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Effects Of Globalization On Population Health Economics Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

First of all, commercial trade is one of the most significant characters of globalization, which is also shows a close linkage in human health. It is believed that due to the deregulated markets in global trade, the increased economy of a country has absolute capacity that affects the distribution of individuals wealth. For example, rate of daily foreign-exchange turnover rose nearly 100-fold in the year of 1973 to 1995, however, the gap between rich and poor tended to more broader as a result of maldistribution of profits (McMichael, Beaglehole 2000, p.496). More obviously, almost all countries are involved in international trade nowadays, trading products are not only confined into something unworthy, but also a full of ranges of goods and services (Huynen, Martens, Hilderink 2005, p.7). Unlike previously, trade globally nowadays has become one of the most crucial elements when we talk about in relation to health issue. Health policy professionals are required to think about distribution of trade in a more equitable and fair manner, in particular, those countries with lower income and social support. There is no denying that the importance of trade for globalization, and several international agreements are established in order to underpin and promote international trade (WHO, 2010). The significance of those International agreements such as Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) lays a solid foundation in relates to population health, and promotes the affordability and availability of medicines worldwide. It also assists in protection of health rights across individuals and nations (WHO, 2010). Again, Owen and Roberts (2005, p.3) point out that though funding by governments leads to meaningful changes in health sector, it is realized that foreign investment has impacted on population health more broadly. For instance, an appraisal for Australian development reports that foreign investment impacts more on health as it shows four times greater than direct government assistance. Although global trade may induce the flow of health risks at certain level, it is undeniable that increase of trade not only brings advantages on political level, such as export or import of health related goods and services to other countries, but also promote the changes of population lifestyles. Various aspects, for example, global trade will either cause gains or losses in the areas of agriculture, environment, water and sanitation, energy, as well as transportation system (WHO, 2010).

In addition, trade of food products across nations is another significant impacts in the case of globalization, and it has brought much more attention to society in recent decades. The provision of safe and nourishing diets have become more influential for humankind. The WHO (1998, p.1) reports that international trade not only produces a series of diets that broaden individuals’ choices, but also facilitates the trade between countries, so as to improve in their living standards. Particularly, current liberalization policies largely promote the trade of food between countries, agriculture, for instance, has showed greater influences as a result of global trade, such as export of fruit and vegetables product anytime of a year to other worldwide countries, so as to strengthen the development of public health among individuals. Similarly, a great numbers of farmers, even those who live in impoverished countries can be supported by international trade, thus improve their living standard and quality (Lee 2000, p.257). It also can be thought that increase in trade, in particular, food products, populations will definitely increase the chances in experience various and cheap foodstuff, so as to motivate other countries use of resources efficiently and effectively. It may be suspected that the coercion of globalization may result in danger of food security, whereas, certain regulations among international trading programs have been established, consequently, food security can be guaranteed cross nations. Besides, the issue of food security also can be renovated as the result of the development of modern technologies, as well as increased scholarship of general population (Huynen et al, p.10). By contrast, the global trade of food also induce the more and more countries’ population with serious condition of obesity as a result of unhealthy lifestyle. However, numbers of regulations are advocated in relation to promote health lifestyle, including public or professional education, ensuring lower prices of healthy diets, as well as control the label of food (Chopra 2002, p.4). Personally, I believe that with the fast development of the society, although some unhealthy eating habits exist nowadays, such as the enormous impacts of fast food in our daily lives, it cannot be denied that the global trade of food between countries not only brings benefits for population, but also assist in the efficient use of resources.

Furthermore, it is realized that globalization not only encourages the promotion of interconnectedness and interdependence between individuals and cross-nations, but it also shows the outcomes of different aspects, such as change of technology assists in linkage between telecommunications and transport (WHO, 2010). Updating in technology assists in widen the vision of individuals knowledge, and also shows the investment of modern instruments at the same time, such as update software and hardware of computer. It can be considerred that the advancement of both parties – individuals and technology are beneficial in the development of globalization. For instance, the fast transportation tools such as airplanes, cars and trains allow individuals travel to other places in a very short period of time (Lee 2000, p.254). Besides, the development of globalization also shows the latent capability of latest technologies in health sector. Also, the linkage between global network of health and individuals work together, thus create better social and environmental conditions (Labonté, Laverack 2008, 108). Roemers’ analysis also mentions that the strong development of the latest technological innovations drive various treatments and preventive methods in relation to health issues, including methods of contraception, methods of gaining safe drinking water, low-cost refrigeration, efficient transportation and communication technologies, as well as new therapeutic agents that effectively treat numbers of disease, such as leprosy, trachoma, and others (Cited in Yach, Bettcher 1998, p.735).

Just like everything has both its advantages and drawbacks, on the other hand, the innovation and uses of latest version of technology among health care services can be accepted easily in countries like developing countries, as they probably have ability to afford the expenditure of such services of technology, including telemedicine, interactive health networks, human resource development and further education studying, distance learning, as well as communication services between health workers, so as to benefit population as a whole. In contrary, there is deeply consideration of whether or not modern technology can be used all over the world, in particularly, the countries with seriously impoverished condition may not have affordability to those technologies (Roemer and Roemer, Cited in Yach, Bettcher 1998, p.735-736). There are two examples indicate the negative impact on lack support of modern technology in relation to current health care in poor countries. It shows that in remote area of Nigeria, the higher expenditure of modern technologies and technique lead to the severe shortage of health care services such as blood pressure testing and medication supplies, so as to increase the vulnerable exposure to different kinds of diseases (Belue et al, p.7). Therefore, it can be suggested that some special incentives conducted by government are welcomed to set up certain norms, which assist in managing of trading liberalization, so as to bring benefit to those impecunious societies (Roemer and Roemer, Cited in Yach, Bettcher 1998, p.735-736).

Although globalization brings benefits to population health most of the time, it cannot be denied that negative impacts of globalization bring much more attention among health issue, too. Environment, both natural and social environment significantly impact on population health broadly. The change of natural environment occurs both locally and globally, and can be affected either natural and man-made. Human made factor starts to increase connection to globalization over years. The innovation of economic and industrial activities in the past several decades leads to the great changes of environment, which affect individuals’ health status significantly (Saker et al 2004, p.17). It is obvious that not only nations, but cross-nations have taken environmental issues into consideration, topics such as water, hygiene, supply of food, quality of air, and housing have closely related to population health for decades (Lee 2000, p.259). WHO (2005) also mentions that the ideas of public health should be considerred via different aspects, such as drink water safely, having sufficient food, secure housing, as well as great social status. Lee (2000, p.259) indicates that the change of environment globally has both short term and long term influence in population health. In comparison with long term effects, natural or man-made disaster is classified as short term impacts that induce shortage of a serious of health requirements, such as water, food, even fundamental health care. For example, a 8.0 magnitude earthquake in Wen Chuan, a small town in Si Chuan Province resulted in hundreds of thousands of population died. More risk factors appeared such as overcrowded population, lack of health care services and facilities, more seriously, uncounted dead bodies on the ground after earthquake may easily result in transmission of diseases, including measles, pneumonia, and meningitis (WHO 2008, p.5). Whereas, an example of global climate change in recent decades that produces greenhouse effect has negative impact on individuals health can be thought as long term effects on public health (Lee 2000, p.259). Besides, WHO (2005) reports that although warming climate brings some advantages, the fast change of climate shows drawbacks outweigh merits include produce less staple foods, so as to induce malnutrition, particularly in those impoverished countries. According to McMichael, Friel, Nyong and Corvalan (2008, p.191), environment is one of the most important issues that closely link to population in poorest countries. It is clearly shows that environmental related diseases are more likely discovered in lower income population than higher income groups. They also point out that environmental degradation has to be taken into consideration, in order to eliminate poverty. For instance, food needs to be supplied under consistent climate, providing freshwater, fertile soil and others sufficiently.

Last but not least, as globalization of health across worldwide, different kinds of diseases both communicable and noncommunicable have brought individuals’ attention in recent decades. The causes of diverse kinds of diseases as a result of globalization maybe difficult to foresee, but far-reaching. Infectious diseases in humankind may be caused by several reasons, such as influence of profits and losses of global economy, it is undeniable that changes may largely affect the living status of humankind both physically and psychologically, thus affect the health condition of population (Sake et al 2004, p.1). According to Lee (2000, p.256) states that higher morbidity and mortality rates of infectious diseases are much higher in lower income nations than higher countries. The diseases are tend to be more like distributed unequally within nations, more obviously, individuals who live in minor group societies may exposure diseases easily than in rich countries. Communicable diseases, as a result of globalization leads to spread of diseases between nations, examples include the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis due to global trade of blood productions. In addition, population migration is another aspect for diffusion of diseases. For example, with the increased exchange of economic and trading activities in Cold War, the occurrence of income distribution inequality leads to increased international trade in sex, thus induce increased prevalence and risk of HIV (Csete 2005, p.167). Also, Australia was facing serious exposure of swan flu in the middle of 2009, i clearly remembered that all the passengers were required quarantine, in order to minimize disease transmission. There were several news reported swan flu carriers were found in different places, and it was confirmed that some of them were visitors of other countries. Besides, one of my friends told me that she was asked stay at home for two weeks. Furthermore, while infectious diseases may impact on human health around worldwide, noncommunicable diseases also occupy large proportion in relation to population health, such as the great prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancer, strokes, as well as respiratory diseases (MacDonald 2005, p.54). The use of tobacco as an example indicates the it has impacted in population health for years, WHO (2010) also reports that over 80% smokers live in middle and low income countries cross-nations, and the epidemic is continuously shifting to developing world nowadays. For instance, more than 50% of deaths are caused by smoking-related diseases in 2006 in Jordan. The research shows that smoking not only among adults, but youth has increased ability exposure to tobacco (Belbeisi, Al Nsour, Batieha, Brown and Walke 2009, p.2). Tobacco as a global industry worth over hundreds of billions American dollar every year, and tobacco companies have build up newest mission, which can be used in different areas of the world.It can be thought that huge amount costs of tobacco-related diseases that far exceed in any economic profits (Lee 2000, p.256).

In conclusion, it can be seen that globalization as an interconnection, an openness conception has both positive and negative impacts in relation to population health through different aspects. First, global trade nowadays significantly affects health, even health policy making in order to offers an equitable distribution of trade. Secondly, the impacts of food trade not only widen individuals’ food choices, but also facilitates the trade between countries, which improve in their living standards, so as to better for their health. And then, although technology innovation brings benefits for the development of health care, such as change of technology assists in linkage between telecommunications and transport, it cannot be denied that lower income countries may probably less affordability for modern technologies, hence lead to the vulnerable exposure to different kinds of diseases. Again, environment is one of the most important issues that closely links to population health, and it is obviously that environmental related diseases are more likely discovered in lower income population than higher income groups. Eventually, individuals are more likely influenced by the transmission of both infectious and noncommunicable diseases that distributed by globalization. From what have been discussed above, here comes a mutual conclusion, which points out that population more vulnerable in diseases when they experienced or suffer in lower level income, as well as those who live in impoverished countries. In consequently, it can be suggested that not only governments, but individuals are expected to widen and exert merits of globalization, while minimize the demerits, so as to facilitate better health of populations, as well as worldwide development.


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