Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Health Disparities in Canada

Question: Discuss about the Health Disparities in Canada. Answer: Introduction Canada is a plural society made up of people from diverse racial, ethnic, political, gender, age, religious, cultural, and geographical diversities. Each of these differences, in one way or the other, directly and indirectly impact on the accessibility, quality, equality, equity, and outcome of healthcare services in the country. Health is a very complex phenomenon that is affected by a wide range of social, economic, political, and cultural factors. If it were not so, there would not be any differences in healthcare services across the nation. This paper presents a candid discussion on the cultural practices that generate beneficial and harmful outcomes in health in the country. Cultural Beliefs and the Impacts on Health Outcomes As clearly outlined in the Volume 21 of the Journal of Transitional Nursing, a society like Canada can be sub-divided along the racial, ethnic, political, gender, age, religious, cultural, and geographical lines. This justifies why there are Christians, Muslims, Aboriginals, Non-Aboriginals, Canadians, immigrants, males, females, adults, elderly, and children (Sgan-Cohen, et al., 2013). As obviously expected, each of these diversities has a direct impact on healthcare outcomes in the country. In this paper, I would like narrow down my discussion into ethnicity. Personally, I am an immigrant Arab from Saudi Arabia. I am young girl who is affiliated to an Islamic culture. This is what distinguishes me from other people in Canada. Our culture and socio-economic status has been playing a significant role in determining the health status of our community as far as healthcare is concerned. The Asians have certain practices, traditions and beliefs that are exclusively unique to them (Di Cesare, et al., 2013). As a community, we have a unique way in which we view healthcare. Just like any other community in Canada, our perception to and understanding of diseases, treatment, medication, death and other forms of medical intervention is deeply rooted in our culture. As Asians, we have, for a very long time, been engaged in practices like smoking and alcoholism. These have negatively impacted on health outcomes amongst the community members. For example, dangerous behaviors like smoking have caused a lot of problems to the smokers and non-smokers (Ferrazzi Krupa, 2016). For a very long time, smoking has been considered as a serious issue of health concern not only amongst the Asians, but in the entire nation. Through smoking, people have contracted diseases such as lung cancer, cirrhosis, and many more. Smoking also leads to ostracism, skin discoloration, facial wrinkles, odor, and coughing. Research has proven that smoking is a very dangerous behavior. Non-smokers are also exposed to dangers through secondary smoking (Hoyland, 2014). Worse still; the dangers of smoking can be transmitted to the unborn children whose parents are engaged in smoking activities. Such children end up developing congenital conditions like deformity. The other activity that has negatively impacted on the health of the Arabs is alcoholism. Although alcoholism is not allowed by the Muslim culture, the practice of alcoholism has been, for a very long time, associated with the Arabs (Hoyland, 2014). Just like any other Canadian, Asians engage in alcoholism because of peer pressure, exposure, and lifestyle. Some people believe that alcohol can be used to remove stress. However, the consumption of alcohol is not a good practice because it leads to addiction. The addicted alcoholics have suffered in many ways (Hajizadeh, Campbell Sarma, 2014). A part from contracting diseases like cancer, alcoholism has resulted into economic problems as well as acquisition of anti-social behaviors in the community. It is therefore obvious that alcoholism is a bad practice that negatively impacts on the health of the Asians. On the other hand, there are certain cultural beliefs that positively impact on the quality of healthcare outcomes amongst the Asians. Such practices include belief in the preventive care, physical fitness, birth control. Although it was not done before, the Arabs are now embracing modernity. They not only take their children to school, but also go to the hospitals. Even if their location in the remote rural areas has been hindering accessibility to healthcare facilities, the Asians are nowadays using modern healthcare services to address a myriad of health challenges they have. This has enabled them to use modern-day drugs, treatments, laboratory tests, and engage in birth control, physical exercises, hygiene, and protected sexual intercourse (Hsieh, 2014). These practices have been helping to improve the quality of life of the Asians. For instance, engagement in physical exercises has been instrumental in fighting lifestyle diseases like childhood obesity and diabetes which have be en so rampant amongst the indigenous communities. Health Disparity amongst the Asians Research has established that there exists a huge gap in the health status of the indigenous and non-indigenous communities across the nation. The Arab community faces many challenges. When compared with the rest of the nation, the Asians have a higher level of contamination, lifestyle, nutrition, chronic, and communicable diseases such as poisoning; chronic renal infections; diabetes; mental illness; cancer; stunted growth, just to mention, but a few (Hoyland, 2014). The Arabs also have lower life expectancy and higher rates of child mortality, and deaths. All these are attributed to the socio-cultural status of the Asians in the country. The Asians have to be worse-off health-wise because of their vulnerability. Most of the cultural beliefs and traditions expose them to numerous diseases. For example, low level of education should be blamed for the communitys inability to acquire quality modern care as well as engagement in healthy lifestyles (Almutairi, McCarthy Gardner, 2014). Conclusion The diverse nature of the Canadian society is characterized by the existence of people from different racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, political, and economic backgrounds. As an immigrant Asian, I would like to acknowledge that there is a big disparity in the health outcomes between my community and the rest of the nation. The Asians has a higher rate of diseases, mortality, and low life expectancy thanks to the communitys social, economic, political isolation that has compelled it into harmful practices like smoking and alcoholism. However serious the situation is, a lot of measures can be taken to ultimately address it. References Almutairi, A.F., McCarthy, A. Gardner, G.E. (2014). Understanding Cultural Competence in a Multicultural Nursing Workforce Registered Nurses Experience in Saudi Arabia. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, p.1043659614523992. Di Cesare, M., et al. (2013). Inequalities in non-communicable diseases and effective responses. The Lancet, 381(9866), 585-597. Ferrazzi, P., Krupa, T. (2016). Symptoms of something all around us: Mental health, Inuit culture, and criminal justice in Arctic communities in Nunavut, Canada. Social Science Medicine, 165, 159-167. Hajizadeh, M., Campbell, M. K., Sarma, S. (2014). Socioeconomic inequalities in adult obesity risk in Canada: trends and decomposition analyses. The European Journal of Health Economics, 15(2), 203-221. Hoyland, R. G. (2014). In God's path: the Arab conquests and the creation of an Islamic empire. New York: Oxford University Press, USA. Hsieh, N. (2014). Explaining the mental health disparity by sexual orientation: The importance of social resources. Society and Mental Health, 4(2), 129-146. Sgan-Cohen, H.D., et al. (2013). IADR Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Agenda (IADR-GOHIRA) A Call to Action. Journal of dental research, 92(3), 209-211.

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