This report highlights the vector borne diseases as one of the most influential environmental health issue. It uses the DPSEEA framework of environmental health to explain the effect, exposure and pressure of various driving forces including their impact on the environment. It further informs about the role of social, economic and political determinants of the environment while determining their association with various environmental risk factors.
The diseases that are caused by the transmission of viruses, bacteria and parasites by vectors such as mosquitos, ticks, mites, tsetse flies, blackflies, snails and lice are termed as vector borne diseases (WHO, 2017). The vector borne diseases such as cryptosporidiosis, dengue, malaria, barmah forest virus and chikungunya are considered as a common environmental health issue among the Aboriginal population of Queensland (Lal et.al 2015; Queensland health, 2019). This assignment discusses the driving forces, pressures, site changes, exposures and effects of vector borne diseases among the Aboriginal population of Queensland, Australia. It further highlights the assessment and management of vector borne diseases while discussing the role of health agencies, critical infrastructure and regulatory and legislative measures at the level of state and federal government. It aims at providing effective assessment of the vector borne diseases among the Aboriginal population of Queensland while suggesting relevant changes to the policies, regulations and management by the government agencies.
The DPSEEA framework describes the pressure generated by various driving forces that affects the human health and environmental processes (WHO, 1999). The driving forces such as economic development, population growth and technological changes tends to generate pressure on the environment in the form of excess production of hazardous elements and pollutants from the industries that degrades the state of environment. The people living in the vulnerable environment become exposed to various hazardous elements of the environment that results in illness and death based upon the degree of exposure of the person to the environmental pollutant (WHO, 1999).
(Source: WHO, 1999)
The driving forces such as increased livestock and development leads to the generation of greater amount of solid biological and hazardous waste material. Inefficient disposal of the solid waste can generate significant amount of pressure on the environment that leads to development of vector borne diseases. Poor design of landfills and improper management of solid wastes can attract disease causing vectors such as flies, mosquitoes and ticks that can cause serious illness (Vidyavathy, 2018). Waste management indicators such as production of untreated waste, illegally dumped waste, secondary level sewage treatment and quantities of the hazardous wastes disposed and collected in the water streams can be used to measure the extent of change in environment by vector borne diseases. Macroeconomic policies emphasize on strong economic growth while ensuring stability of the economic environment. The context of policies, economic infrastructure and social attitudes affect the driving forces to create environmental pressure. The DPSEEA framework does not include the proper health and environmental policies to reduce the vector borne diseases in areas of prime concern.
The physical, biological and chemical factors that can contribute to the health and wellbeing of an individual are addressed by the environmental health agencies of an area (Australian government, 2014). The minister for health, state and territory agencies ranging from global to local level takes the responsibility for providing solutions and advices on the matters of environmental health under the department of office of health protection (OHP). The environmental health committee of Australia is followed by the OHP to provide efficient environmental management projects and policies (Australian government, 2014). The government agencies and institutional structures work hand in hand with the department of environment to address the impact of hazardous waste, biological and chemical waste on the environmental health to reduce the diseases transmitted by vectors (Business, 2019). The federal agencies including centres for disease control, department of health and human services and environment protection agency monitors, evaluates and protects the environment from potential health hazards (TechTarget, 2019).
The organisms that transmits an infectious disease from animals to humans are termed as vectors (Dehhaghi et.al 2019). The vector borne diseases are a result of transmission of pathogens by vectors such as ticks and mosquitoes that changes the physiological condition of the host. Vector borne diseases comes under a common environmental issue as it is influenced by various health determinants.
Globalization is the process of world-wide diversification and spreading of a substance or organism while involving economic, technological, cultural, political and natural and social environment factors (Semenza et.al 2016). Areas of humid environment with higher temperature favours globalization of the vector borne diseases. The globalisation of humans transfers and spreads various infections and vector borne diseases that diversify the infection with increased resistance that makes it more dangerous (Balogun, Nok& Kita, 2016). For example, the diversification and transmission of EBOLA virus takes place by direct human to human contact of blood, secretions or bodily fluid (WHO, 2019).
The social determinants of health such as poverty, illiteracy, insecurity, social stigma and poor sanitation influence various vector borne diseases in an environment. The Aboriginal population of Queensland has higher illiteracy and poor sanitation that has made the population more prone to vector borne diseases such as dengue, malaria, Queensland tick typhus, Flavivirus unspecified, yellow fever, Zika virus, Chikungunya, Rickettsia australis, Cociellaburnetii and Q fever (Dehhaghi et.al 2019; Queensland government, 2019).
Economic growth is empowered by industrial development. The industrial development creates pressure on the environmental health by increasing the waste production. Collection of waste invites various vectors of diseases that ultimately leads to increase in the vector borne diseases (Biswajit, Ide & Ghosh, 2014). The age, sex and population health also determines the level of vector borne diseases. The vector borne diseases affects the economic groups of Queensland such as:
Financially poor population
The government agencies and policies plays an important role in reducing the amount of vector borne diseases. According to Vidyavathy (2018), vector borne diseases can be controlled and minimised by vaccination and preventive medications. The WHO secretariat works for preventing the outbreak of vector borne diseases by providing technical, strategic and normative guidance to countries and states with maximum vulnerability of outbreak (WHO, 2017). The agencies should work ethically while preparing for future epidemic of vulnerable diseases. The environment protection policies and laws should be relevant enough to treat the hazardous waste material that can invite vectors.
Environmental factors tend to affect the most vulnerable group of people associated within an area. The poor people, children, aged people and pregnant women are more prone to vector borne disease then economically stable and healthy people of the same area (WHO, 2017).
The present economic, financial, technological and social development without compromising the needs of future generation is termed as sustainable development (IISD, 2019). The government ensures that the present development does not hamper the resources present for the future generation and it assures that the present development does not pressurise the environmental health of the future.
The transmission of vector borne diseases provide public health interventions that further lead to various ethical issues like isolation of infected people (WHO, 2017).
Environmental health protection:
The environment health protection balances the environmental health and development from local to the global scale. It ensures protection of the human health by various environmental factors that can disturb the long term ecological balance of environment. The environmental health protection ensures that the waste materials are disposed properly and vaccination is given to all the vulnerable groups and other groups so that any future outbreak of vector borne diseases can be avoided.
Policies from global to local scale:
The policies and practices of the government that avoids a potential vector borne disease in an area fails to cop up with the disease in case of an epidemic. Appropriate policies require proper consideration of the scientific as well as ethical frame of a disease to avoid future scenarios of concern and these policies are required to be implemented from global to local levels (WHO, 2017).
The industries play an important role in degrading the environmental health by increasing the number of pollutants in air water and soil. The energy, housing, agriculture and pharmacological industries tends to increase the pressure on the environmental health that degrades the quality of environment. These industries are licenced under the legislative and ethical considerations of environmental health to reduce damage.
Relationship between environmental risk factor and social determinants of illness:
Age, poverty, sex, health are the social determinants of illness that can be easily affected by the environmental risk factors (ODPHP, 2019). The pregnant women are more prone to deadly malaria whereas the poor population holds maximum burden of the vector borne diseases.
Relationship between environmental risk factor and economic determinants of illness:
Demographic changes such as growth of cities, new technologies and globalization of trade invites various environmental health problems by increasing the pressure on the environment. The pathogens develop resistance on a global scale and increase the prevalence of disease (ATSDR, 2019).
Relationship between environmental risk factor and political determinants of illness:
The political agencies make and amends environmental health policies that covers the most vulnerable groups of the environment (ODPHP, 2019). Loopholes in the policies can make the vulnerable groups more prone to the environmental health policies.
The DPSEE framework of environmental health identifies various driving forces of environment that develops pressure of the environment in the form of increased vector borne diseases in the Aboriginal population of Queensland, Australia. The management, agencies and government policies plays an important role in managing the environmental health by ensuring vaccination, hygiene and education from local to the global scale. Globalization, social, economic and political determinates plays an important role in managing and accessing the vector borne diseases in the most vulnerable areas. It concludes on the statement that vector borne diseases are among serious environmental health issues that need to be managed by addressing the social, economic and political factors of the diseases according to the environmental risk factors.
ATSDR. (2019). Agency for toxic substances and disease registry. Retrieved from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/
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Balohun, E.O., Nok, A.J. & Kita, K. (2016). Global warming and the possible globalization of vector-borne diseases: a call for increased awareness and action. Tropical Medicine and Health. 44(38), 1-4.
Bishwajit, G., Ide, S. & Ghosh, S. (2014). Social determinants of infectious diseases in south asia. International Scholarly Research Notices. 2014, 1-10.
Business. (2019). Environmental legislation licences and permits. Retrieved from https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/environmental-impact/environmental-management/environmental-legislation-licences-and-permits
IISD. (n.d.). Sustainable development. Retrieved from https://www.iisd.org/topic/sustainable-development
Lal, A., Cornish, L.M., Fearnley, E., Glass, K. & Kirk, M. (2015). Cryptosporidiosis: a disease of tropical and remote areas in Australia. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 9(9), e0004078.
ODPHP. (2019). Determinants of health. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about/foundation-health-measures/Determinants-of-Health
Queensland government. (2019). Mosquito borne diseases surveillance. Retrieved from https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/diseases-infection/surveillance/reports/mosquito-borne
Semenza, J.C., Lindgren, E., Balkanyi, L., Espinosa, L., Almqvist, M.S., Penttinen, P. &Rocklöv, J. (2016). Determinants and Drivers of Infectious Disease Threat Events in Europe. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 22(4), 581-589.
TechTarget. (2019). Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC). Retrieved from https://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/definition/Centers-for-Disease-Control-and-Prevention-CDC
Vidyavathy, K. (2018). A study on solid waste management and vector borne diseases (dengue) control in polluted areas (Warangal city). The Pharma Innovation. 7(10), 259-263.
WHO. (2017). Ethical issues associated with vector borne diseases. Retrieved fromhttps://www.who.int/neglected_diseases/vector_ecology/resources/WHO_HTM_NTD_VEM_2017.07/en/
WHO. (2017). Vector-borne diseases. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/vector-borne-diseases
WHO. (2019). EBOLA virus disease. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ebola-virus-disease
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