The Face of Exploitation in Public Health Essay

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The Face of Exploitation in Public Health

International public health policies attempt to reform the social and political systems which influence the health and safety of all citizens of the world. In the past, these policies have been created through the strong reliance on and exploitation of socially constructed systems of classification such as gender, sexuality, nationality, and economic class. It has been a system of correlation between the behaviors which seem prevalent within social groupings and chances that those behaviors will lead to disease transmition or infestation. In January 2004, the World Health Organization announced a radical change in their policies surrounding public health study and prevention in the 2004 World
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Second, when a public health organization identifies these patterns and begins to work against them, the prevalence of disease and possible transmittion is expected to drop significantly. While, these goals and assumptions are the foundation on which public health policy is formed, there remains great variability in interpretation. This is particularly evident in the formation of institutional philosophies.

Since its conception in 1948, the WHO has consistently swayed between two differing philosophies of public health; the vertical and horizontal methods . The vertical method which dominated the initial years of the WHO focuses on identifying and policing the one disease which was deemed the most damaging to social, political, and economic systems. This analysis of disease is based in statistics. As such, the effect of a public health program can be clearly monitored. If there is a positive response, the numbers will reflect so and vice-a-versa. In reducing disease to statistics there is a removal the individual, culture, or social influence.

In stark contrast, the horizontal approach seeks to address health from a holistic perspective. Health and disease are defined by the groups which they affect and the social classifications which they worked within. Most of all, the horizontal approach attempts to identify the effect which sociological, economic, and political realms play on the spread and

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