Given the alarming events of recent years, global health has now come to the fore, unlike ever before. It is now increasingly evident that it’s impossible to ensure personal health while the community fails to thrive. Even though our global health system has evolved immensely and continues to make new strides daily, many hurdles still exist.
As our planet’s atmosphere continues to change for the worse, our health challenges have increased immensely. Addressing these concerns is vital, but before we can solve them, it is essential to understand how they develop. Although several global health challenges need to be solved, several pose significant issues.
If you’re interested in learning more, keep reading below.
One of the biggest challenges facing global health has nothing to do with diseases but our inability to provide equal healthcare to all. This inequality was most evidently highlighted during the pandemic, where many communities experienced greater spread simply because they didn’t have access to healthcare facilities.
For global health to thrive, everyone must have equal access to healthcare, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, religion, or gender. However, research suggests that minority groups historically have a harder time accessing quality healthcare.
Understanding the various socio-political factors that influence healthcare is vital to fix this issue. A public health degree can help you understand such concepts and prepare you to advocate for better healthcare. An Online Master of Public Health can be super convenient to complete and give you the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to tackle many healthcare issues. What’s best is that since these programs are online, you can attend sessions from anywhere.
COVID-19 isn’t the only pandemic we’ve faced in recent years. Various statistics suggest that mental health disorders are rapidly rising and indiscriminately affecting all ages and genders. Mental health is a vital factor to consider, given how it can also have far-reaching implications for our physical health. People suffering mentally often cannot care for themselves, and in extreme cases, suicide is also a possibility. Moreover, living with a person with mental health issues can be incredibly difficult and have long-lasting implications.
Mental health is also a genetic issue; if left unchecked, it can impact generations. Increased awareness is essential so people can talk about these topics and reach out for help. Awareness can also help people recognize the difference between a bad phase in life and an undiagnosed problem. Fixing mental health issues can help ensure that people enjoy holistic wellness and their physical well-being remains in perfect condition.
Preventing infectious diseases
COVID-19 isn’t the only infectious disease that has emerged as a danger to people, although it has been one which has been highlighted the most. Several other infectious diseases have not escalated into full-blown pandemics but have had devastating effects on the local community. AIDS, in particular, has been devastating for those it affects since it causes severe sickness alongside social isolation and rejection.
Apart from AIDS, infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, Ebola, and more have proven impossible to eradicate due to lack of attention. These diseases have been around for much longer than COVID-19. But there still exists a lot of misunderstanding and taboo regarding them. AIDS, in particular, has a lot of taboos that make it difficult for patients to seek basic health services. Preventing infectious diseases first means breaking down these barriers and making it easier for people to reach out to healthcare professionals.
Climate and environmental change
Climate change isn’t a harmless phenomenon that’s merely responsible for increasing temperatures by a few degrees globally. It is a real-life phenomenon that can cause health issues for several reasons. For starters, increasing amounts of pollution have led to the development of novel, dangerous diseases which have become resistant to antibiotics and other treatments.
Moreover, climate change has also led to more health concerns through increased emissions. Our atmosphere grows increasingly polluted, leading to the development of respiratory, skin, and other issues in people of all ages. Heart disease, stroke, and other cancer-related issues are also rising. Likewise, changing weather events, such as floods and droughts, can cause alarming health issues and malnourishment in many areas. It is important to consider all these events and prepare the healthcare system to address the effects of climate and environmental change.
Preparing for epidemics
One of the key issues in the healthcare system which COVID-19 helped highlight was our general lack of preparedness for a health crisis. This pandemic highlighted that we had perhaps become too comfortable with the advancements and had stopped focusing on preventive and disaster management strategies.
The truth is that epidemics and even pandemics are likelier to emerge today than ever. Changing environmental conditions, pollution, chemical experimentation, and extremely fast travel all spell disaster for global health. While there isn’t much we can do to prevent these pandemics outright, it is vital to be prepared. Bolstering the healthcare system and ensuring people have access to basic healthcare information can help reduce the spread in future cases.
Nutrition is another one of the biggest issues faced by the healthcare system in recent years. The quality of food has sharply declined, and much of the easily available foods are greasy, over-processed, sugary and devoid of proper nutrition. Moreover, even the available fresh food is laden with pesticides and other chemicals, which can be extremely damaging.
On the other hand, organic food isn’t only largely inaccessible but also incredibly pricey. Eventually, this means that people have to resort to unhealthier options, which can lead to obesity and other related diseases in people of all ages, specifically children. So, to address this, it is important to prioritize farming and farmers’ markets to ensure high-quality, healthy produce is easily available and affordable. Additionally, schools and workplaces must work towards providing people with healthier options to help build healthy eating habits.
In today’s age, several important health issues need to be addressed on an ever-stretching worldwide scale. These issues go beyond preparing for disease outbreaks, which is also essential. However, they extend to ensuring holistic care, health equity, nutrition, and more. By working on these global health issues, we can ensure that every community has a chance to thrive and grow.