Significance Of Social Determinants Of Health

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5. Define and explain the significance of the social determinants of health. How is this connected to an understanding of social and health inequalities in Canadian society? How does this approach connect with environmental public health and your role as an environmental public health professional?

If one were to define healthy, one might define it as the absence of disease; another might define it as proper nutrition, exercise, a steady job, minimal stress, etc. The truth of the matter is healthy is defined as all of those things and more. Each ‘thing’ is considered a factor, and these factors are classified as social determinants of health. The social determinants of health refer to the economic and social conditions – and their distribution
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You could take a child in the hospital and ask how he got here, but the social determinant asks why he got here. It more than just a broken leg, it’s that the family couldn’t afford proper nutrition or that the family doesn’t know what proper nutrition is. Health in this case, is conceptualized as a resource for living (or the person itself), rather than simply the broken bones in the person. The Social determinant of health were conceptualized first in the Ottawa Charter (1986), and later the World Health Organization’s definition of health became: a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. To truly treat the root causes of a person’s unhealthiness, one needs to look at the social determinant factors to truly mediate a health problem. In particular to Canada, …show more content…
After all, it is people in lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to experience chronic ill health and die earlier than those who are more advantaged. Canada’s most infamous example is the first nation’s communities. Since the start of the British North America Act, the colonial process has resulted in diminished self-determination and a lack of influence in policies that directly relate to Aboriginal individuals and communities. All Aboriginal groups have suffered losses of land, language and socio-cultural resources. Racism, discrimination and social exclusion also represent shared experiences among Aboriginal groups, with Métis peoples often experiencing exclusion from First Nations and Inuit groups as well. Today, fundamental conditions and resources for health such as peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable ecosystem, sustainable resources, social justice and equity can widely vary in the diverse aboriginal communities from sufficient to severely lacking. This is because little is known about the distinct influence of social determinants of health in the lives of Aboriginal peoples. In order to improve the health of the aboriginals, considering the diversity of the groups, each group must be considered unique from the next. The complex, intersecting and interrelated determinants and

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