Health and Rural Community Partnerships Essay

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Web Assignment 4
Danielle Talbott
Rogers State University Web Assignment 4: Question Number 3 For the first time in history, more people are now living in urban settings than rural areas (World, 2010). Cities concentrate people, opportunities, services, and unfortunately, risks and hazards for health (2010). When large numbers of people are linked together in space and connected by shared services, the consequences of adverse events are amplified, such as contamination of the food and water supply, high levels of air or noise pollution, a chemical spill, a disease outbreak, or a natural disaster (2010). Although fewer people are living in rural areas, access to healthcare and health education in these areas remains critical (Rural, 2014). Rural community partnerships work together to provide resources to rural populations that are tailored to their needs, which are typically different than that of urban communities (2014).
Urban Health Promotion Urban populations are generally characterized as having an abundance of health and social services in comparison to rural populations (World, 2010). Yet for the urban poor, the story is more complex (2010). Access to healthcare services may be limited by the ability to pay, even in the context free health services where medications and supplies are not free, location or hours and operation is inconvenient, and care is of poor quality (2010). This results in low utilization of even the most basic preventative and curative health services (2010). This issue, along with other health hazards of concentrated cities, justifies the need for planning health promotion activities for the urban population as well. These activities are equally important in relation to rural health promotion activities, just tailored to their different needs. Urban cities can promote healthy behaviors and safety in a number of ways, such as promoting physical activity with community education and campaigns, making healthy foods available, safe, and affordable, providing adequate health services for all, and improving road safety (2010). Improvements in housing and housing conditions, control of pollution, and improvement in water sanitation can help mitigate health risks as well (2010). Urban cities can work together to locate houses in safe places, improve housing conditions, control indoor and outdoor pollution, and ensure safe water and improved sanitation (2010). Urban communities should work together and partner with the government to successfully implement strategies to improve health risks and behaviors (2010). They should share information about city planning for health and encourage the public to participate by involving the communities in decision making and creating opportunities for participation (2010).
Rural Health Promotion Studies suggest that rural health populations are at a high risk for health problems as they are less likely to engage in preventative behavior and are more likely to use tobacco products and self-report higher rates of alcohol consumption and obesity (Bushy, 2012). Studies also show they are less likely to engage in routine physical activity during leisure time, wear seat belts, have regular blood pressure checks, have pap smears, complete breast self-examinations, and have colorectal screenings (2012). Due to these issues, rural health promotion must begin with education. Educating the rural health communities through health fair activities and presentations on healthy lifestyle behaviors for schools and community groups could help mitigate these increased health risks (Oklahoma 2015). Other rural health promotion activities may include mobile clinics that offer free vaccinations, treatment and investigation of reportable communicable disease, family planning services, and cancer and diabetes screenings (2015). It may also benefit the rural health population to physically see the statistics of their health and death status as compared to other populations. These