All citizens have a right to affordable and quality health care services. The government and all other agencies responsible for providing health care should meet all the needs of the population regarding this issue. Communities have different practices and beliefs, and this means that a strategy used in one region may not work properly in another (Milani & Lavie, 2015). Therefore, the government should conduct surveys to understand the characteristics of a population. These surveys guide governments to provide adequate, high-quality and specific health care services that target a population. This essay examines the health problems of Westchester, Miami and how it relates to the demographics of its population.
Westchester consists of an enormous immigrant population with about less than 20% consisting of the locals. It forms a unique population and community in the United States, and that is why it attracts interest from various groups. The largest part of the population consists of Hispanic immigrants that have lived in this region for a long time. It is easy for this and other immigrants to live in this region because there is less documentation required to be a resident of Westchester. The cosmopolitan nature of this population makes it easy for immigrants to coexist. They derive joy in sharing similar predicaments, and this explains why their lifestyles integrate easily.
Demographic and Epidemiological Data
The population of this region has a unique characteristic that is not common in most regions in the United States. First, most people do not have a reliable source of income. In fact, they survive on a hand-to-mouth basis and have little money to save or invest. The population consists mainly of the middle-aged people (Murray, 2013). The elderly and young people make approximately 30%, while those aged between 25 and 65 years are more than 65% of the total population. Most residents are Hispanic, and this means that they are immigrants. The proportion of men to women is almost equal, and there is an even distribution of population across the region.
Causes of Health Problems and Deaths
The residents of Westchester community do not have access to all the basic needs required for human survival. Therefore, the majority of them die of preventable diseases (pneumonia, diabetes, heart conditions, and urinary tract infections and health complications) (Feldman, 2010). Mobility rate is high due to the limited access and knowledge of health care needs of the population. It is estimated that three out of 10 women miscarry every year while at least 2% of newborns do not live to see their fifth birthdays. Poor diet and obesity are the chief causes of health problems in this community. A greater percentage of the population believes that there do not have time for leisure activities (Feldman, 2010). Therefore, they spend all their day indoors in offices or homes doing work. Poverty drives them to eat what they can afford, and this leads to a high rate of malnutrition (Vlodaver, Wilson & Garry, 2012). There is little or no awareness about health insurance covers, and even those that know this policy are reluctant to register and make follow-ups. They do not trust health care facilities and believe that there is no solution to their problems.
The national data estimates that less than a fifth of the United States population suffers from obesity and other health complications associated with a proportional body weight (Milani & Lavie, 2015). Therefore, the statistic of Westchester is an actual representation of the national data. However, the high death rates caused by heart complications in Westchester outnumbers the national data because 0.000015% (15 deaths out of a 100,000 people) die in Westchester compared to 10 out of 100,000 with the national data. In addition, 5 out of 10,000 people die of heart failure in Westchester while the national data shows 3 out of 10,000 people succumb to the same problem. The poverty rate of the national data is lower and shows that most people live an average life. However, almost 85% of Westchester’s population live in dire poverty (Feldman, 2010). Formal employment is minuscule, and most of those working in government offices or wealthy private companies are natives.
The main health problem facing the Westchester community originates from poor dieting and lifestyles. The Westchester health department argues that there is an increase in the number of patients and victims that succumb to heart diseases and diabetes (Milani & Lavie, 2015). This department estimates that the number may double to about 100 out of 100,000 people if immediate measures are not taken to alleviate the problem. Higher poverty rates offer an easy recipe for people to eat from restaurants and fast food centers who offer cheap and ready-made foods (Feldman, 2010). There is little hygienic awareness that causes the fast spread of communicable diseases. Most people in this community are unemployed, and those in employment are casual laborers who earn meager salaries that cannot afford to buy balanced diets. They seek medical attention when it is too late after all other traditional interventions fail. It is right to argue that these people have a poor perception and the wrong attitude towards health care facilities (Murray, 2013). Those who know health insurance policies are reluctant to enroll or educate others about them.
Ignorance is the greatest problem affecting the residents of Westchester. Most of these inhabitants do not know the existence of health care insurance covers that are important in ensuring they get proper medical services (Milani & Lavie, 2015). The city of Miami should pay attention and educate the residents of Westchester about proper diets and healthy lifestyles. In addition, they should be educated on the importance of working together with the local and national government to promote health awareness in the region. The community should prioritize its needs and give preference to public education. It will be difficult to improve the health of this community if people are not educated on ways of improving their diets, living healthy lifestyles and embracing changes in the health care sector References (Feldman, 2010). The Healthy People 2020 aspirations will be achieved if members of this community are educated and encouraged to seek early diagnosis and treatment and stop relying on fast foods and living inactive lifestyles. Major risk factors that exist in this community include the reluctance to seek early medical services and poverty that limits the ability of most patients to finance their treatment.
Illiteracy and poverty have contributed to the extreme health conditions of people living in the Westchester community. The government has neglected this region because it assumes most of its inhabitants are illegal immigrants. Heart-related conditions and diabetes have ravaged this region because of illiteracy, poor diets, and inactive lifestyles. Prioritization of public education and poverty eradication programs will transform the health of this community. The national and local governments have effective programs and policies to improve the health of members of this community. However, these victims are not using the opportunities created to improve their health because they do not appreciate their values. Public education and awareness campaigns will help these people to realize the importance of health insurance, proper dieting and healthy lifestyles in improving their health.
Feldman, A. (2010). Heart Failure Device Management. Chichester, West Sussex, UK New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell.
Milani, D. & Lavie, S. (2015). Health Care 2020: Re-Engineering Health Care Delivery to Combat Chronic Disease. The American Journal of Medicine, 128 (4), 75-83.
Murray, C. (2013). The State of US Health: 1990-2010 Burdens of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors. JAMA, 310 (6), 591-606.
Vlodaver, Z., Wilson, R. & Garry, D. (2012). Coronary Heart Disease, Clinical, Pathological, Imaging, and Molecular Profiles. New York: Springer.