This report discusses the social determinant of health and critically analyses how social policies are applied in Camden Town in London. The various areas discussed by the reports include the Camdens demography, social determinants of health, drug and alcohol abuse, safeguarding adults and children, social and health policies that prevent drug abuse, and public health provision aIDressing health inequality (World Health Organization 2003).
The recent estimate of the population in 2009 gives a total population of 210, 600, with 34600 being children aged 14 years and below (Lang & Rayner 2000). Approximately one fifth of the entire population of Camden is aged below 20 years. The number of young children is expected to increase by approximately 2 to 3 per cent, while those in primary age are expected to increase by approximately 6 to 8 percent.
Social determinants of Health
Stressful circumstances make people feel anxious, worried and unable to cope (Woolf 2009). These circumstances are harmful to the health of the people of Camden and might result in premature death. Prolonged insecurity, anxiety, low self esteem, lack of control, isolation and home life have significant effects on the health of many people of Camden.
Early life is another determinant of health of the people of Camden. A good start in life implies supporting young children and mothers. Observational studies and interventions in Camden have shown that the basis of adult health is laid before birth and early childhood (Woolf 2009). Camdens social policy best reduces these risks through enhanced preventive health care prior to the first pregnancy, babies, and mothers in post- and prenatal.
Social exclusion is another determinant of health of the people of Camden (World Health Organization 2003). Relative deprivation, poverty and social exclusion have a significant effect on the premature death and health of the people of Camden. In aIDition, the chances of living in poverty are high in some social groups. The many ethnic minority, disabled, guest workers, refugees, disabled people and homeless people of Camden are at a particular risk of absolute poverty. Workplace stress raises the risks associated to diseases.
Unemployment is a health determinant in Camden. The bottom-line is that higher unemployment rates cause premature deaths to children and result in illnesses (Lang & Rayner 2000). Evidences indicate that unemployed people and families in Camden town suffer a significantly elevated risk of premature death, even after allowing other factors. Job security improves health, job satisfaction and well-being.
Social support and good social relations significantly contribute to the health of the people of Camden (Ostbye, Dement & Krause 2007). An example is the Family Group Conferences that are decision-making conferences held to assist families and people find solutions to their problems. Drug use is a major problem in Camden town. The region has about 4500 adult opiate or crack users, according to the estimates of Home Office. Opiate use rates in Camden are the second highest in London. On the other hand, the rates of use of crack are the third highest in London.
Safeguarding Children and Adults
Safeguarding children and adults implies that all should make sure that they are protected and action taken whenever an individual is at risk of social evils such as neglect, abuse or sexual exploitation (Woolf 2009). The national drugs strategy that protects families and communities emphasizes on Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) partnerships in order to ensure that parent s using drugs receive immediate access to prevent harm coming to children.
Social and Health Policy
The development of a set of National Service Frameworks in 1998 by the Department of Health improved the provision of health care in Camden, especially in areas of care like mental health, cancer, diabetes and coronary disease.
Lang, T & Rayner, G 2000, Overcoming policy cacophony on obesity: an ecological public , Obes Rev, vol 8, no. 12, pp. 165-81.
Ostbye, T, Dement, M & Krause, K 2007, Drug Misuse Adult Harm Reduction Health Strategy 2009/2012, Arch Intern Med, vol 168, no. 7, pp. 766-773.
Woolf, S 2009, Social Policy as Health Policy, JAMA, vol 301, no. 11, pp. 1166-1170.
World Health Organization 2003, Social Determinants of Health, 2nd edn, WHO, CopenHagen.
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