Quiz 21: Vulnerability and Vulnerable Populations: an Overview
The groups of individuals that have a high risk for developing adverse health outcomes are termed as the vulnerable populations. As a result, the subgroup of population, which is more likely to develop several health-related problems on exposure to various risk factors in comparison to the rest of the population is also said to be a vulnerable population. The vulnerable individuals are more often gets affected with diseases. The susceptibility to actual or potential stressors may lead to an adverse effect is commonly called as vulnerability. Vulnerability to poor health mainly results from interacting effects of many external as well as internal factors, over which a person have nil or near to nil control, rather than any kind of deficiencies. The vulnerable populations experience many collective risks and particularly sensitive to their effects. Risks arise from social hazards, environmental hazards and biological or genetic factors. There are selected groups that include individuals who are considered as vulnerable. Poor and homeless people are more prone to risk factors causing a disease. Pregnant adolescents, substances like drugs, alcohol abusers, abused individuals including the victims of violence, HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) positive person having virus for hepatitis B or suffering from an STD (sexually transmitted disease), psychologically ill individuals are among the vulnerable groups. In addition to these, people who are either suffering from communicable disease or at a higher risk for the disease are also more likely to get affected by the various risk factors. Environmental factors mainly affect the health of immigrants and migrant workers. Due to this, their health is mainly affected on migrating from one region to a different climatic region more often.
The susceptibility to actual or potential stressors that may lead to an adverse effect is commonly called as vulnerability. Vulnerability to poor health mainly results from interacting effects of many external as well as internal factors, over which a person have nil or near to nil control rather than any kind of deficiencies. The combined effects of limited resources result in vulnerability. The limitations in environmental resources, physical resources like the presence of illness or genetic predisposition and human capital or personal resources combine to cause vulnerability. The factors such as education, environmental factors, economic status, stress and nutrition are termed as the social determinants of health and the socio-economic factors contribute heavily to vulnerability. The primary cause of vulnerability is poverty, which contributes to health problems across the racial groups. Education is directly related to income and plays an important role as it influences the health of an individual. Well-educated people are more concerned about maintaining a good health in comparison to the illiterates in a society and have good access to the health care services as well. Age is also one of the factors contributing to development of vulnerability in certain populations. The aged people are often less able to adapt to the stressors or risk factors physiologically. Thus, they more often develop infections from the communicable diseases and the recovery mechanism is relatively slower as their immune system becomes weak with growing age.
Vulnerability refers to the susceptibility to actual or potential stressors which may lead to an adverse effect on health. The subgroup of population which is more likely to develop several health-related problems on exposure to various risk factors in comparison to the rest of the population is also said to be a vulnerable population. Various factors, such as education, environmental factors, economic or financial status, stress and nutrition are termed as the social determinants of health and contribute heavily to vulnerability. The primary cause of vulnerability is poverty. The public policies providing direct or indirect financial subsidies to certain vulnerable groups of populations through three pieces of legislation will enhance the health of those groups susceptible to a disease. In 1965, the Social Security Act was amended and is provided for the needs of health care of the susceptible populations including older adults, poor and disabled people. One of the ways to help the vulnerable children through public policies is the state children's health insurance program (SCHIP). This program provides financial support to insure currently uninsured children. This SCHIP is funded by federal as well as state governments and administered by respective states. The governments or legislation plays a very important role for reducing the health disparities among the vulnerable groups of populations. There are numerous policies for the general public to help them for maintaining a good health by providing proper health services, funds for poor people, home facilities to homeless and in other useful ways.