Social Determinants of Health

SocialDeterminants of Health

Healthcare personnel term the conditions in which people grow, work andlive as the social determinants to the people`s health. It alsoinvolves the health systems that exist in the different locales thatinfluence the physical or economic access to quality services. Theshape taken by these conditions is out of the distribution of powerand resources. The national and local policies also play a major rolein shaping the conditions. Depending on the appropriateness of thepolicies as well as their effectiveness, the conditions can improveor deteriorate the health status of a population (WHO). They includeculture, economic status, social status, occupation, education levelsamong others.

Thesocial determinants of health contribute in various ways to thedevelopment of a disease in an individual. First they affect theaccess to health services and information. For example, some of thesocial factors like the level of education determine the exposure ofan individual to health information. Individuals with very little orno schooling have very poor health seeking habits. In case ofillness, it is more likely to affect them than a person with formalschooling. They also affect the economic access of health services(CDC).Without any resources, people do not prioritize health and incase of an ailment, that are not able to afford medical care. It isworse in places where the policies do not provide free or low-costmedical services.

Somesocial determinants o f a disease determines the chances ofindividuals contracting various diseases. For example, a socialfactor like living conditions may influence the possibilities of anindividual contracting a disease. Very poor and dirty livingenvironments are the hubs of communicable diseases. The chances ofcontracting and illness are higher than in areas with clean water andsewerage systems. On the same note, the occupation that people engagein play a very important role in the development of a disease(CDC).Very noisy or dirty environments may have a detrimental effect on thehealth of a worker either in the short-run or after several years.

Thecommunicable disease chain entails the process that a disease-causingmicroorganism passes through until from its reservoir until it entersthe body of a susceptible through the different routes to cause aninfection. It consists of various components that include thereservoir, port of exit, mode of transmission, port of entry and thesusceptible host. All the components must be present for thedisease-causing microorganism to cause a disease. The elimination ofone of them will curtail the chances of contracting a communicabledisease.

Anurse can target any of the parts in the transmission chain toprevent the disease from spreading. One of the weakest points totarget is the mode of transmission. If the method by which thedisease spreads from one individual to another gets blocked, themicroorganism will not find its way into the body of healthyindividuals. For example, in the case of Ebola, the mode oftransmission is physical contact with an infected person. Nurses candevelop quarantine measures to isolate the infected individuals fromthe healthy ones. Such a move will reduce the number of reservoirs.Although this would involve a lot of awareness creation andsurveillance, it is a very efficient way of reducing Ebola cases(CDC). Such a measure was part of the American Department of Healthand Human Services through the Centre for Disease Control andPrevention when they visited Uganda in 200 to help the localgovernment in fighting Ebola.


Centerfor Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HHSAssists Ugandan Ministry of Health to Control Outbreak of Ebola Virusand Investigate Cases of Schistosomiasis.2014. Web.Centerfor Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). SocialDeterminants of Health.2014. Web. Worldhealth organization (WHO).WHO Guidelines on Communicable Diseases.2015.Web.