Global Climate Change and Health: NURS_4115_Week_5_Assignment_Rubric The environment (both home and physical) significantly influences health, as you saw in the readings and media presentations for this week. You also read about the ramifications of global climate change on health. For the purpose of this Assignment, consider the implications of global climate change on health now […]
Global Climate Change and Health
The acceleration in global climate change results in increased health risks, necessitating the health sector to foster strategies meant to curd the resultant illnesses. Its response and agency in curbing adverse effects due to changes in climatic conditions, such as lack of drinkable water and respiratory diseases, significantly reduce their impact on patients and community members. Waterborne and respiratory diseases heavily impact healthcare dynamics in America, Canada, and India, necessitating the nursing fraternity to implement and promote strategies to combat their effects.
Healthcare Concerns in U.S., Canada, and India
The rise in transmittable health risks is partly attributed to pollution, with its effect having a direct and indirect effect on public health. For example, the recent increase in rainfall levels throughout the U.S., which is a consequence of pollution, has resulted in a resurgence of 87 waterborne diseases, such as gastrointestinal disorders, thus posing a grave health concern (Patz et al., 2014). However, an increase in waterborne diseases is not the only health risk posed by global climate changes, with America also facing a significant risk of respiratory diseases. Asthma and other respiratory diseases have significantly increased in recent years due to suspended fine particulates due to fossil fuel burning, while changing seasons increase the manifestation of aeroallergens resulting in an exacerbation of pulmonary complications (Holtz, 2017). The American government has enacted several policies under the Clean Air Act, which has made substantial progress, although limited funding under the current government threatens to derail the milestones already achieved (American Public Health Association [APHA], 2017). Therefore, America still faces challenges in addressing waterborne and respiratory illnesses; thus, there is a need for more stringent policies to help curb health risks.
Canada’s situation mirrors America’s, with the former spending $39 billion treating pollution-related illnesses in 2015. Among these diseases, some result from water pollutants, including pathogens, pesticides and other organic pollutants, heavy metals, and nuclear waste, while air pollutants include fine particulate matter, urban smog and ground-level ozone (Smith &McDougal, 2017). However, the severity of pollution is more prevalent in an industrialized third-world country such as India, which has more than 70% of its surface water contaminated by inorganic and organic contaminants (Murty & Kumar, 2011). Similarly, it also has the highest levels of household and ambient air pollution worldwide, resulting in more than a million deaths in 2015 (Khilnani & Tiwari, 2018). In response to the pollution, the Indian government piloted a five-year program named National Clean Air Program to create and implement emission control measures. Although industrialized countries fare better at containing pollutants than third-world countries, all countries still need to reduce pollution to mitigate the effect it has on health.
Health Promotional Strategies
Nurses are uniquely competent in promoting climate change-affiliated healthcare through observation, information gathering, and research, thus enabling data collection and usage in formulating beneficial policies (Veenema, 2016). Similarly, nurses’ involvement in grassroots campaigns aimed at unravelling healthcare patterns observed in the community would help identify and mitigate pollutant-based health concerns in the area (Stanhope et al., 2017). Nurses acting as community liaisons would interpret scientific information for the community, enabling the masses to gain information on how to mitigate health concerns caused by climate change (Stanhope et al., 2017). Therefore, community-oriented epidemiology enhances strategic, communal healthcare implementation, resulting in health promotion amongst individuals.
Nurses may also engage in popular epidemiology. This involves engaging social structures in ailment aetiology while incorporating public, judicial, social movements, and political participation in finding remedies and addressing challenges affiliated with the health effects of climate change (Stanhope et al., 2017). Popular epidemiology is used to complement traditional epidemiology, thus using laboratory testing, sampling techniques, and pollutants mapping to lobby for policy development and reform at the federal, state or local level (Stanhope et al., 2017). Therefore, popular epidemiology utilizes traditional methods to drive change.
Environmental determinants are essential in planning, assessing, and evaluating components affiliated with health. When nurses proactively abate pollutant-related health issues in the community and other levels of society, it vastly strengthens disease prevention. Therefore, nurses need to implement measures aimed at mitigating health concerns to enhance healthcare while guiding policy, prevention, and productive decision-making.
American Public Health Association. (2017). Public health opportunities to address the health effects of air pollution. Retrieved from https://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/public-health-policy-statements/policy-database/2018/01/18/public-health-opportunities-to-address-the-health-effects-of-air-pollution
Holtz, C. (2017). Global health care: Issues and policies (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
Khilnani, G. C., & Tiwari, P. (2018). Air pollution in India and related adverse respiratory health effects: past, present, and future directions. Current opinion in pulmonary medicine, 24(2), 108-116.
Murty, M. N., & Kumar, S. (2011). Water pollution in India: an economic appraisal. India infrastructure report, 19, 285-298.
Patz, J. A., Frumkin, H., Holloway, T., Vimont, D. J., & Haines, A. (2014). Climate change: challenges and opportunities for global health. Jama, 312(15), 1565-1580.
Smith, R., & McDougal, K. (2017). Costs of Pollution in Canada: Measuring the Impacts on Families, Businesses and Governments. International Institute for Sustainable Development: Winnipeg, MB, Canada, 145.
Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2016). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Veenema, T. G., Griffin, A., Gable, A. R., MacIntyre, L., Simons, R. N., Couig, M. P., … & Larson, E. (2016). Nurses as leaders in disaster preparedness and response—A call to action. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 48(2), 187-200.
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Published On: 01-01-1970