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Health Meaning, Concept And Factors Affecting Health

Health is an integral part of our life and it is directly linked to survival. Survival of the fittest is a rule of nature. The quality of life depends upon the Health. So that every person has the right to achieve good health. These rights include access to health care, medical awareness, better standard of living, clean & sanitary water, food grain etc.

WHO set a standard of the foundation for rights to health. According to WHO "Health is a state where a person has achieved physical, mental & social well being and the absence of disease or infirmity is not only the thing which defines health".Right to health is a universal right and also a fundamental right equal for everyone without any discrimination.

Concepts of Health:

An understanding of health is the basis of all health care. Health is not perceived the same way by the all members of a community including various professional groups giving raise to confusion about the Concepts of health;

Biomedical Concept:

  • Traditionally health has been considered as an absence of disease means a person is healthy
  • This Concept is based on germ theory of disease; Human body - machine, Disease - machine breaks, Doctor - repairs
  • This Concept is inadequate because it minimizes the role of the environmental, social and cultural determinants of health.

Ecological Concept:

  • Ecologists viewed health as a dynamic equilibrium between man and his environment.
  • Man adjusted with his environment healthy.
  • Disease maladjustment of the human organism to the environment.

Psychosocial Concept:

  • Advancement in social science showed that health is not only a biomedical phenomena, it is also influenced by other social, psychological, cultural, economic and political factors of the people concerned.
  • When measuring health we have to consider the above factors.
  • Thus health is both a biological and a social phenomenon.

Holistic Concept:

  • Holistic model is a combination of all the above models.
  • This Concept considered physical, psychological, social, economic, political and environmental factors and its influence on health.
  • Person is considered as a whole.
  • It focuses on the promotion and protection of health.

Factors affecting health:

Biological factors:

  • Pathogenic microorganisms,
  • Biological hereditary factors,
  • Other factors such as age, sex, growth and development.

Environmental factors:

  • Natural factors such as air, water, soil pollution, radiation and noise,
  • Social factors such as income, education, political & economic system in the society, social & cultural system and health care services.

Lifestyle factors:

  • Good & bad habits,
  • Eating habits,
  • Culture,
  • Beliefs.

Psychosocial factors:

  • Psychological functions depends upon emotions and feelings,
  • Such as fear, stress, anxiety, tension can lead to hypertension & heart attack and depression can lead to suicide.

Poverty as a factor affecting to health:

  • Weak economical status not able to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
  • Healthy lifestyle means healthy food, clean water, literacy, routine medical check-up etc.,
  • Poverty increases the risk of insufficient, unhealthy & non hygienic foods caused disability, weak stamina and lower growth,
  • Lack of knowledge & awareness of diseases and its treatments affecting the health directly.

Use of pesticides is also a factor affecting health:

  • Pesticides expose a great risk to human health. It is a chemical substance use in agriculture to save plants from insects and other pets,
  • Acute effects means immediately effects to health such as nosia, dysiness, daria, blindness, also extend to death if intake in huge amount etc.,
  • Chronic effects means long term effects slowly slowly effects to health such as cancer, birth defects, neurological disease, endocrine, immunotoxicity, kidney, liver, lungs damage etc.,
  • It affects infants, feters, growing children, and pregnant women.

Essential of health:

  • The State must make provision for a functioning an adequate health care system for the public and individuals throughout its territory such as;
  • Safe water and sanitation facilities,
  • Medical infrastructure,
  • Trained medical professionals,
  • Essential drugs.
  • Equally accessible to all with;
  • Non discrimination,
  • Physical accessibility,
  • Affordability,
  • Information accessibility like a person's right to look for, receive and convey Information and ideas concerning health.
It must be maintained the scientific medical standards such as:
  • Trained medical professionals,
  • Safe and potable water,
  • Scientifically approved hospital equipment etc,.

  • Respectful of medical ethics and culturally appropriate.

International Law Treaties And Conventions Have Set A Specific Work Standard For The Right To Health:

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948,
  • International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
  • Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination 1965, 1979,
  • Rights of persons with disabilities,
  • Workers and their family right protection 1990,
  • Right of child 1989,
  • Right to development,
  • Right to transboundary movement of Hazardous waste and disposal 1989,
  • Protection of juveniles deprived of their liability 1990,
  • Child Labour, violence against women oldest person, prisoners rights protected,
  • Humanitarian Law,
  • Nutritional food,
Providing goods services and health care facilities, plans and policies.

Case Laws:
  • Bandhua Mukti Morcha Vs. Union Of India 1984: Right to health is placed under Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) of the Indian Constitution. Because of DPSP non binding effects it should not be used as a shield of right related to health. In this case the Court interpreted the right to health under Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) of the Indian Constitution.
  • State of Punjab & Ors. Vs. Mahindra Singh Chawla 1996: In this case the Court reaffirmed the right to health as integral to the right to life and the State Government has a Constitutional obligation to provide health facilities.
  • Punjab & Ors. Vs. Ram Lubhaya Bagga 1998: The matter of consideration was the entitlement to reimbursement of medical expenses of Government employees and pensioners. In this case the Court decided that the Government refusal to pay an amount spent to save one's life curtailed the right to life. The Court also said that the Government is obligated to improve public health.

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