Understanding Health and Illness from a Community Approach

Factors Affecting Individual Health

According to the World Health Organization, good health is a fundamental right of all individuals, regardless of religion, race, political opinion, economic and social condition (World Health Organization, 2017). ). But the health of an individual is highly dependent on many factors, such as social, economic and physical environment, individual behavior and characteristics of the person, etc. One of these important factors is the individual’s community, which plays a major role. the role of individuals in accessing healthy physical and social environments as well as their ability to access quality health services (Pinger & Seabert, 2016). This essay critically analyzes the importance of understanding health and disease from a community-based approach and such an approach can prove very useful for government in making decisions. decisions regarding health care.

Studies show that an individual’s health and illness is highly dependent on that individual’s general environment. Furthermore, the social, physical and economic environment of the individual depends on the community to which he belongs. This includes air and water quality, income, housing conditions, neighborhood conditions, childcare, education, recreational facilities, and more. Moreover, adequate health services are extremely important and also a right of every person, which most parts of the world have a right to (Pinger & Seabert, 2016). In most countries, the type of health service provided to an individual varies according to the community or social group to which the person belongs. It has been observed that an individual’s socioeconomic background largely determines whether or not he or she receives critical health services at a critical time. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to consider an individual’s health and illness from a community perspective (Stepanikova and Oates, 2017).

The importance of community to an individual’s health can be best understood by considering different scenarios of the Covid pandemic era. In developing countries like Thailand, people often suffer the most, because their living conditions do not allow for social distancing or access to health care in difficult times. this scarf (Wangkiat, 2021). Contrary to this, the upper class is said to have good living conditions as well as access to the health care system, all thanks to the money and relationships they have, which have help them cope with the pandemic (Wangkiat, 2021). A similar example of this could be the distribution of the covid-19 vaccine currently taking place around the world. According to a report published in December 2021, the EU, UK and US received more vaccines in six weeks than African countries received in 2021 (ReliefWeb, 2021) ). This clearly shows the disparity in health services by socio-economic background not only at the national level but also at the global level. Although under-resourced communities significantly hinder the assurance of good health for those living there, this is not always the case (ReliefWeb, 2021).

Communities that are vigilant and aware of public health can significantly reduce inequalities among their residents in terms of health services and an overall healthy environment for the well-being of all. People. Focusing on public health goes a long way in reducing health gaps caused by differences such as economic and social status, race, location, ethnicity, and more. When healthcare workers, management and government work at the community level, it promotes healthy living among its residents. In turn, this helps prevent various chronic diseases and ensures that the majority of individuals enjoy the best health benefits (Choudhary, 2021). A good example of this can be seen in Liberia, where remote areas with very weak health facilities are likely to become the focus of new infectious diseases in the future, but the government has developed a unique approach (BBC Future, 2022). The Liberian government has recruited local community members to help the government track down any infectious disease at its source and prevent it from spreading around the world. This approach targets the entire community, protecting every individual from infectious disease, regardless of their social or financial background (BBC Future, 2022).

Role Of Community In Access To Healthcare

Most developing countries have a large proportion of the population living in rural areas, so they do not have access to good health facilities and proper care. Among these elderly people, infants, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions are at very high risk when they live far from medical facilities. Therefore, to address such challenges, a community-based health approach is of utmost importance (Choudhary, 2021). A prime example of this can be seen in Chautauqua County in the United States, where chronic chronic illnesses are becoming a serious health crisis (Bacon, 2022). Public health officials, along with several organizations, have gone to great lengths to identify the root causes of these diseases, such as poor diets, housing and civic infrastructure. inappropriate, animal bites, etc. To address this issue, health workers are focusing on policy and system changes, raising awareness among community members. Therefore, it is clear that to ensure individual well-being it is essential to adopt a community-centered approach (Bacon, 2022).

The evidence and understanding related to community-based approaches to individual well-being can greatly assist governments in formulating appropriate policies and decisions. At a time when disparities in access to health services are widening, it becomes even more important for governments to have comprehensive health policy (Kumar, et al., 2020) ). A good example of this can be seen in the recent “Idam” campaign launched by the government in the Indian state of Kerala (Rana, 2022). Through this campaign, the government aims to ensure equal access to health services for all, regardless of gender. The campaign will start from public hospitals and gradually expand to private hospitals and ensure that all minority communities, including the LGBTQ community, receive quality healthcare (Rana) , 2022).

Fair allocation of resources on the part of the government also encourages community members to actively participate in improving public health, a good example of this can be seen in the way Cambodia and Lao PDR aims to eliminate malaria from the Greater Mekong Subregion. (World Health Organization, 2022). In this approach, malaria services from health centers are decentralized to community members designated as village malaria workers. These village malaria workers greatly assist health authorities in vector control, enhancing early diagnosis and preventive treatment for at-risk communities, including preventive treatment. Interval for Foresters (IPTf) and Targeted Drug Administration (ADD). In addition, the government also benefits greatly from the local knowledge of village malaria control officers, who help them educate and engage villagers about malaria risks, encourage prevention and elimination goals (World Health Organization, 2022).

In general, it can be concluded that the health of an individual depends very much on the community of that individual. Community includes the physical and social environment of the individual, in addition to many factors such as housing, economic conditions, education, medical facilities, etc. Therefore, to ensure the health and well-being of individuals, it is necessary to take a community-centered approach. Such an approach helps to ensure the best interests of most members of society. When governments adopt a public health approach, it also contributes to the equitable distribution of resources and ensures that health services reach all segments of society, regardless of caste, credit religion, gender or ethnic origin. Such approaches have yielded brilliant results around the world, helping governments to ensure more comprehensive health policies, thereby improving public health, and earning the trust of ministries. minorities in society.


Bacon, G. (2022). Public health workers focus on community, wellness. Retrieved from https://www.observertoday.com/news/page-one/2022/04/public-health-workers-focus-on-community-wellness/

BBC Future. (2022). How Liberia’s frontline health workers are protecting us all. Retrieved from


Choudhary, S. (2021). Community Health and Its Importance. Primary Health Care: Open Access, 11(02), 1-2.

Kumar, M., Taegtmeyer, M., Madan, J., Ndima, S., Chikaphupha, K., Kea, A., & Barasa, E. (2020). How do decision-makers use evidence in community health policy and financing decisions? A qualitative study and conceptual framework in four African countries. Health Policy and Planning, 35(07), 799-809.

Pinger, R., & Seabert, D. (2016). An introduction to community & public health. 

Rana, R. (2022). Inclusive Healthcare! Kerala’s District Hospitals Become Transgender-Friendly. Retrieved from


ReliefWeb. (2021). Rich countries have received more vaccines in run-up to Christmas than African countries have all year. Retrieved from https://reliefweb.int/report/world/rich-countries-have-received-more-vaccines-run-christmas-african-countries-have-all

Stepanikova, I., & Oates, G. (2017). Perceived discrimination and privilege in health care: the role of socioeconomic status and race. American journal of preventive medicine, 52(01), S86-S94.

Wangkiat, P. (2021). Poor left out while rich get priority. Retrieved from


World Health Organisation. (2017). Human rights and health. Retrieved from World Health Organisation: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/human-rights-and-health

World Health Organisation. (2022). Innovate to eliminate: community-focused malaria interventions in Cambodia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/innovate-to-eliminate-community-focused-malaria-interventions-in-cambodia-and-lao-people-s-democratic-republic

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