FACTORS THAT DETERMINE A HEALTHY COMMUNITY

Vision of a healthy community/Board voice

In the last discussion, I highlighted different forms of community where people live together to share in common activities. In course of their interactions, so many health risks take place.

In today’s series, i will lead you to several factors that play significant role in community social cohesion and willingness to set and strive for common goals. A community does not have to be homogeneous i.e. people with the same ideology, religion, ethnicity, family history etc. Almost all communities have people from diverse backgrounds who are determine to overcome their differences and work toward common goals or objectives.

However, the following factors make community unique

History: Every community standing today migrated from somewhere. They are a product of life event that took place in the past. Historical factors may hinder or promote community development and the current activities as well as the behavior of the community dwellers.

Social elements: such as ethnicity, language, family structure, gender disparity and other social factors can affect the cohesiveness of a community. For example language barrier is a serious disadvantage to community growth except the community finds a way of using a common language that can be understood by many if not all.

Economic factors: also determine whether a community stays together or not. The economic status of majority of the community dwellers dictate directly and indirectly the health of such community. When majority of the community people can afford to provide for the basic health need of her members, disease outbreak and sickness in the community is brought to the barest minimum. The livelihood of a community is a key factor in their health indices.

Cultural factors: explains the importance people place on their lay down believe system. I was astonished when i saw a tribe in Rivers State celebrate her culture. I was told that the custom of the land allow young girls or ladies to appear naked in the town square in the present of spectators. This event showcase ladies that are due for marriage. That is what the tradition and culture of that tribe permits, and know that their are health, behavioral and human right violations that need to be addressed as long as the practice continue.

Intellectual element: the level of literacy in a community directly influence its developmental strive. When majority of the community dwellers are aware of what it takes to build a healthy and habitable community, they will go all out to ensuring they achieve their goals, instead of few leaders trying to succeed on their own accord. For example, considering the human right violation associated with the cultural practice highlighted above; am sure no educated family will allow their wards to participate in such culture that abuses girl-child dignity by showing her nakedness to the world.

Leadership: this is the most important factor that controls all others. Where leadership fails, human right violation thrives. Health and security break down and the community become unbearable for people to live in.

Conclusively, a community is an essential functional unit of any society and must be made healthy at all times. All the elements that make up the community must be understood and rehearse by everyone in order to maintain a save and healthy community where development can thrive.

INSIGHT OF A COMMUNITY

A plant is a community/ Liquid architecture

A community is the smallest unit of a nation. It’s a unit of social interaction where people share things in common. People in a community share believe, culture, religion, value, identity and unfortunately disease.

Understanding your community

  1. Settlement community is a place where people live to do things in common. For example, your village is a perfect representation of what a community look like. It’s a setting of people who practice some sort of respect for what they believe and value.
  2. Work community is a place of interaction between colleagues and co-workers. this is where people share experiences through practice. They share common value when they work on a project to achieve their goal.
  3. School community is a place of intellectual interaction where people engage in teaching and learning.
  4. Market community is a place where those in the community participate in trading- buying and selling of goods and services.
  5. Religious community is a place where people set up for themselves some believe and practice and profess them. It could be a church, mosque, shrine, etc. The community dwellers hold dearly their believe as the source of their existence and safety.

One thing is common among the various forms of communities highlighted above. They all have a central goal that drive them. That goal if pull away will scatter the people and leave a vacuum.

Therefore, a community is glue together by a force, which can best be described as common purpose that keep people together. When that common purpose is altered or disrupted or interferes with, the community lost her value and enter into a state of commotion and non-existence. This is the reason so many communities today, even nations are glamouring for division, independence and what have you; because the purpose that held them together has eluded them.

WHAT COMMUNITY HEALTH ENTAILS

GLOBAL HEALTH AND ENGINEERING MEETUP

According to Wikipedia,”Community health is a major field of study within the medical and clinical sciences which focuses on the maintenance, protection and improvement of the health status of the population groups and communities”.

The World Health Organisation, WHO defines community health as,”Environmental, social and economic resources to sustain emotional and physical well being among people in ways that advance their aspirations and satisfy their need in their unique environment”.

Community health can best be understood by taking cognizance of all the elements that make up the community, including immaterial things that are not quantifiable. Some of the questions that come to mind when thinking about community health are; how save is the environment of the community? Can the people interact freely with each other? Is there cohesion and unity in project delivery? How many projects have been successfully completed? What is there source of livelihood, what are the people really doing to live on? What is the quality of their water as well as the source of their drinking water? What is the level of education of majority of the community dwellers? How ease is doing business? Is there health facility in the community? How accessible, affordable, equip is the health facility? Are there health personnel readily available at the facility? How is the state of the roads in the community? How accommodating are the living houses? Any power or electricity in the community? and many other questions that apply to human activities and living conditions.

A typical modern community has transcended the old view of historical and traditional values community held so dearly. Objectively, looking at communities that are healthy, represented on the picture above, reveals that the community dweller and stakeholders consciously address the above questions and ensure that the standard of living of majority of the community dwellers is raised to an acceptable minimum standard. They address the factors that pose threat to the physical health of the individuals through policy making as well as executing meaningful project that contribute to the life of people.

For example, a community with an epidermic of cholera is traceable to a common source of contaminated water. The source of water use for domestic activities like cooking, drinking are contaminated by faecal material defecated into the water body. If that community has good toilet facilities or better sewage disposal system, the faeces wouldn’t find its way into the water bodies. Better still if they have quality source of drinking water, they wouldn’t be drinking contaminated water.

However, community health shouldn’t be a concern of few individuals probably those in health industry, rather it calls for everyone within the community. To achieve community health every individual in the community must be healthy in all ramifications first, but this can not be achieve without collaborations within sectors, and active participation by all members of the community.

You should ask yourself what contribution have you made toward the health and development of your community. That is the way forward. We shall continue with this discussion in the next article.

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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                              WELCOME TO MY BLOG

Community health blog is a platform where the health challenges of the community and its dwellers are discussed. It gives a holistic approach in dealing with all the components of health and wellness in a community such as physical, social, mental, financial, occupational, environmental, intellectual, spiritual and security.

Many professional writers participate in the discussion to give you a robust and real life experience. We are determine to inform, educate, entertain and keep you safe and healthy in your community through the discussions on this platform.

I believe that if your community is not healthy in all ramifications there is no way you can be healthy as an individual.

Our collective participation in community development ultimately lead to the well being of individuals and the community at large, and vice versa. 

The Vision:

“Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered.”                                                                                                      -Jeremiah 8:22

Why do people get sick? This has been a challenging question for me and remain a fundamental question that prove medical science inadequate as far as human health is concerned. We are on a journey to explore the cause of sickness among people in the community. It’s certain that different communities suffer different kind of diseases. that is ti say that almost all disease are traceable to the community. Follow us to discover how.

I deeply appreciate you for finding time to read through the discussions and contributing where necessary for us to achieve a healthy community.