The Healthy People.2020 initiative continues the tradition started by a similar program introduced on December 2, 2010. It features a 10-year agenda aimed at improving the state of the nation’s health on both local and countrywide levels. The main purposes of the program are to encourage collaboration across sectors and communities, stimulate individuals to make informed health decisions, and develop a set of disease-preventing measures (Gurley, 2017). Inspired by the Healthy People 2020 initiative, The Florida Department of Health has unveiled the list of the most spread communicable illnesses that citizens of Miami (zip code: 33145) suffer from. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), tuberculosis, and hepatitis have been marked as the most dangerous in the list. The following research will study them in detail to suggest possible solutions for the occurring problem.
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Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
AIDS has affected Miami residents of all ages and races. More than 139 individuals were diagnosed with AIDS in the period from 1980 to 1998 (the Florida Department of Health, 2017). The approximate estimations state that several times as many people had been infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during that time. Notably, women were subject to more often virus occurrences than men. In their research, Peterman, Newman, Maddox, Schmitt, and Shiver (2015) state that “the crude rate of subsequent HIV diagnosis (per 100,000 person-years) was higher for women” (p. 113). Despite the fact the virus weakens the immune system, a person does not die from HIV. However, once the immune system is compromised it is vulnerable to practically any infection, and human life is put at risk is that case. About this fact, the Florida Department of Health has developed a task force to coordinate outreach programs and peer education assigned to improve the situation and inform the population about the issue. All Miami citizens have been given access to anonymous HIV testing regardless of their age or socioeconomic status.
Speaking about testing, this kind of measure was used as the major source of retrieving data needed for further analysis of the disease situation in the city. The Department of Health currently uses all the available resources and units to combat the issue on a local level. By the Healthy People 2020 program, the authorities empower individuals towards informed decision-making through the introduction of specialized healthcare organizations. Thus, the Specialty Care Clinic was established to offer help to all adults diagnosed with AIDS (the Florida Department of Health, 2017). The clinic provides medical care, assists with financial programs, and educates patients. Moreover, medical workers consult families and friends as to how to deliver care most effectively. The devotion of clinic employees to the acquired posts has contributed to the establishment’s national recognition.
Regarding its nature, tuberculosis (TB) is the type of bacterial infection that affects the human lungs. At its later stages, the disease is transmitted when in close contact with other people. If untreated the illness may have severe consequences and even lead to death, which puts it in one list with the most dangerous diseases. According to the research made by Medina‐Gil, Dehesa, Vega, and Kerdel (2015), the prevalence of tuberculosis among citizens of Miami currently reaches 4.5%. The data were retrieved using the outcomes of a tuberculin skin test (TST), which served as a means to identify the infection.
Once thought to be eradicated, tuberculosis cases have risen again over the past decade. Guided by the Healthy People 2020 initiative, the Florida Department of Health has issued staff training programs having the goals to arrange surveillance, provide testing, and offer treatment to those patients who have been diagnosed TB. The increased prevalence of AIDS only makes the situation worse due to higher mortality statistics (the Florida Department of Health, 2017). To reach the outlined goals the Department of Health resorts to the clinical, field, surveillance, and administrative support services making them responsible for health care delivery in the mentioned sectors. The reports these authorities provide are used to plan further measures regarding the problem elimination. Such a complex approach to the problem allows the state Health Department to focus on all aspects of the matter at once without losing any relevant data.
Viral hepatitis appears to be a virus that causes the inflammation of the liver having further complications. The disease is transmitted through blood products, sexual intercourse, or various objects used for intravenous injections. To determine whether hepatitis has invaded the organism or not one needs to do the blood testing. Tests can detect the genome of the virus (A, B, or C) and, thus, assist in planning a treatment course (Stanford, Biba, Khubchandani, Webb, & Rathore, 2016). With an alarming increase in hepatitis B rates in South Florida the Department of Health encourages Miami residents to do the testing and take all possible measures to protect themselves from the further virus prevalence (the Florida Department of Health, 2017). The expert’s highlight, if treatment is not provided on time, the virus can be deadly. Therefore, it is of huge importance to follow the government recommendations and take a responsible approach to the matters of healthcare.
Regarding the measures that are currently taken to stop the prevalence of the virus, the state Health Department has sent out health advisory asking the other departments of health to stay aware of the disease outbreaks. The hepatitis prevention program has been introduced to reduce the infection cases among both residents and visitors of the state and provide proper treatment of those diagnosed with hepatitis (A, B, or C). By the directives of the Healthy People 2020 initiative, all citizens are provided a free hepatitis vaccination, the same as testing for high-risk populations (the Florida Department of Health, 2017). To add more, the program pays maximum attention to educational aspects of the matter, thus, helping people to know more about the virus and the ways of fighting its reoccurrence.
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Summarizing the facts of the research, the healthcare situation in Miami, Florida requires immediate intervention of the US government into the problem. Of course, the introduction of the Healthy People 2020 program has made a positive impact on health care delivery on a national scale. However, local governments still require support in matters of diseases prevention. As seen from the statistics, such illnesses as AIDS, tuberculosis, and hepatitis tend to demonstrate the new rates of reoccurrence in South Florida. For this problem to be eliminated a strategic plan has to be made on a country-wide level with all medical organizations involved in the process.
Gurley, L. (2017). Healthy People 2020 sexually transmitted diseases objectives: Progress towards national targets and elimination of disparities. Annals of Epidemiology, 27(8), 522-525.
Medina‐Gil, C., Dehesa, L., Vega, A., & Kerdel, F. (2015). Prevalence of latent tuberculosis infection in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis taking biologic therapies in a dermatologic private practice in Miami, Florida. International Journal of Dermatology, 54(7), 846-852.
Peterman, T. A., Newman, D. R., Maddox, L., Schmitt, K., & Shiver, S. (2015). Risk for HIV following a diagnosis of syphilis, gonorrhoea or chlamydia: 328,456 women in Florida, 2000–2011.International Journal of STD & AIDS, 26(2), 113-119.
Stanford, J., Biba, A., Khubchandani, J., Webb, F., & Rathore, M. H. (2016). Community-engaged strategies to promote hepatitis B testing and linkage to care in immigrants of Florida. Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health, 6(4), 277-284.
The Florida Department of Health. (2017). Communicable Disease Surveillance. Web.