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Determinants of Health

Introduction to Determinants of Health

All over the world the COVID-19 pandemic has had a compelling effect on the health and economy system of most countries and this is also the same situation arises in Australia. Australia has not seen the immense outpouring of COVID-19 positive cases but in other part of the world subsequent hospitalisations and deaths be experienced. However there have been some important social, political, geographical and cultural factors that are responsible to reduce the graph, to eradicate corona virus infections and to deal with those who are infected from virus. These have included various factors such as local lockdown measures, complete shutdown of international and interstate borders, employees shifted to work from home, maintaining physical distancing, shutdown of non-essential services, closure of all schools and educational institute.

Australian government take initiative by providing private sector diabetes health care services through telehealth support and new subsidies are also provided in support of telehealth services("PM warns economic impacts of coronavirus for Australia could top global financial crisis", 2020).For the first time to look after the diabetes cases, the government starts funded subsidy for care provided through the telephone and inclusion of credentialed diabetes educators in funded telehealth support. The Consumer organisations and health professional of Australia worked together in providing guidelines for COVID-19 especially for position statements and other educational Department. Analysis of all the changes will be essential once the COVID-19 pandemic is over considering which should be implemented permanently. The learnings achievement from COVID-19 pandemic should help the people of Australia for subsequent pandemics ("The economic, geopolitical and health impacts of COVID-19", 2020).

COVID - 19 health issue that has impacted the Australian population from a political, cultural and national perspective.

Factors that have contributed to a lower number of deaths in Australia as compared to other countries:

Reaction of Government

The Government of Australia took the initiative of forming a national cabinet of ministers to manage the response to COVID-19. This included lockdown restrictions and maintaining physical distance to eradicate the spread of COVID-19 infections. The government imposes lockdown restrictions as such that only for the valid reasons or in emergency situation people should leave their house: provision of health care, shopping for essential items, support and exercising with not more than one other person; Other measures included as severe restrictions on travel between the borders and halting incoming international flights. All educational institute were closed for the students but the students who work in some essential services were allowed to do their work. Recently, the Australian Government released a new mobile app named as “COVIDSafe” so that all Australians can download this app and linked this app to look after the relaxation measure of shutdown and to maintain social distancing.

Heath System Response

 In Australia at present the numbers of cases of COVID-19 is low. This means in most of the communities the risk of being infected to someone with virus is currently low. Each and every person has a responsibility to look after themselves and their loved ones. However cases remain low, people still required to do: practise good cough and hand hygiene; get influenza vaccination; practise physical distancing and stay at home and if feel unwell with even with mild cold then get test for COVID-19("Yahoo is now a part of Verizon Media", 2020)

Public Risk Factor

Anyone can infected from virus and acquire severe disease. Although, the chances of getting COVID-19 rises in the people of old age and the people who have some health issue. Increase risk of being infected is also due to some medical conditions. High chances of getting COVID-19 include those people who:

  • are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • have a high blood pressure, blood cancer("Cancer diagnoses drop as many skip screening due to COVID-19", 2020)
  •  some kidney dysfunction
  • have weak immune system
  • have had transplant of an organ

Other long-lasting disease are associated with a chance of being infected with COVID-19.Some evidence shows that regardless of age having more than two conditions may increase the chances of getting infection. People who concerns regarding their chances of getting infection can ask their doctor to help them. It would be better to build some particular action plan to fight with the severe risk of COVID -19 illness. As in the community there are lower number of COVID-19 cases so this is the best time to implement this action plan.

Social Efforts and Settings

The present situation of COVID-19 cases in most of the communities of country is low.(Impact, 2020)What does this mean? This means that the people of Australia who even have at greater chance of more severe illness, can return back to their normal duties and interact with the people by maintaining distancing and other required controls in work place.

All people required to consider:

  • Their particular chance of getting severe infection.
  • As to do certain activities the interaction between the public is important but how they can be done those activities safely.
  • The stage of transmission of virus where they live and travel.

What Should Be Done if The Cases Increase?

If the number of cases of COVID -19 increases then people required to rethink about their action and how these might impact the chances of exposure of COVID-19 virus. ("Why our death toll is low", 2020)

 Some types of activities may enhance the chances of spreading COVID-19 virus. These include the following activities:

  • Over the longer duration of time having large numbers of people in close contact.
  • Require sharing objects with others.

When the chances of community transmission in society is high then the people who are at a high risk of getting infection can carefully considered or avoided their presence on doing such activities

Some settings at work place may also place employees at higher chance of COVID-19 exposure:

  • Risk of exposure with infected people like in setting of aged care or health department.

Working environment where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. ("COVID-19: Implications for the Australian healthcare workforce", 2020)

  • Working in an environment where there is increased number of cases of virus transmission.

As we seen from all over the world that many men are more prone to the risk of COVID-19 then women why? Is it hormones, gene, the immune system or behaviour that makes men more prone to the risk of COVID-19 disease? (Peeters, Mullins, Becker, Orellana & Livingston, 2020).

One major factor in severity of COVID-19 is age ("Covid-19’s Devastating Impact on Older People in Australia", 2020).The other important factor is the presence of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. These are all more common in men than women, which might cause some difference.

But in comparison to women why men are more prone to the diseases that put them at greater risk of COVID-19?

  • Biologically Men and women are different and Men are also disadvantaged by their lower level of estrogen which protects women from many diseases including heart disease.
  • The Y chromosome in Men contains hardly any genes other than SRY but it is full of repetitive sequences. As the “toxic Y” could lose its regulation during ageing so this might causes hasten ageing in men and risk them more susceptible to the virus. (Dr. Liji Thomas, 2020).

Conclusion on Determinants of Health

It is clear from the above discussion that people suffering from diabetes or any other severe chronic disease are at greater risk of serious health impacts in COVID-19 than people without any serious illness .As effectual management of blood glucose level in people who is suffering from diabetes and COVID-19 virus will drive to give better results and reduces death rate. Australian healthcare professionals are also proactive in the research related to COVID-19 on national and international level.In Australia, the health professionals of diabetes have been supported with telephone services and telehealth consultation incentives and provide direction regarding how the level of glucose in blood be managed and how the medication be use, including particular information about the use of sodium-glucose cotransporter and metformin 2 inhibitors.To minimize the impact of COVID-19 Australian Government also take some important decision regarding to reduce risk of Covid-19 by imposing lockdown restrictions on public; providing various health subsidies and to launch mobile app COVIDSafe so that people linked this app to look after the relaxation measure of shutdown and to maintain social distancing.

References for Determinants of Health

Cancer diagnoses drop as many skip screening due to COVID-19. (2020). Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2020/08/05/Cancer-diagnoses-drop-as-many-skip-screening-due-to-COVID-19/3611596576537/

Covid-19’s Devastating Impact on Older People in Australia. (2020). Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/08/06/covid-19s-devastating-impact-older-people-australia

COVID-19: Implications for the Australian healthcare workforce. (2020). Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://www.pwc.com.au/important-problems/coronavirus-covid-19/australian-healthcare-workforce.html

Dr. Liji Thomas, M. (2020). COVID-19 lockdown on sexual and reproductive health in Australia. Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200813/COVID-19-lockdown-on-sexual-and-reproductive-health-in-Australia.aspx

 Impact, S. (2020). Covid-19 And Social Impact. Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/sorensonimpact/2020/04/10/covid-19-and-social-impact/

Peeters, A., Mullins, G., Becker, D., Orellana, L., & Livingston, P. (2020). COVID-19's impact on Australia's health research workforce. Retrieved 21 August 2020, from

PM warns economic impacts of coronavirus for Australia could top global financial crisis. (2020). Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-10/scott-morrison-economic-impacts-coronavirus-australia-gfc/12040612

The economic, geopolitical and health impacts of COVID-19. (2020). Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/the-economic-geopolitical-and-health-consequences-of-covid-19/

Why our death toll is low. (2020). Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-australia-why-our-covid19-death-toll-is-low/news-story/f555a96c5e4403c08fed6ecf36b3aa5f

Yahoo is now a part of Verizon Media. (2020). Retrieved 21 August 2020, from https://au.news.yahoo.com/suicides-spiking-due-to-coronavirus-menat-health-impact-071619272.html

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