Health is a state of being physically and mentally sound and free from infirmities. Many countries’ health and well-being have gradually improved in the last decade due to heavy investments in the health sector. Unlike before, they do not only address physical diseases but also campaign for mental health awareness. However, studies on a country’s health and well-being have been limited to fundamental health indicators: life expectancy, infant mortality, and subjective well-being. Despite these essential factors being of great relevance to establishing a country’s health, others should also be considered for more reliable data.
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Country’s Health Indicators
One of the viable indicators is risk factors which encompass preventable risks such as lack of sanitation and harmful consumption of legal drugs. Unsafe water and lack of sanitation expose people to diarrheal diseases and hepatitis, while unsafe sex is the leading cause of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Day and Gray (2017) stated that children’s malnutrition and low birth weight are the critical determinants of children’s survival rate. One aspect of the indicator should be considered and vulnerable regions in the country chosen for the study. The questions asked should be preferably open-ended to acquire as much information as possible. When the data is carefully analyzed, negative remarks on the chosen risk indicate that’s the country’s health and well-being may be compromised. In contrast, positive ones suggest that the government is well.
Additionally, health services coverage can be an essential aspect in determining a country’s health and well-being. A health service coverage indicator shows how people in a country receive health interventions when in need. Some of the health interventions include skilled antenatal and postnatal services, reproductive health services, and immunization. The primary source of data used in this factor is obtained from household surveys and completed questionnaires on health service use.
The preferable household surveys are multiple indicators cluster surveys popularly known as MICS, Demographic and Health Survey, and Economic and health surveys. This acquired data is subjected to calculations whereby the number of people receiving a specific intervention is divided by the number of people eligible or in need of the intervention (Hogan et al., 2018). A small figure may indicate that the country’s wealth and health are good, while a significant figure suggests that health has considerably deteriorated.
Biological, psychological and social factors that cause cancer
Cancer is caused by mutation of the proto-oncogene, a gene responsible for abnormal growth of specific cells on a body organ. Although hormones play a crucial biological role in human bodies, some are carcinogenic if exposed to them for a long time. For instance, women who undergo combined menopausal therapy involving estrogen and progestin are at higher risks of getting breast cancer. Additionally, the use of estrogen alone during menopausal treatment may lead to endometrial cancer. Growing older, long exposures to sunlight and ionizing radiation, tobacco, and certain viruses can also cause gene mutation, thus leading to the formation of cancer cells.
Other than biological causes, psychological variables and social factors can also heighten the risk of getting this deadly disease. Psychosomatic pressures and stress from one’s environment may lead to severe cases of depression. Consequently, depression may lead to specific behaviors such as smoking and excessive drinking of alcohol, and poor eating habits. These acquired habits play a huge role in weakening one’s immunity and endocrine functions; thus, one has higher risks of suffering from cancer than someone not subjected to psychological pressures.
Psychological Disorders in Black American Society
Unlike the whites, African Americans face a wide range of psychological disorders, which mostly go untreated. Notably, African Americans are exposed to extreme feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and unworthiness due to their skin color (Cañas-González et al., 2020). Racial discrimination may cause these negative feelings in schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces. Consequently, these feelings develop into depression, especially among teenagers in their ‘defining’ stage. Depression does not have definite signs and symptoms; thus, the health providers use various researched symbols and victims’ past experiences to diagnose the disease (Hope et al., 2017). One of the efficient ways of studying depression is character observation, whereby you keep an eye on how a particular black neighborhood responds to a specific situation. Consistent results on the chosen stimulation may indicate that the group under study may be depressed. Additionally, home surveys may reveal the number of attempted suicides that may show the rate of depression in a community.
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Gender Barriers to Mental Health Services
Gender determines how power is controlled between men and women in terms of socio-economic factors, social status, and how each gender is treated in the community. Therefore, gender is an essential element in determining susceptibility and the risk of mental health challenges. There are gender-based mentalities that make the male feel inferior and weak when speaking out about their problems (Shannon et al., 2019). As a result, many males tend to cover their mental health disorders compared to their counterparts and instead seek alternative solutions such as drinking alcohol.
Health is an essential aspect of all human beings, both mental and physical health. Valuations on a country’s health and well-being should be broadened using other variables for reliable data. Additionally, there are limited preventive measures against health outcomes such as Cancer. Therefore, people should focus on their psychological and social health to slope the chances of getting the diseases. The black community has been stigmatized for a long time due to their skin color; hence most of them experience undiagnosed and untreated depression. Health sectors and the government should create more awareness and sensitization of different health outcomes and mental health for a better tomorrow.
Day, C., & Gray, A. (2017). Health and related indicators. South African Health Review, 2017(1), 217-339, Web.
Hogan, D. R., Stevens, G. A., Hosseinpoor, A. R., & Boerma, T. (2018). Monitoring universal health coverage within the Sustainable Development Goals: Development and baseline data for an index of essential health services. The Lancet Global Health, 6(2), e152-e168.
Hope, M. O., Assari, S., Cole-Lewis, Y. C., & Caldwell, C. H. (2017). Religious social support, discrimination, and psychiatric disorders among Black adolescents. Race and Social Problems, 9(2), 102-114.
Shannon, G., Jansen, M., Williams, K., Cáceres, C., Motta, A., Odhiambo, A.,… & Mannell, J. (2019). Gender equality in science, medicine, and global health: where are we at and why does it matter?The Lancet, 393(10171), 560-569.
Cañas-González, Beatriz et al. “Influence of Stress and Depression on the Immune System in Patients Evaluated in an Anti-aging Unit.” Frontiers in psychology vol. 11 1844. Web.