Providing access to health care services where there are no hospitals
Health Care in War-zones
The Effects of War in Health Care
Deliberate, calculated assaults on health facilities are now a routine weapon of war in the Nuba Mountains, Darfur, and the Blue Nile. Armed government soldiers kill both patients and health workers, devastating the vulnerable health systems.
Our health-supporting infrastructures have been broken down, leading to lapses in health information and access to medicine and medical supplies. The internally displaced and maimed victims health needs have increased as they suffer the direct and indirect consequences of conflict, such as war wounds, interrupted vaccination schemes, or difficulty providing chronic care.
All the constrained resources have had to be directed toward other priorities, increasing vulnerabilities, in particular for displaced persons, women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. People are left stranded without hospitals due to the lack of international intervention.
Conflict is a social and political determinant of health, and conflict-affected villages in the South Kordofan are lagging behind in reaching the Global Goals targets on health.
Empowerment at the individual level affects individual choices over healthy lifestyles and choice of health services, whereas at the community level, empowerment involves the securing of resources for health and health services.
A structure in a medical compound in the Nuba mountains damaged by a bomb dropped on their location.
Extreme Poverty and Health
Each year, 2 million children die from preventable diseases like diarrhea, polio, and pneumonia because families can’t afford access to treatment.
Poverty and health are strongly linked. Health problems can plunge people into poverty or keep them from escaping it, and those in poverty are more likely to suffer disease because of lack of treatment. There is not only a correlation between poverty and a lack of accessible healthcare but also causation.
A lack of resources can make it difficult for people in developing nations to access healthcare. Even the most knowledgeable, available healthcare providers are limited without the proper equipment and medications and a clean shelter in which to work.
The lack of knowledge, medical practitioners and resources all contribute to a shortage of accessible healthcare in the South Kordofan.
Poor quality health services are also holding back progress on improving health in countries at all income levels. Inaccurate diagnosis, medication errors, inappropriate or unnecessary treatment, inadequate or unsafe clinical facilities, or practices, or providers who lack adequate training and expertise all prevail in the South Kordofan villages.
The situation is worst in war zones where the majority of hospitalized patients expect to acquire infections during their stay. This is despite hospital-acquired infections being easily avoided through better hygiene, improved infection control practices and appropriate use of antimicrobials.
The broader economic and social costs of poor quality care, including long-term disability, impairment and lost productivity, are estimated to amount to trillions of dollars each year.
Mental Health in War Zones
Political unrest and uncertainty, the trauma of natural disasters or gun violence, the stressors of disease and chronic poverty—all of these weigh on us and affect our mental and physical health. In fact, poor mental health is often the root cause of other health conditions.
Majority of survivors of war experience post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder.
These disorders if left unattended do create other issues making it for these survivors to lead a normal life.
Refugees and other migrants face distinct challenges when it comes to accessing mental health care, including language and cultural differences, unfamiliarity with local health services, and, often, the vulnerability that comes with being displaced and powerless in a foreign land.
They also have diverse needs, from migrant farmworkers who’ve been exposed to toxic pesticides to refugees and internally displaced who’ve been traumatized while fleeing warzones.
Women in Health Care
War, genocide, and famine drive people from their homes, and as people move, diseases move, increasing demand for healthcare facilities
There is no #MeToo campaign for women health workers around the world—but there should be.
Despite the fact that women make up the vast majority of the world’s health workforce, they occupy relatively few top spots. And they face rampant sexual harassment, discrimination, and even assault throughout their careers.
Women around the world face many of the same challenges they’ve always faced—fighting for the right to an education, gaining equality at work and at home, and getting access to family planning, safe childbirth, and other types of health care. Because of the roles women play in their families and communities, their health and well-being affect more than just themselves—in fact, they could sway the fortunes of our global economy.
Improving Access to Health Care
People in poor countries tend to have less access to health services than those in better‐off countries, and within countries, the poor have less access to health services.
Our efforts include concerted efforts to reach the poor, engaging communities and disadvantaged people, encouraging local adaptation, and careful monitoring of effects on the poor.
We see our patients as partners and commit ourselves to use data to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of health care.
Our health systems focus on competent care and user experience by following quality policies and strategies. We empower the local communities with information to actively engage in health care decisions and in designing new models of care to meet the needs of their particular villages.
There are also new innovations in financing, delivery, and regulation of health services that hold promise for improving access to the poor, such as the use of health equity funds, conditional cash transfers, and coproduction and regulation of health services. The challenge remains to find ways to ensure that vulnerable populations have a say in how strategies are developed, implemented, and accounted for in ways that demonstrate improvements in access by the poor.
We are committed to working with companies to develop pharmaceutical products that help aid the specific needs of war zones. With your support, the disease burden in currently developing nations will lower, and access to proper healthcare will rise.
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