Health Disparities Based on Socioeconomic Status


One of the most important revelations is the relationship between health status and socioeconomic status. For example, Williams &, Collins, (2011, pp. 404-16), argues that there is significant correlation between health status and the socioeconomic status. This paper seeks to determine whether the socioeconomic status affects health status consdrignt different population demographics.

Health service affordability

According to Grady, (2006, pp. 3013-29), socioeconomic factors such as income level, education level, and occupation level highly affect health status. For example, the low-income people cannot access quality medical care as the idle income and affluent members of the society. These people are likely to die early than the wealthy counterparts because they cannot afford quality medical care and have no access to health insurance apart from the government support. .argues that amongst the low-income families and other minority groups, the number of uninsured are larger then the middle income and the high-income families. The low SES families also tend to exhibit greater level of insurance instability because unemployment and seasonal job leads to intermittent contribution to insurance pools. This means they cannot afford quality medical care. On the other hand, the middle and high SES families can afford private insurance coverage and quality medical care in expensive private medical facilities with state of the art medical equipment

Quality of life

Reverse causality between poverty and socioeconomic status indicates that poverty causes low socioeconomic status. Never the LEEs, there are cumulative disadvantages across different stages of lifecycle as well as across environments. For example, the poor in the US are healthier than the poor in the developing countries. Never the less, it is important to note that social causation is primarily responsible for health disparity (Fiscella, &, Williams, 2004, pp. 1139-47). Additionally, LaVeist, et al (2003, pp. 312-23) argues that socioeconomic inequities also contributes to low quality of life because these people cannot afford quality foods that do not provide adequate immunity or nutritional support to body. Therefore, these people are not likely to heal faster as compared to the wealthy counterpart who can afford high quality and nutritious food. On the other hand, low-income people suffer from poor health because they cannot afford nutritious foods (Schulz et al, 2012),

Employment opportunities and income level

The low SES families are constantly exposed to life threatening situation and poor working conditions. Construction workers or risky menial jobs head most of the low-income families. Additionally, the socioeconomic factors have also been attributed to poor health amongst the wealthy that drive to and from work as opposed to the middle-income people who ride or walk to and from work.

Education access to education and employment opportunities also contributes to health disparities. For example, the low SES groups cannot afford quality education and has been associated with generational poverty and poor health. On the other hand, .argues that the African Americans are the only group that have experienced high level of social, economic as well as political exclusion in the history of America and this has resulted into poor health amongst the African Americans that other social groups (Schulz et al, 2012,pp. 124-143),

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is one of the United Nations programs established by the United Nations general assembly in the year 1946. The program was established to provide humanitarian assistance to the at-risk people in developing countries especially the children and mothers.

The span and focus of the work underway

The programs main duties including providing food- the emergency foods and health care to these vulnerable people in the developing countries. The program was specifically designed to provide the on terms humanitarian assistance ion the warn torn countries such as Syria, another African countries that were affected by the world war 2 but has since expanded to other developing countries worldwide. Though UNICEF mainly relies on grants and government contribution, it also receives funds from the private donors. The programs income has rise from a bare $1 million to over 5 billion over the last 20 years and is currently estimated at over $7 billion

Health care problems

Currently, there are many African countries where chidden are faced with various health care problems from lack of access to ARV’s vaccines and other food supplements. These children cannot access proper health care because of the logistical problems that the program is facing. If the program was to distribute these drugs adequately to the affected children, then there must be proper arrangement, which include both healthcare providers and adequate financial support.


Epidemiological surveillance, investigation and rapid response

The programs can only be solved by having in place local health care providers who are not only aware of the health care problems in the country but are aware of the local cultures. They must be sourced from the local communities because it is both cheap and effective when it comes to service delivery. In the Central African Republic, many UNICEF workers have been brutalized in their routine service delivery because they are assumed hostile rebels. On the other hand, in Syria, many healthcare workers are not aware of the cultural tensions, making it important for the programs to reconsider its employment and deployment practices because of the cultural sensitivity in some war torn countries.

Improving service delivery

Health care service delivery requires both adequate allocation of financial resources and human capital. The fund should improve its logistical system to help improve the efficiency in delivering health care to the children and mothers in these countries. While many governments are still grappling with the rebel menace, there should be proper structures for protecting the humanitarian assistance provider because both the rebels and the government forces neared healthcare (Shavers, 2013)

Mass Education

The other effective strategy can be education and public awareness. Te community can be taught about the importance of seeking vaccination and medical services as opposed to cultural practices and sacrifices, they can be more proactive when diseases outbreaks occur. Many communities are still reliant on the traditional practices when faced with unknown medical condition such as cholera, typhoid and other

Evaluating the health care program

Establish and define the goals and objectives

To evaluate the health care programs it is important to define the healthcare objecpves. For example, in this case, the main objecpves is to provide long-term healthcare to the children and mothers (Williams, &, Collins, 2011, pp. 404-16).

Comparing goals and progress

After establishing the goals, the second step is to compare the goals and the performance of the programs. The first thing is to look at the goals that were achieved and those that were not achieved. If the performance is below the targeted performance level such as the number of children immunized against the number of children affected, it is important to reconsider the service delivery program.

Reprogramming and adjusting the programs

If the program did not meet the set program goals and objecpves, it is important for the programs mangers to redraw their strategy for meeting the objecpves. This will involve both financial support and proper logistical arrangements. Many programs usually deploy more prodders to increase the general reach and improve the service delivery rate thereby improving the success factors. It is also important to understand that many organization also prefer synergizing and integrating the local community members to reduce the possibility of resistance

Final review of the program

Finally, it is important to review the programs to determine if the adjusted programs were a success. The logic model above indicates that data analyze should be used to determine if the program was successful or not. In this case, it is important to collect data and constantly compare the progress because without evaluation, it would be difficult to make proper adjustments.


Health disparity between the developed and the developing countries is mainly associated with the socioeconomic status. In order to improve the health of these people, it is important to invest in their economic status statuses. This way, they will be able to sustainably provide both food and proper healthcare to their families without depending on donation and humanitarian assistance. On the other hand, it is important to improve the general access to healthcare services by recruiting and training more healthcare workers to improve access.


Rogers, Emma (June 4, 2013). "Merck for Mothers contributes to UNICEF’s South African efforts". Vaccine News Daily. Retrieved 6 June 2013.

Grady S, (2013). Racial disparities in low birthweight and the contribution ofresidential segregation: a multilevel analysis. Soc Sci Med. 2013. Dec;63(12):3013-29.

Race/Ethnicity, Gender, And Monitoring Socioeconomic Gradients In Health: A Comparison Of Area-Based Socioeconomic Measures—The Public Health Disparities Geocoding Project

Race/Ethnicity, Gender, And Monitoring Socioeconomic Gradients In Health: A Comparison Of Area-Based Socioeconomic Measures—The Public Health Disparities Geocoding Project

Race/Ethnicity, Gender, And Monitoring Socioeconomic Gradients In Health: A Comparison Of Area-Based Socioeconomic Measures—The Public Health Disparities Geocoding Project

Vickie L. Shavers, (2013). Measurement of Socioeconomic Status in Health Disparities Research. Journal of the national medical association vol. 99, no. 9,

Schulz et al, (2012), Racial and Spatial Relations as Fundamental Determinants of Health in Detroit. Milbank Q. 2002 December; 80(4): 677–707.

Williams D, &, Collins C, (2011). Racial residential segregation: a fundamental cause of

racial disparities in health. Public Health Rep. 2011 Sep-Oct;116(5):404-16.


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