Employment, occupation, income status, gender, social welfare, social support systems, health system, education, transportation, housing, culture, equality and justice etc. all of these factors are social determinants known to affect health.
Numerous studies have shown that these variables are clearly reflected in human life expectancy, disease and disability data, both in cross-country comparisons and within the same country. People’s living conditions, working areas, income and educational status affect both their expected life expectancy and quality of life.
These measurable and ‘preventable’ differences are considered inequalities in health.
Health Disparities Around The World
World Health Organization (WHO); Equality in health defines ‘unfair and preventable differences between social groups not in health’.
Social factors can affect the health of the individual and society, leading to significant inequalities both within and between communities. Social injustice results in sickness, disability, and death. For this reason, WHO has accepted social justice as a matter of life and death.
The approaches proposed by WHO to prevent social determinants from turning into negative indicators are as follows;
- Improving the conditions in which people are born, raised and lived;
- Struggle against unequal distribution of power, money and resources,
- Identify, measure, reproduce and share information, develop educated manpower on social determinants, and raise public awareness.
The areas that are particularly prominent for the implementation of these approaches are; early childhood development, working and working conditions, social exclusion, health systems, measurement methods and evidence, gender equality and urbanization.
With this perspective,
- Primary protection; fair distribution of power, money and resources;
- Secondary protection; solving problems with risky, socially disadvantaged groups,
- Tertiary protection; health problems, diseases and disabilities that have developed, treatment, rehabilitation and community adaptation efforts.
As a result, it is important that the impacts of vital value in terms of social health and peace are ‘preventable’. For a healthy society, the adoption and effective implementation of social concepts such as justice, peace, prosperity, work, equality and solidarity are indispensable features and values.
It should not be forgotten that preventive health studies begin with the elimination of inequalities in society.