The selected population to be investigated in this case is the county of Texas. Texas is one of the states in the United States of America. Texas has a population of 26956958 individuals. This population is comprised of whites, Latino or Hispanic, African American among other races. The highest population of Texans are whites who makes over 50% of the population. They are followed by Latinos, and then African-Americans, while others make a very small percentage of the population. All races in this county have struggled to have a better living standard though whites are considered to be more economically stable as compared to blacks and Latinos. The county is regarded to be economically stable with a low unemployment rate of 4.2% and though the county is anticipated to record a lower GDP growth from what was recorded in 2014 by 5.2%. The county has been experiencing a number of natural disasters which include hurricanes and Tsunami though, it has not experienced any disaster in the recent past (Texas Government, 2015). Due to frequent occurrence of disasters, the county have employed disaster management bodies that include county government disaster response department, and other NGOs. Texas community is experiencing a number of public health issues which include diseases, drugs, and accidents among others. This paper reviews Texas community and the most pronounced public health issues.
Identified Public Health Issues
The three identified public health problems based on CDC report include the heart diseases which killed about 40, 203 individuals based on 2013 statistics, chronic lower respiratory diseases which accounted for 9800 individuals, and accidents which caused death for about 9395 individuals based on 2014 data (CDC, 2015). The three public health problems are selected in this case because they are among the major public health issues which can be preventable. According to 2020 people health goals, Americans are required to attain longer, high-quality lives which is free from preventable diseases, premature death, injury, and disability. However the three identified public issues which are among the major causes of death in Texas are preventable. For instance accidents which are the major causes of injuries, disabilities and premature death can be prevented or reduced by observing all traffic rules. Heart diseases can be prevented by observing dietary and good health measures such as physical activities. Respiratory diseases can also be prevented through reducing air pollution and direct or passive smoking (Healthy people, 2015).
The twelve leading causes of accidents according to Daspit Law Firm (2014), are as a result of failure to observe the traffic rules. Among the main causes include failure to manage the speed, drivers’ annotation and failure to drive in single lane among other things. Therefore, the highest percentage of the causes of accidents and hence accident related deaths in the county are controllable. Therefore, improving the behavior of drivers on the road would highly increase road safety and lower the rate of deaths, injuries, and disabilities in the county.
Hear diseases acts as sign of buildup stiffens and thickened artery walls that can prevent flow of blood via arteries to the body tissues and organs. Another common cause of cardiovascular diseases is atherosclerosis. Heart diseases can be causes by a number of correctable issues that include smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise, and unhealthy diet. This simply means that heart diseases which is the leading killer in Texas can be controlled by observing healthy living. Heart diseases can be controlled by promoting quality of life of the people in Texas which can be done by adopting healthy behaviors such as quitting smoking, taking balance diet, and taking part in physical exercises regularly.
Chronic lower respiratory diseases are also caused by controllable factors. Some of the major causes include smoking, air pollution, chemical fumes, or dusts. Thus this a public issue that can be prevented by fighting and attaining by eliminating disparities and creating health equity among all in the county. This can be attained by ensuring that all parts of the county register minimum set level of emission and that air pollution rules are effectively observed by all in the region. Also uplifting the living standards of the poor to promote the use of clean energy in household activities will also reduce incidences of chronic lower respiratory diseases in the region. Citizens will also need to be encouraged on practicing good and healthy behaviors such as quitting smoking (WHO, n.d.).
Selected Public Health Issue
Among the three identified public problems, the paper will focus on the heart disease which emerge as the main public health problem in the country. Heart diseases is selected since it has the major health effect on Texas population. It is the major cause of death in the county. Heard diseases have been recorded as the major cause of death in Taxes for a while. Heart disease claimed 1.5 million lives of Texans in 2010. This was about 30.5% of all deaths recorded in the county (Ang, 2012). It was also established that one in every three American were suffering from one or more forms of heart diseases. This implied that the heart disease was a major problem which would continue causing deaths and lowering the quality of life to a huge number of individuals in Texas and across all American states. It was record as the major cause of death in the county, and it mostly affect adults though it can affect all in the society. Since then, the county embarked on a journey to control the spread of the disease in the population.
One of the major employed measure to fight this public problem in the county involved collecting data on risk factors and their extent in the county. According to 2010 data collected by IDC, it was established that 19.2% of Texas adults were smokers and thus, they were at a higher risk of contracting the disease. In addition 65.8% of the adult population in Texas were either obese or overweight and 15.6% of high school students were also found to be obese. It was also established that 48.2% of the population was taking at least 150 or more minutes per week doing aerobics physical activity to maintain or regain their physical health (American Heart Association, 2011). Nevertheless, the measures taken by the population to maintain good health and high quality of life was not enough. Thus, the county started an initiative to fight cardiovascular diseases. Based on a high similarity and relation between cardiovascular diseases and stroke which was documented as the fourth killer in the county, the government established a combined framework to fight the two problems.
The intervention strategy involved an integrated effort from different sectors that included education sector, health care, worksites and communities. However, the entire intervention program is coordinated by the department of public health in the county. The framework involved promoting good behaviors in different identified sectors to reduce the risks of developing heart diseases. It also involved the promotion of quality healthcare for those who are diagnosed with the condition, community clinic linkages and continues collection of data to establish the progress. The government with the help of health ministry also established the plan to reduce heart diseases which focused on both long term and short-term goals. The plan involved identification of relevant inputs and activities to create desirable outputs. The main intention for establishing this plan is to attain a long-term goal of reducing the rate of morbidity caused by cardiovascular diseases. The plan is anticipated to bear positive fruits starting 2017 (Ang et al., 2013).
Heart disease has turned to be a major public health program in Texas. In this regard, the county should employ primary prevention program to curb the disease. The main primary prevention program to be adopted in the county is the embracement of good health practices. This will include quitting smoking, observing health diet for instance avoiding junk foods that would cause obesity, avoiding saturated fats that would increase cholesterol depositions in the body, and taking part in aerobic exercises on daily basis.
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