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Briefly critiques a global issue  where shared responsibility for the common good is not being realised and then, propose ways to address this challenge in your professional community, locally and especially globally.

Prevalence of Diabetes Globally

Diabetes is one major health concern whose prevalence rate is achieving alarming limits. According to the World Health Organization (2018) report, the number of people with diabetes has increased from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. The increase in the prevalence of diabetes globally has become one major public health issue globally as it increases the risk of other chronic disease like heart attack, kidney failure, stroke and lower limb amputation. Hence, more the number of diagnosis for diabetes, more is the number of people with increased health risk. Hence, the disease robs people from the right to live a healthy life. The principles of the Common Good focus on what is beneficial to the community and the fulfillment of individual rights of each person (Hume, 1996). However, the principles of Common Good are not realized for people living with diabetes. Being diagnosed with diabetes prevents them from the opportunity to lead a healthy life. Many groups are unaware about information related to risk and factors needed to prevent diabetes. This may violate the principles of Common Good as best interest of all is not realized. This essay provides an insight into the barrier to the realization of Common Good because of the prevalence of diabetes and proposes solutions to address the challenge in the professional, local and global community.

Majority of developing countries today are facing the burden of diabetes. It is one of the major non-communicable diseases in developing countries. In case of Australia, diabetes was associated with more than 1 million hospitalizations in 2015-2016. The trends related to diabetes related death and hospitalization rate shows that the disease is more prevalent in remote and very remote areas. This depicts that there are certain groups who suffer from socio-economic disadvantage and are at more risk of developing diabetes. The inequalities in relation to the prevalence of diabetes is understood from the fact that people living in remote areas and people belonging to low socioeconomic group are more likely to suffer from diabetes (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), 2018). This evidence also proves that due to the increase in deaths and hospitalization in remote areas, diabetes denies certain people the right to live their life with fulfillment. Hence, the concept of Common Good is not realized for them. The principle of Common Good reminds people that all people must accept the shared responsibility for the welfare of society (Hume, 1996). However, in case of people living in remote areas such as indigenous people, they are denied the right to basic life needs such as good employment and housing. Due to unemployment and poor education, they fail to control risk factors of diabetes. Sedentary lifestyle, consumption of high calorie food, tobacco use, old age and family history of diabetes are some of the major risk factors of diabetes. Early detection and avoidance of risk factors is the key to preventing diabetes (Animaw & Seyoum 2017). However, indigenous people are unaware of this and adapting the Common Good principle of dignity and right for all is needed to promote well-being for people at risk of diabetes (Harris, Tompkins & TeHiwi, 2017).

Diabetes Prevalence in Developing Countries and Socio-Economic Disadvantage

The review of statistics on prevalence of diabetes globally suggest that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in Australia are more likely to suffer from diabetes because of socio-economic disadvantages. The research report by Hill et al. (2017) gives the evidence for prevalence of the issue locally. The report suggests that indigenous people are 3.6 times more likely to suffer from diabetes compared to non-indigenous people. This depicts that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are at disproportionate burden of developing diabetes and other complications associated with the disease. Hence, the evidence suggests that health inequity and poor access to social determinants of health prevents indigenous people from realizing the aspirations of the Common Good. As per the Common Good principles, the society should respect human freedom by allowing everyone to assume responsibility for their own lives and and cooperate with each other to pursue Common Good (Hume, 1996). As low socioeconomic status creates risk of diabetes locally, the possible solution to address the problem is to tackle poverty and ill health and promote human dignity of people at risk.  By taking the step to focus on addressing the social determinants of health of indigenous people living in remote areas and raising awareness about possible risks that should be avoided, they can be given the right to lead a healthy life.

The United Nations Committee has also identified gap in health status between indigenous and non indigenous Australians as one major health concern. Other reason behind high risk of diabetes for the group includes lack of access to primary health care in remote areas, low standard of health infrastructure and unemployment issues. Hence, to realize human dignity for the group, the professional community should apply holistic approach to health. This means the local government should focus on paying attention to cultural, physical, emotional and social well being too. This would help to address discrimination and poor experiences while accessing care (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2018). As per the Common Good concept, focusing on their social determinants of health would give them the chance to attain highest standard of physical and mental health and live high standard of living too. Working in partnership with the people is important to empower them and motivate them towards health and well being. Poverty often leads to prolonged period of stress and avoidance of the health services. Taking steps to allow people at risk to have decent income would help to reduce burden of diabetes and other illness too. This would pave the way for respecting social right and maintaining dignity of the people (Newman et al., 2015).

Diabetes Prevalence Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in Australia

The challenge that the professional community like health care professionals and nurses face globally due to increasing evidence of diabetes is that they have to deal with more number of hospitalizations and worst health outcomes of people.  Globally ethnic minority groups are facing the burden of diabetes because of poor access to diabetes care services.  Remote area nurse are mostly experiencing the challenge as they provide first line of care. They often fail to understand the link between health complications and poor glycaemic control. Language barrier also contribute to poor quality of care. Evidence by Zeh et al. (2014) suggest that linguistic difference between patients and health workers, low level of health literacy, difference in health beliefs, low availability of culturally appropriate services and poor concordance with professional advice acts as major barrier in self management of diabetes. Hence, to ensure that high risk groups are given equal right and access to health services as per the concept of Common Good, it is necessary that cultural competence training be given to the professional community and health promotion workers so that individualized care can be provided and high risk group adhere to diabetes prevention and treatment guidelines.

Conclusion:

The Common Good principle believes in maintaining a social order in society so that human dignity is fostered and all human being is given the chance to live a decent standard of living. The increase in prevalence of diabetes worldwide suggest that certain sections of the society are denied the right to live a healthy living because of systemic health inequities such as poverty, unemployment, cultural barriers to care and poor health infrastructure in remote areas. After the review of challenges in the local and global context, the papers suggest realizing the right to social dignity for all and implementing interventions that help in active engagement with the group and supporting them to achieve basic needs needed to actively adhere to diabetes prevention and self management plans.

References:

Animaw, W. & Seyoum, Y., (2017). Increasing prevalence of diabetes mellitus in a developing country and its related factors. PloS one, 12(11), p.e0187670.

Australian Human Rights Commission (2018). Social determinants and the health of Indigenous peoples in Australia – a human rights based approach. Retrieved from: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/speeches/social-determinants-and-health-indigenous-peoples-australia-human-rights-based  

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) (2018). Diabetes Snapshot. Retrieved from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/diabetes/diabetes-snapshot/contents/how-many-australians-have-diabetes

Harris, S.B., Tompkins, J.W. and TeHiwi, B., (2017). Call to action: a new path for improving diabetes care for indigenous peoples, a global review. diabetes research and clinical practice, 123, pp.120-133.

Hill, K., Ward, P., Grace, B. S., & Gleadle, J. (2017). Social disparities in the prevalence of diabetes in Australia and in the development of end stage renal disease due to diabetes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia and Maori and Pacific Islanders in New Zealand. BMC public health, 17(1), 802.

Hume, C., (1996). Introducing the Common Good. Retrieved from: https://www.catholicsocialteaching.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/THE-COMMON-GOOD-AND-THE-CATHOLIC-CHURCH_1996.pdf

Newman, L., Baum, F., Javanparast, S., O'Rourke, K. & Carlon, L., (2015). Addressing social determinants of health inequities through settings: a rapid review. Health Promotion International, 30(suppl_2), pp.ii126-ii143.

World Health Organization (2018). Diabetes. Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes

Zeh, P., Sandhu, H.K., Cannaby, A.M. & Sturt, J.A., (2014). Cultural barriers impeding ethnic minority groups from accessing effective diabetes care services: a systematic review of observational studies. Divers Equal Health Care, 11(1), pp.9-33.

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