Monday, July 15, 2013

The essay that follows is a mind-twister for certain!  What you read may surprise you, unless you have a degree in public health.  Much food for thought on how to intervene for life and health in the really tough parts of a city like mine.  Reactions, as always, welcomed!

Why We Need to Treat America's Poorest Neighborhoods Like Developing Countries

The average life expectancy in Japan right now, home to one of the healthiest, longest-living populations in the world, is about 83 years. That's four years longer than in the United States, a decade longer than in much of North Africa, and as many as 30 years longer than some war-torn parts of the world like Sierra Leone.  
These global patterns are well-known, but we seldom look at our own communities in the same way.
"Most people appreciate at a country level that there are huge disparities in health between the U.S. and, for example, countries in Africa," says David Fleming, the public health director and health officer for Seattle and King County. "I think what is not as obvious to most people is that you don’t need to go any further than your front door, and most of us are living in communities where those same profound differences occur across much smaller geographic areas."
In fact, that area may span the distance of a stop or two on the subway, or another exit off the highway. In New Orleans, for instance, a couple of miles down Interstate 10 can mean the difference in 25 years in life expectancy. . . .click here to read more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those are some pretty signifcant disparities. I like the author's idea of using health workers (not necessarily doctors) to educate and empower people in low income areas. Things often do not happen due to the cost of making them happen. Using health workers could make a real difference and avoid sticker shock that could stop the whole effort before it starts.