The poor people in the society suffer worse health and die young. They are characterized by high child and maternal mortality, limited access to health services, high level of disease and social protection and gender in equality further makes women and girls disadvantaged (Development, 2003). When a member of a poor family becomes ill, the whole family can be trapped in a downward spiral of lost income and high healthcare costs. This may necessitate diversion of school fees to meet the hospital bills as well as the sale of family assets thus making the family more stuck in the cycle of poverty and also have more limited access to health care and social insurance.
- Gap between men and women
Gender equality or inequality is a major determinant of poverty and ill health. Poor women are more disadvantaged; they live in poverty and are worse off than men in the same category. Social cultural belief such as gender roles contribute to this inequality (Development, 2003). Women are given reproductive roles while men are having productive roles. Men can therefore access finances while women are limited to the same.
Socio-cultural beliefs disadvantage women and girls. Poor women and girl experience deeper disadvantages in the access of resources for health such as cash, financing scheme or services and inability to express their needs and opinions (Development, 2003). The socio-cultural beliefs that assign roles to women and men have neglected and discriminated women in expressing their needs and opinion as the men do.
- Women are also producers
The role of women has by far been defined as reproductive work. However, women from a long time have always been involved in the productive work such as agricultural production. However this has not been recognized as men have been. Due to the socio-cultural belief in allocation of roles and responsibilities, women are assigned non-profitable domestic work while men are assigned productive work.
- Good health
Women and girls education is closely linked to improved healthcare for children, the family and the community and lowers fertility rates (Development, 2003). Education is one way of fighting HIV/ AIDS which is prevalent among the poor. However, good health is vital in educational attainment as it has direct impact on cognitive ability and school attendance. There is an interest in identifying strategies for collaboration between health and education efforts both in formal and informal school system.
Good health reduces child mortality and therefore increases the chances of child survival. The poor are most affected because they cannot access better healthcare services or the recommended diet for the child that gives the child good health and resistances to diseases.
- Demographic change
The population among the poor is high than the rich. This is due to idleness that gives them more time to reproduce. However, the resultant population is characterized by more poverty level, poor health condition, health services and education services (Development, 2003). This population only gets into more poverty and poor health.
- Food security related to health
- How the poor get sick
Food security and nutrition are vital factors influencing the health of the poor. Thelack of food and water result to poor health, which lowers the immunity to diseases thus increasing the severity of diseases and mortality rate. Many people in the world live under poor condition characterized by food insecurity, lack of healthcare services and poor education.
- Role of the rich
The healthy people who have adequate access to food, healthcare services should chip in to help the poor. They should form development agencies whose aim is to improve the conditions of the poor therefore focus on improving food security, health services, and education and eradicate gender inequality (Development, 2003). They should strategize on ways that will economically help the poor in income generation such as starting various income generating services depending on the priority of the poor. They should ensure to minimize their contribution to the environmental degradation which plays a big part in poverty increment.
Development, O. E. (2003). Poverty and Health: DAC Guidelines and Reference Series. Geneva: World Health Organization.