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Social Determinants of Health

by Amoni Tiso

Pages 2 and 3 of 37

SSOC 112 Task 2

Baphethuxolo Tiso

Student Number: 0010010934

Social Determinants
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The essay below dissects various topics based around healthcare as social determinants of health is discussed upon as well as how surroundings and environments affect our communal health and wellness especially in areas like Walmer Township for example. The concluding topic is how the apartheid regime has contributed to restricting opportunities and access to health and wellness for poorer communities due to racism at the time and disregard for non-white life. This essay is also constructed of my own perspectives and experiences of social determinants within Walmer Location.
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Social Determinants of Health.
The various determinants of health consist of economic stability, physical environment, education, food, community context and health care system. These determinants are crucial in understanding how to improve quality of life for all people especially those within lower socio-economic communities as without economic stability these communities crumble as they can’t afford to have the basic necessities all people require as a right like receiving a good education, access to food and housing, access to a safe environment and neighbourhood and also receive access to healthcare systems like private hospitals or medical aid rather than accepting public hospitals or communal clinics as their healthcare systems because public hospitals and clinics are typically understaffed, overworked, underpaid, confined in space and lack enough equipment or resources to actually deal with the majority of patients or ill people that enter their establishment.
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Social Determinants of Health.
The various determinants of health consist of economic stability, physical environment, education, food, community context and health care system. These determinants are crucial in understanding how to improve quality of life for all people especially those within lower socio-economic communities as without economic stability these communities crumble as they can’t afford to have the basic necessities all people require as a right like receiving a good education, access to food and housing, access to a safe environment and neighbourhood and also receive access to healthcare systems like private hospitals or medical aid rather than accepting public hospitals or communal clinics as their healthcare systems because public hospitals and clinics are typically understaffed, overworked, underpaid, confined in space and lack enough equipment or resources to actually deal with the majority of patients or ill people that enter their establishment.
As government also lack attentiveness to these sanatoriums by not funding them appropriately or regulating them to inspect whether or not they are operating efficiently hence majority of higher socio-economic people choose private hospitals as their desired healthcare system with their medical due to their care and observation of how these hospitals operate in comparison to public clinics and hospitals. As for example the Gqeberha Clinic Walmer Location TB Unit within Walmer Township is very confined is space especially in comparison to how many people such a minuscule clinic treats or fends for a day. As the residents of Walmer Township depend on this clinic for the majority of their health issues and most lack the economic stability to venture to private sanatoriums for their health matters. (Malamou, 2015) (Artiga & Hinton, 2018)
Physical environment and Neighbourhood
This refers to what housing, transport, safety and recreational areas individuals have access to and how secure they are. As yet again economic stability plays a major role within topic as without it an individual cannot expect luxurious comfortable housing within a safe and prominent area of residence because that costs money that most individual don’t have like for example again. People who live within Walmer Township have a poor health and life expectancy as the area itself is very prominent for its unsafeness and reoccurrence robberies, gang shootings, the filth everywhere regarding garbage and trash, kids doing drugs at a young age and more. This is all a conclusion of weak social determinants within lower socio-economic communities as within communities with higher socio-economic individual’s, things like robbery, theft and etc.
Do not occur as these individuals also have the economic stability to afford and receive an education that further elaborates upon how committing such crimes or acts is pointless and never beneficial for anyone within that community as now the community is deemed as unsafe to walk around or be active in as areas like parks and playgrounds become hotspots for criminal acts and activities meaning community members are always vigilant and reluctant to be relaxed or feel safe in their own homes or residence due to this and what makes matters worse specifically in Walmer Location is that previously they had a police station within the community to engage and monitor such criminal activity with precision and accuracy to prevent the prominence of such behaviour but recently the station has been closed down and abandoned for a couple years now due to protests and criminals targeting and vandalising the station to drive out the police.
Which they did successfully as the police station of Walmer is now located by Superspar in 130 Main Road Walmer which is about 5 mins away from Walmer Location which reduces reaction time to crimes in the community drastically compared to if the station still resided within the community. Government also plays role in assuring members in lower socio-economic communities their safety, better housing and transportation as buses are hardly used within lower socio-economic communities as transportation for anything as taxi’s are the preferred mean of transport as a separate entity not run by the government meaning the government itself can’t regulate such things regarding price of fair and etc. government is also to blame for members not feeling safe in the lower income communities as police could be instructed to reduce and monitor criminal activity within these areas to ensure better safety for all within. 
Which they did successfully as the police station of Walmer is now located by Superspar in 130 Main Road Walmer which is about 5 mins away from Walmer Location which reduces reaction time to crimes in the community drastically compared to if the station still resided within the community. Government also plays role in assuring members in lower socio-economic communities their safety, better housing and transportation as buses are hardly used within lower socio-economic communities as transportation for anything as taxi’s are the preferred mean of transport as a separate entity not run by the government meaning the government itself can’t regulate such things regarding price of fair and etc. government is also to blame for members not feeling safe in the lower income communities as police could be instructed to reduce and monitor criminal activity within these areas to ensure better safety for all within. 
Whilst also ensuring and fulfilling their promises to construct RDP houses for all the less fortunate and lower socio-economic communities as they have said countless times before to better people’s health and quality of living. (Hernandez & DG, 2006)(Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN, 2016)

Education
As touched upon slightly in the previous paragraph, education is a basic right that all should receive but of course not all people do, especially those who lack the economic stability to do so or reside within lower socio-economic communities as education is supposed to a guaranteed right that everyone would receive especially those who are less fortunate in context to what they government of South Africa has been saying for years but failed to give out irresponsibly as education is a vital commodity in lower socio-economic communities.
As it allows for people to better grasp and understand information and various amounts of knowledge better allowing for more intellectual thinking, behaviour and understanding of things like for example people getting ill and understanding it may be because of a poor diet or exposure to an unsafe and unhealthy environment that people reside within. Like Thomas Ward had mentioned in his TedTalk society and government should inquire more on why people in lower socio-economic communities tend to get ill than just focusing on how to cure these ill people so that the cause of this illness itself may be eradicated completely and public healthcare services that are already limited in staff and resources may focus its efforts on more drastic and urgent matters or patients. (Ward, 2018)
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