From the Womb to the Tomb
The United States, the richest country in the world, currently ranks 27th in the health of its citizens. Lagging behind not only most of the rich countries, but a few poor ones as well. Fifty years ago, the US was among the top five. What happened in the past five decades to cause this decline? Bezruchka explains that an increasing stratification between the rich and the poor plays a major role. Life spans and infant mortality rates depend very much on the hierarchal structure of a society. And new research shows that half of what influences our health as adults is largely determined before the age of five. What can we learn from other countries whose citizens live longer and healthier lives?
Dr. Stephen Bezruchka is on the faculty of the Department of Global Health and the Department of Health Services at the University of Washington. He worked for many years as an emergency physician in Seattle. He worked in Nepal for more than a decade where he helped set up a community health project a week’s walk from the road. He also established a remote district hospital for training Nepali doctors whom he supervised. He is the author of Inequality Kills Us All: COVID-19’s Health Lessons for the World.
aisha adamu –
I listened to his speech courtesy of Walden University library collections and i was most facinated by his revelations. Being a clinician myself and a student of public health the concepts he mentioned were both revealing and challenging. They are revealing because they touch on the wide gap in income between stratas of the society; his speech made me think about the situation in my country whee doctors are the most highly paid of all categories of health workers and yet their is still a thirst for higher pay. I believe it is the ego thing; being the most highly paid gives one the feeling of superioriy over others i gues. It was challenging in the sense that it required us to think about the causes of ill health in a completely different way. The emphasis on the cause of ill health being income disparity is a challenging (but insightful) concept.
Overall it was a well written, researched, and presented paper and it is a resource public health professionals should have in their collection.