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Social Determinants of Health and Their Impact

Discuss about the Population Health for Brain Growth and Development.

The current study focuses upon the impact of population health upon the social determinants of health. In order to understand the impact of social determinants of health upon the population health it is first necessary to identify the various social determinants of health. The social determinants of health are conditions in which the people are born, live, work and earn. It consists of the biopsychosocial factors, which impacts the quality of life outcomes of a person. The social determinants consist of the physical and the economic resources which affect the various life processes of a person. In the lack of effective economic and social condition the optimal growth and prospects of a person is limited. Additionally, the lack of support from the society along with poor economic conditions could limit the access to some of the basic and fundamental resources such as healthcare, education, employment opportunities. The various social determinants of health often have a combinatorial effect on the population health.

In the current study, the effect of early life influence upon the first nation population has been discussed. The early life had profound effects over the mental and physical health of a child. Additionally, traumatic childhood can severely impact the brain growth and development of a child. The past life trauma can results in a myriad of health issues in the later stages of life. Some of the most common effects produced are depressive illness along with hormonal deregulation. In the current assignment the first nation people have been taken into consideration. The first nation people here refer to the indigenous population group of Canada. For the current assignment, the indigenous First Nation people from Canada have been taken into consideration. 

The social determinants could be divided into a number of upstream, downstream and midstream determinants which critical impact upon the health outcomes of people. The determinant which had been chosen over here is early life influence. Here, upstream determinants refers to macro determinants, midstream determinants refers to intermediate determinants and the downstream determinants refers to micro determinants. The global determinants have a huge impact upon the macro forces. For instance, some of the global recession can affect the tax making policies of the Government related to health, housing, transport, economic welfare etc. These may impact the working and the living conditions of the people. This could be further related to the growth and development for children who had been subjected to poor social and economic conditions at very early stages of life. The improper availability of finance or excessive cost-cutting by the government due to global financial crisis could affect the basic resources such as health and education to increase their charges. As mentioned by Barer (2017), the high transactional cost may limit the First Nation people from Canada from receiving proper education and healthcare services.

Early Life Influence on First Nation People

The intermediate factors refer to the psychosocial factors which have pronounced effect upon the health behaviours of people. Some of the important psychosocial factors are – stress, perceptions, networks, self esteem, social support, hostility, isolation. As mentioned byStoddart and Evans (2017), stress and past life trauma could affect the health behaviours of people. As mentioned bySallis, Owen and  Fisher (2015), the past life trauma made people addict to ill health behaviour such as addiction to alcohol, smoking, undertake improper diet. Some of these have been seen to have considerable effect over the lifestyle of people. Therefore, early life influences such as growing up amidst a hostile environment where people would move in tribal groups and derive nutrition by killing wild animals could have severe impact upon the mental development of an individual. Moreover, the social isolation and neglect could from early stages of life could harbour low self esteem within an individual. These are often replicated into mental illnesses which often produce a strong impact upon the later fragments of the life of a person. As mentioned by Coyte and McKeever (2016), the early life psychosocial factors can have profound effect upon the life attitudes of people. Some of these are presented in their day to day eating habits as well. In this respect, the Canadian first nation people and children suffer from malnutrition which deteriorates their health in the later sections of life (Tarasuk et al., 2015). There has been an increased propensity in the people to be addicted to alcohol and smoking pipes rather than increasing the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables which they would often substitute with red meat from hunting. As commented by Desmarais and Wittman(2014),  the dearth of fresh fruits and vegetables results in the lack of  important mineral constituent suggest vitamin B12 in the body of the First Nation people from Canada. The poor nutrition result in an annual Health Care cost of 3 million per year. Inorder to reduce the magnification within the children of the First Nation people from Canada which often results in serious health issues the government has started an initiative which is known as close the gap services (Betancourt, Green, Carrillo& Owusu Ananeh-Firempong, 2016). These are aimed at providing basic support of living to the First Nation people from Canada by providing them access to fresh fruits and vegetables along with medications and important health services. It has been found that community involvement could help in the implementation of the educational program in at improving the health and lifestyle of the first nation people

Upstream, Downstream, and Midstream Determinants and Their Impact

The downstream or the micro factors refer to the physiological systems which can affect the mortality morbidity and the life expectancy of the population. The early childhood dearth of proper diet could result in weak immunity in adulthood. These are often expressed in the form of hormonal misbalance and compromised immunity.  The hormonal deregulation could also be attributed to sedentary lifestyle and a dearth of proper and healthy food options. As mentioned by Kennedy, Kidd, McDonald  and Biddle(2017), the rate of type II diabetes is highest among the First Nation people from Canada.  As mentioned by Hystad  et al. (2014), the intermediate factors or the psychological factors have been seen to produce a direct impact upon the first nation population by aggravating some of the symptoms such as hypertension, suppressed immune function, glucose intolerance. The suppressed immune function has also been related to the development of serious illnesses within the population such as cancers.  It had been found that 2.34% of the first national women in   Canada have been suffering from breast cancer (Stewart & Wild, 2017). This could be further attributed to the lack of social awareness along with various cultural paradoxes professed by these women which prevents them from using the concerned healthcare services.

The early life conditions have a considerable impact on the long-term physical and mental health conditions of the First Nation people from Canada. The political and the psychological issues have a considerable impact on the physical standards and health of the First Nation people. The psychological health of an individual is greatly impacted by the surrounding environment. In this respect, some of the factors such as social neglect can develop resentment and frustration within the First Nation people. As a result of the lack of the basic fundamental rights such as education, employment opportunities the first nation people often decline to be a part of the social community and groups (Pickett& Wilkinson, 2015). In order to address the issue, the government has introduced policies aimed towards providing the indigenous group of people with adequate basic fundamental rights such as right to health care, right to education, right to equal job opportunities as the white Canadians. In this respect, a number of fundamental rights have been postulated for providing equal legal ground to the first nation people. For example, the indigenous legal service which was aimed at providing culturally appropriate justice to the First Nation people. Some of the apps such as the office of the Canada First nation affairs provide strategic advice to the minister for First Nation people. In this respect, the Canada First Nation consulting group provides independent advice to the Government on education and training. The indigenous support program works in collaboration with various support groups to uplift the poor conditions of the indigenous group (Haight, Quan-Haase& Corbett, 2014).

Government Initiatives to Improve Health and Lifestyle of First Nation People

The early life influence has considerable impact upon the culture of the first nation people. The diet plan of the first nation people were influenced by their nomadic habitats. They would mainly divide themselves in small hunter group rather than living in established settlements. In this context, they would derive their nutrition from the killing of wild beasts or sea fish. The women were seen to prepare high protein diet where dried meat pounded into powder was mixed with hot melted buffalo fats and berries. The propensity to eat red meat is still over-represented within the community. However, there has been a global concern recently regarding the carcinogenic effects of red meat.  Additionally, the vegan dietary substances such as soya and tofu have been seen to contain more nutritive value compared to red meat. The annual food crops harvested were mainly corn, beans and squash which sufficed most of the nutritional requirements of the first national people. As mentioned byGreenwood, De Leeuw, Lindsay and Reading (2015), abundant food supply helped in the development of permanent communities and complex systems of government based on democratic principles. However, till date some of the basic fundamental rights such as the right to education of the first nation Canadian have not been presented on a larger scale. Asmentioned byMitrou  et al. (2014), the colonization of the first nation have deliberately excluded them from higher education. the deprivation have been blamed  for their own misfortune so much so that the students of the first nation Canada entering the universities hardly manage to clear their post-secondary education tests. additionally, the lack of educated parents  have further added to the grievances of the first nation children as they hardly have anyone to help them with their studies. Additionally, the unique language and culture and faith make them stand apart or stand secluded within large social circles at universities and colleges. As mentioned by World Health Organization (2017), the peer pressure to compete and the past history of neglect makes the first nation Canadians develop resentful attitudes. Of the 10000 people inhabiting northern Manitoba of Canada majority are of aboriginal races (aadnc-aandc.gc.ca, 2018). The poverty-stricken areas have little transport facilities for the children and youth living there. Additionally, it has been found that most of the colleges of the region fall under the provisional government whereas the universities fall under the federal government. The actual poverty stricken figures of the first nation Canadians are ill represented (Daley, Castleden, Jamieson, Furgal & Ell, 2015). This could be mainly attributed to lack of effective communication or dialogue within the federal and the provincial government. Theis results in unequal distribution of educational reforms and resources to the first nation students. Therefore, the unavailability of the basic fundamental rights such as the right to education prevented the first nation population from gaining entry into the mainstream and competing for job and equal employment opportunities. Additionally, the first nations Canadians have faced from increased incidence of racism and sexual abuse at the hands of government and allied agencies. Recently, the government of Canada wrote an apology letter to the first nation group. In its reform policy it mentioned which came to be known as the healing fund and was a step taken to correct the historical wrong. As mentioned by Pickett and Wilkinson (2015), the repeated oppression from the government and the past history of racism and sexual abuse gave way to a generation who eye the government with suspicion and prefer to abide by their community rules and guidelines.  As mentioned byHaight, Quan-Haase and Corbett(2014), the women still have underrepresentation in the society and are secluded from any mainstream activities.  Hence, there have been no significant changes in the social condition of the women.  As mentioned by Moore et al. (2015), the lack of sufficient opportunities make the class of women grow up into a dependable lot which makes them further subject to abuse and greater health risks.

Additionally, a number of recommendations could be suggested over here in order to provide adequate resources to the first nation people. It has been found that the first nation people are deprived with respect to provision of some of the basic fundamental rights such as healthcare and education. The colonization had resulted in underrepresentation of the first nation people so much so that they are deprived of equal number of seats and support at the university education level. Additionally, the social seclusion, different culture and language structure further make the first national Canadian different from the mainstream. Therefore, in this respect maximum social inclusion should be promoted by the government with the help of effective community reforms which aims at promoting the causes of the first nation people.  It had been found that the first nation people speak in a language different from that of the rest of the US or Canada. Therefore, making for the availability of community or social workers who could interpret or interact in the language of the first nation people could be beneficial. It had been seen that most of the first nation people across Canada are settled in refugee camps located nearer to the border which makes travelling across or reaching out to them bit difficult. It has been seen that most of the times the help provided by the government in the form of free medical camps or free medicines are unable to reach the people. This is because the healthcare workers are often unwilling to travel far and wide to the interior areas, which results in unequal distribution of the healthcare resources.

Conclusion

The current study focuses upon the aspect of population health and the impact of various social determinants upon the same. The social determinants have been divided into macro, intermediate and micro factors. The macro factors refer to the global or large scale factors which have been abrupt affect the living conditions of the people. The intermediate factors refer to the effect of various psychosocial factors over the life and living conditions of people, whereas some of the psychosocial factors are represented in the ill health behaviours within the people. For example, low self-esteem has been related to alcohol, smoking and self-harm.

The study presents a comprehensive overview of the first nation Canadian as they had been subjected to brutal atrocities ever since the time of British colonization. Some of these have been in the form of racial discrimination which keeps them out of the mainstream. Additionally, some of the early life influences have been seen to shape the dwelling patterns of the community which have a great impact on their physical and mental health. Therefore, effective community participation along with greater support from the federal government can help by providing them with maximum social inclusion at the same time remove the health and wellbeing inequalities.

References

aadnc-aandc.gc.ca (2018), aadnc-aandc.gc.ca, retrieved on 5 May 2018, from https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1307460755710/1307460872523

Barer, M. (Ed.). (2017). Why are some people healthy and others not?. Abingdon: Routledge, 78-89.

Betancourt, J. R., Green, A. R., Carrillo, J. E., & Owusu Ananeh-Firempong, I. I. (2016). Defining cultural competence: a practical framework for addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care. Public health reports,45-68.

Bombay, A., Matheson, K., & Anisman, H. (2014). The intergenerational effects of Indian Residential Schools: Implications for the concept of historical trauma. Transcultural psychiatry, 51(3), 320-338.

Coyte, P. C., & McKeever, P. (2016). Home care in Canada: Passing the buck. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research Archive, 33(2).

Daley, K., Castleden, H., Jamieson, R., Furgal, C., & Ell, L. (2015). Water systems, sanitation, and public health risks in remote communities: Inuit resident perspectives from the Canadian Arctic. Social Science & Medicine, 135, 124-132.

Desmarais, A. A., & Wittman, H. (2014). Farmers, foodies and First Nations: getting to food sovereignty in Canada. Journal of Peasant Studies, 41(6), 1153-1173.

Greenwood, M., De Leeuw, S., Lindsay, N. M., & Reading, C. (Eds.). (2015). Determinants of Indigenous Peoples' Health. Canadian Scholars’ Press, 45-56.

Haight, M., Quan-Haase, A., & Corbett, B. A. (2014). Revisiting the digital divide in Canada: the impact of demographic factors on access to the internet, level of online activity, and social networking site usage. Information, Communication & Society, 17(4), 503-519.

Hystad, P., Davies, H. W., Frank, L., Van Loon, J., Gehring, U., Tamburic, L., & Brauer, M. (2014). Residential greenness and birth outcomes: evaluating the influence of spatially correlated built-environment factors. Environmental health perspectives, 122(10), 1095.

Kennedy, S., Kidd, M. P., McDonald, J. T., & Biddle, N. (2015). The healthy immigrant effect: patterns and evidence from four countries. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 16(2), 317-332.

Milloy, J. S. (2017). A national crime: The Canadian government and the residential school system (Vol. 11). Univ. of Manitoba Press, 123-212.

Mitrou, F., Cooke, M., Lawrence, D., Povah, D., Mobilia, E., Guimond, E., & Zubrick, S. R. (2014). Gaps in Indigenous disadvantage not closing: a census cohort study of social determinants of health in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand from 1981–2006. BMC Public Health, 14(1), 201.

Moore, S. P., Antoni, S., Colquhoun, A., Healy, B., Ellison-Loschmann, L., Potter, J. D., ... & Bray, F. (2015). Cancer incidence in indigenous people in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA: a comparative population-based study. The Lancet Oncology, 16(15), 1483-1492.

Pickett, K. E., & Wilkinson, R. G. (2015). Income inequality and health: a causal review. Social science & medicine, 128, 316-326.

Sallis, J. F., Owen, N., & Fisher, E. (2015). Ecological models of health behavior. Health behavior: Theory, research, and practice, 5, 43-64.

Stewart, B. W. K. P., & Wild, C. P. (2017). World cancer report 2014. Health, 85-99.

Stoddart, G. L., & Evans, R. G. (2017). Producing health, consuming health care. In Why are some people healthy and others not? (pp. 27-64). Abingdon: Routledge.

Tarasuk, V., Cheng, J., de Oliveira, C., Dachner, N., Gundersen, C., & Kurdyak, P. (2015). Association between household food insecurity and annual health care costs. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 187(14), E429-E436.

World Health organization (2017). Global Health Risks-Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. Cancer.

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