Socio Economic Factors Of Rheumatic Fever Essay

Socio Economic Factors Of Rheumatic Fever Essay

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Socio-economic factors such as income, housing, and education are strongly associated with the incidence of rheumatic fever in New Zealand. Firstly, deprivation and socio-economic inequality worsen the rheumatic fever issue in New Zealand. Lower income people face more difficulties in accessing health care, and tend to avoid signs to save costs when experiencing illness. The individuals with lower income are less likely to get medication, and this is why our service provides free medication and free vaccines. The majority of the rheumatic fever cases occur in lower-income areas, with the highest rates in Northern half of North Island, followed by South Auckland, Bay of Plenty, and Tairawhiti (Webb & Wilson, 2011). The “Mobile health clinics” which provide free health professionals’ check, offer prescription of antibiotics, and specially target the priority communities in some specific areas could be an effective and efficient approach for rheumatic fever prevention and treatment. “Bring free health service and medication to the community and even to the door” will adequately fit patients’ needs especially for those having difficulties in accessing public health care. Secondly, poor housing condition such as damp or overcrowding plays a key role in the rheumatic fever incidences. Children and young people living in the most deprived areas with poor housing conditions have a 150 times greater risk than other children or young people of being admitted to hospital for rheumatic fever (Jaine, Baker, & Venugopal, 2008). Although not directed solely at reducing rheumatic fever burden, addressing unhealthy lifestyle, housing condition, and household overcrowding issues, may result in reduced rates of many preventable infectious diseases i...


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... each individual. A key quality of this initiative is that it has the capability to reduce disparities in access to primary care by taking the free service to those target populations – addressing inequalities household incomes, diminishing cost and transport barriers. However, the limitations of such a solution cannot be hidden. The ‘Rheumatic Fever Ready’ service does not focus on improving housing quality or reducing overcrowding – key risk factors. King (2015) emphasizes that providing health care alone is not sufficient enough to reduce rates. Providing services that are accessible for all is essential but so is the effort to address social factors that impact health, such as housing conditions. In order to contribute further reduction in rates, the service will need to look into providing a more holistic approach that addresses all aspects of Rheumatic fever.

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