Healthcare Policy and Millennium Development Goals

The global issues that lead to vulnerable populations and disparity at present are mainly economic, social and political. The economic factor is the greatest contributor to vulnerabilities today. The least developed countries are most especially disadvantaged when it comes to dealing with vulnerabilities like pandemics, poverty, hunger and education among their citizens. The economic ability of these countries are limited because their level of development is equally low. This does not mean that the developed countries like the United States cannot have vulnerabilities. This was made evident when there was an Ebola outbreak and the United States’ citizens were also put at risk of contracting the same. The United States has been exposed to other vulnerabilities over time like the swine flu.

The issues that led to this kind of exposure have everything to do with the screening and medical research failure to detect the onset of these pandemics. For instance, when the swine flu began spreading, many people got infected before the medical bodies could find a way of reducing the rate of spread. It is important to note that the disparities in vulnerable populations has everything to do with poverty and education levels. In countries like the United States, the levels of poverty and illiteracy are very low compared to places like Africa where only few people are free of poverty and illiteracy. Comparing these two populations, the people in Africa are much more likely to be vulnerable because they poverty levels are sky high (Teng, 2015).

The global issues that make it difficult to eradicate poverty and elevate literacy levels are the world politics. The developed countries make it difficult for the underdeveloped countries to develop by formulating policies that are not favourable to the less developed countries. Socially, the less developed countries have closely knit societies. The developed countries have the complete opposite which makes it even more difficult for these two populations to work together to eliminate the vulnerabilities. The global politics if directed the right way can be effective in eliminating the vulnerabilities (Teng, 2015).

As health care professionals, it is important to enhance research geared towards the development of medical products that are affordable to the people in the world. It is also important to keep in mind that most of the people vulnerable to life threatening conditions live in poverty. The conditions that vulnerable people are exposed to may not be so life threatening but their economic status makes them unable to seek the necessary care. For instance, the spread of cholera can be controlled if the people it affects can get easy access to medication. 

The responsible factors for vulnerabilities are poverty and lack of education. People live without basic knowledge and this makes it difficult to help them out of their vulnerabilities. For instance; people who have little or no education will not agree to use birth control methods to reduce their birth rates (Teng, 2015). Most of them will argue that since the survival rate of these children is low, it is better to give birth to many children to ensure that when some die, some will survive. In such a situation, it is very difficult to advice these people that giving birth to fewer children with the right medical care will ensure that all of them survive.  

Introducing education in such societies means that these people can effectively be convinced to have less children that they can support. It is not easy to convince an individual who is unlearned that it is easier to educate fewer children. They often argue that it is not a problem to cater for many children but on the other hand, they find it difficult to afford three meals a day. Such a situation leads to severe cases of malnutrition and stunted growth for these children.

As health care professionals, it is important to ensure that however minor an idea sounds, it should be explored if it means it could help a vulnerable people somewhere. For instance, the malaria infections in the United States could be very few. This is not to say that the American doctor cannot develop a vaccine that will help people in Africa. If a doctor in Africa can help develop medication to deal with HIV and AIDS, they should be supported and not dismissed for being Africans (United Nations Foundations, 2012). It is important that the individuals in medical practice find ways of working together to ensure that the vulnerabilities in matters of health are reduced without considering the borders.

The millennium development goals were designed to help the nations of the world move towards better quality of life. These goals were mainly focused on the wellness of people. The goals are eight; Poverty and hunger eradication, universal primary education for all, women empowerment and gender equality, reduction of child mortality rates, improvement of maternal health care, environmental sustainability, creation of global partnerships for developments and fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and other pandemics (United Nations Foundations, 2012). These goals are overall about the health of people. Five out of the eight principles are about the health status of the people. Development and empowerment are just part of the society that cannot be ignored. These goals were developed to make sure that the people in all nations are in a position to engage in development friendly activities without being held back by health challenges. 

The Millennium development goals are easy to implement for people who are committed to improving the lives of the people around them. I take part in upholding these goals by ensuring that the women I work with have equal opportunities as the men in getting access to opportunities. This ensure that within my work area, there is gender equality (United Nations Foundations, 2012). The ability to empower women to a point where they can compete with men in the work place without there being double standards is not easy. It requires that women are trained to see themselves being capable of achieving big things. In the medical field, I encourage women to take part in ground breaking research projects. This means that they can effectively apply their knowledge and at the same time increase their wealth of knowledge on medical issues. The millennium development goals are very important in ensuring that people can effectively work together to improve the quality of life.

Being in the medical field, the millennium development goals are centred on health. The eradication of poverty means that the poverty stricken areas will have to get medical attention to take care of conditions like pest infestations. People living in poverty mainly have infestation of pests like bed bugs, lice and other pests that make life very uncomfortable. It is important that being in this profession has opened my eyes to the challenges people face in a way that I have thought of starting a foundation geared towards anti-jiggers campaigns in the poor states in the United States. In these states, the mortality rates of infants is at an all-time high. It means that when working against jiggers I will have to find similar philanthropic organizations to cater for the maternal health care problems. This means that with my little influence in the medical field, I can make a change for a few people with the aim of ensuring that the millennium development goals have been achieved.

The ethics of the medical profession are not optional. There are majorly four ethics that cut across all the medical health personnel. These ethics are; autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice (University, Saint Joseph’s, 2017). The autonomy principle leaves all the decisions on what procedures the patient will agree to, to the patient. It means that a medical health practitioner can only suggest, advice and recommend but the patient has the right to refuse any procedure. At this point the doctor or nurse is obliged to agree to the demands of the patient and not try and convince them otherwise. In my future as a health care practitioner, I will ensure that at no time do I have to force a patient into a procedure that they do not want performed. I will, however, make sure that I give enough and well informed advice to patients. 

The second ethical principle is the beneficence principle. This is the principle that compels the health care practitioners to do everything they can for the benefit of the patient (University, Saint Joseph’s, 2017). A health care personnel has to always get the best for each patient they handle. This principle can be used against a medical care practitioner who treats the patients they handle without being keen enough and professional about it. In my future in medical care, I will uphold this ethic because it is in place to make sure that the sick people get the best from the people trained to take care of them.

The non-maleficence and justice principles are important in all medical situations. The non-maleficence principle means that whatever a patient goes through, they do not get into harm’s way. They have to be protected from harm by the health care workers. It is the most important ethic of the medical practice. The justice principle is all about fairness in practice. The health care workers have to ensure that at all times the patients are treated fairly and given due attention. It means that at no point is a medical health care worker supposed to treat the people they know better than those they do not (University, Saint Joseph’s, 2017).

All these principles have to be embedded into the spirit of the healthcare workers. As part of the health care workers, it is important that I uphold these ethics to ensure that quality is what my patients receive. Practicing these ethics repeatedly makes the performance of health duties easy to handle. I will have the responsibility of ensuring that the health care situations that I will have control over are conducted within the confines of these ethics. This way, the medical health care practice will achieve more and at the same time use funds effectively to deliver good medical care.

References

Teng, J. (2015, July 5). Uneven Progress in Reducing Extreme Poverty, Hunger and Malnutirion. Retrieved from The World Bank: blog.worldbank.org/opendate/mdg-uneven-progress-reducing-extreme-poverty-hunger-and-malnutrition

United Nations Foundations. (2012). The Millenium Development Goals. Retrieved from United Nations Foundation: www.unfoundation.org/what-we-do/issues/mdgs.html

University, Saint Joseph’s. (2017). How the Four Principles of Health Care Ethics Improve Patient Care. Retrieved from Saint Joseph’s University: online.sju.edu/graduate/masters-health-administration/resources/articles/four-principles-of-health-care-ethics-improve-patient-care

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