Global Health Nursing Primary Health Care/Primary Care This discussion will cover the demographic trends that impact global health today, look at patterns of health and disease that impact global health, explain the difference between primary health care and primary care, and review the World Health Organizations (WHO) priority for global health. There are many factors that affect global health including population, environment, and disease. One of the greatest pressures on the global community is the growing population. This demographic trend has a great impact on global health.
The global population was 2. 8 billion in 1955 and is 5. 8 billion now. It will increase to about 8 billion by the year 2025. Average life expectancy at birth in 1955 was just 48 years; in 1995 it was 65 years; in 2025 it will reach 73 years (World Health Organization [WHO], 2012). The increasing population means more people living in urban areas; therefore the closer we live together the increased chance of disease and illness. The added people also puts an increased stress on the environment leading to air pollution, water contamination, and less land to depend on for food.
The growing numbers presents a threat to health and the economy of many nations. In developing counties, malnutrition and disease are problematic; whereas in developed countries overcrowding leads to pollution, disease, and violence. With increasingly dense living arrangements and global travel, the health of the general populations is threatened by environmental factors and disease, for example, the H1N1 influenza pandemic (Nies & McEwen, 2011, p. 270). Mortality rate, based on disease patterns, vary throughout the world.
The biggest difference depends on if it is in a developed country or a developing country. Of 57 million deaths worldwide in one year, 33 million are from noncommunicable disease, 18 million are from communicable diseases, and 5 million are from injuries and violence (Nies & McEwen, 2011, p. 271). Developed countries have the highest mortality rate of chronic disease patterns such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, violence, and traumatic injury. While developing countries have the highest mortality rates of infection, malnutrition, and violence.
Developed countries are able to reduce mortality rate due to diseases by improving sanitation and immunization through community health. As a country becomes developed, an epidemiological change occurs from risk of infection and malnutrition to having chronic disease. In developing countries, infectious diseases that contribute to high rates of mortality include acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), tuberculosis, endemic malaria, hepatitis B, rheumatic heart disease, parasitic infection, and dengue fever. Yet, these diseases could be reduced by 50% through effective public health interventions (Nies & McEwen, 2011, p. 71). When we discuss the global community, some tend to get the terms primary health care and primary care confused. Primary health care refers to essential services that support a healthy life including access, availability, service delivery, community participation, and the citizen’s right to health care. In contrast, primary care refers to first-line or point-of-access medical and nursing care controlled by providers and focused on the individual (Nies & McEwen, 2011, p. 276). In developing countries focusing on the individual in not realistic, the main focus is on the group, therefore primary health care is first priority.
One must meet the basic needs such as safe drinking water and food before we can provide individual care. Promoting health worldwide is a great challenge. Several agencies play a part in accomplishing this goal, including the WHO. The WHO stated a goal of “health for all by the year 2000” back in the 70’s. This goal was then extended to 2010 once it was unattained. Working for the WHO as a nurse would require one to open their mind and think more broadly. The main focus would be solving the problems of the health care delivery system (Nies & McEwen, 2011, p. 275) in order to accomplish the stated goal.
As nurses’ we need to look at the comparison between developed and developing counties because there is much we can learn. There is a need for health care reform, and the goal of “health for all” should guide this. Cuba and Canada were both recognized for reaching the goal of “health for all”. Collective responsibility or population-based focus must be established with less emphasis on the individual (Nies & McEwen, 2011, p. 275). Prevention is the first line of defense for the reduction of disease and illness. As a nurse working for the WHO, my main focus would be health care reform.
Read also: The Advantage of Free Health Care
Nursing, as the pivotal health care profession, is well positioned to advocate on behalf of, and in concert with, individuals, families, and communities who are in desperate need of a well-financed, functional, and coordinated health care system that provides safe, high-quality care. Accessible, affordable, and high-quality health care will positively contribute to our individual health, the strength of society, our national well-being, and overall productivity (American Nurses Association [ANA], 2008, p. 4). References American Nurses Association. (2008). ANA’s health system reform agenda.
Retrieved from http://www. nursingworld. org/Content/HealthcareandPolicyIssues/Agenda/ANAsHealthSystemReformAgenda. pdf Nies, M. A. , & McEwen, M. (2011). Globalization and international health. In Community/public health nursing: promoting the health of populations (5th ed. , p. 269-283). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Sanders. World Health Organization. (2012). Global health observatory. Retrieved from http://www. who. int/gho/ncd/mortality_morbidity/ncd_total/en/index. html World Health Organization. (2012). The world health report. Retrieved from http://www. who. int/whr/1998/media_centre/50facts/en/
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