inequalities or disparities are present throughout the world. According to Marmot, there are many reasons as to why these health inequalities or dipartites exist. The first reason is the development of the health care systems. The author explains that life expectancies are hugely disproportional from one country to the next1. For an example, Japan has an average life expectancy of about 82 years while Sierra Leone has a life expectancy of 34 years1.These vast differences can be due to poor health care access, diseases, and public health education1.Another reason for health inequalities or disparities is poverty. Poverty within countries will need to be addressed through creating work, improving the health care system, and improving access to fresh water and healthier food options1.Another reason for health inequalities or disparities is major diseases. Many countries are behind when it comes to diseases such as polio, measles, or mumps1.These issues will need to be targeted through the use of vaccines and education in order to eradicate the diseases from these countries1.
Childhood poverty can be attributed to numerous different issues. Poor living situations are one of these reasons1. Whether it is poor housing or the poor environment surrounding the housing, more efforts need to be made to offer affordable housing options for everyone. Living in one of the most expensive places in the United States, I know that I would not be able to afford housing in a “nice” area should I have children one day. I would be forced to increase my commute time into D.C. or be forced into an environment such as this. Childhood poverty can also occur due to work availability. With the cost of living ever rising, it becomes more and more difficult to reach ends meet1. Access to healthy food options can also attribute to childhood poverty. Ensuring that substantial grocery stores are available in all areas could potentially help this issue. I am not sure exactly who would be responsible for childhood poverty. I believe it would contribute to a number of factors such as the workforce, the ever rising cost of living, and circumstances that are sometimes out of anyone’s control.
While china has historically low incomes, the government decided to invest into their health development2. According to one article, the government invested billions of dollars to upgrade facilities, expand healthcare coverage, and reestablish an essential medicine system2. This led to more than 95% of their population having access to health care2.
I believe that the church should do everything that they can afford to do for the poor in our society. We are called as Christians to take care of the needy. The bible states in Proverbs 19:17, “Giving help to the poor is like loaning money to the Lord. He will pay you back for your kindness”. While some churches may have the resources to be able to help more than others, every little action will help.
Word Count: 489
1 Marmot M. Social determinants of health inequalities. The Lancet. 2005;365(9464):1099-1104. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(05)71146-6
2 Yan F, Tang S, Zhang J. Global implications of Chinas healthcare reform. The International Journal of Health Planning and Management. 2014;31(1):25-35. doi:10.1002/hpm.2252
Reply to Classmate #2-
There are numerous reasons for health inequalities/disparities in the world, but disease, poverty and unemployment are major factors. The concept of equity is closely tied to fairness and justice, and what is considered fair and just depends on social norms; these norms may vary from society to society.1 To reduce inequalities in health across the world there is need for a third major thrust that is complementary to development of health systems and relief of poverty: to take action on the social determinants of health.2 Such action will include relief of poverty but it will have the broader aim of improving the circumstances in which people live and work.2 Disease control, properly planned and directed, has a good history, but so too does social and economic development in combating major disease and improving population health.1 Wider social policy will be crucial to reduction of inequalities in health.1 If we are to advance health equity and population health, then social determinants are critically important to monitor in their own right because they inform the prioritization of interventions that affect changes in these conditions.1
The United States underinvests in its children and their families and in so doing this leads to high child poverty and poor health and educational outcomes.3 If a nation like the United States wants to decrease poverty and improve health and life chances for poor children, it must support parental employment and incomes, and invest in children’s futures as do other similar nations with less child poverty.3
While China’s overall health status continued to improve after the economic reform, Russia experienced a serious deterioration in its population health.4 The observed differences in health performance between China and Russia can be explained by the different impacts of economic reforms on three major socioeconomic determinants of health.4
While understanding that churches need to be able to manage budgets and funds accurately they also need to help as much as they can the poor and helpless. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 states: Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
1 Penman-Aguilar A, Talih M, Huang D, Moonesinghe R, Bouye K, Beckles G. Measurement of Health Disparities, Health Inequities, and Social Determinants of Health to Support the Advancement of Health Equity. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2016;22 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S33-42.
2 Marmot M. Social determinants of health inequalities. The Lancet. 2005; 365: 1099-1104.
3 Smeeding T, Thévenot C. Addressing Child Poverty: How Does the United States Compare With Other Nations?. Acad Pediatr. 2016;16(3 Suppl):S67-75.
4 Liu Y, Rao K, Fei J. Economic transition and health transition: comparing China and Russia. Health Policy. 1998; 44: 103-122.
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