The Social Determinants Of Health

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Conditions of birth and people’s growth, lifestyles, occupations and age strongly influence their health. This essay focuses on children between the ages of zero to 19 and examines what the social determinants of health are. Firstly, it attempts to analyse poverty, family violence, addiction and the impacts on the health of younger New Zealanders who are exposed to those determinants. Secondly, strategies, initiatives and prevention services are identified at national, regional and local levels to investigate what the government and other non-government organisations are doing to ensure that the rights of children are being upheld. Children deserve to have the best start in life to enable healthy growth and development of their own special skills and talents. They need warm, healthy homes to live in, good nutritious food to give them energy to grow and learn, and opportunities for education, along with other activities that help them progress through life. They need the support and care of their parents, whanau and communities that have their best interests at heart. The circumstances in which people live are shaped by the distribution of resources, power and money at global, national and local levels. Economics, social policies and politics all have a part to play (World Health Organisation [WHO], 2016). Social determinants look at key aspects of peoples’ living and working circumstances, and what the implications of these circumstances are on their long-term health.

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