Infant mortality refers to the death of kids who are below the age of twelve months. Infant mortality is a significant indicator of the welfare of children and the whole community (Rosato et al., 2008). Since the child death rate indicates maternal health in the community, the findings are crucial in determining the overall assessment of community health. During the evaluation of community health, infant mortality allows relevant authorities in the health sector to identify areas of weakness in the existing health initiatives and programs. Consequently, the identified flaws pave a way for effective measures to improve not only the health of infants but also the health of the entire community (Rosato et al., 2008). Such measures can include improved maternal health programs among other initiatives that are directly targeted to the infants.
Since children have weak immune systems, they are prone to many childhood diseases. The three most common health problems among children include respiratory problems, diarrhea and vomiting, and allergies (Smith, 2009). Although the problems are common in children, they are a significant reflection of the overall health status of the community. They also have severe impacts on the family and the community. For instance, frequent health problems on a child end up costing substantial financial resources of the family to the extent of seriously affecting the overall wellbeing of all other family members and the entire community (Smith, 2009). The productivity of the whole community is also dependent on the health status of its members. When children have health problems, many families are unable to participate effectively in community activities.
The adolescence stage is a delicate period in the growth of a person. During this time, young people adopt behaviors, which have significant health consequences. Some of the typical practices include drug abuse, premarital sex, and unhealthy eating habits (Elliott, Huizinga, & Menard, 2012). Drug abuse, including the use of alcohol, smoking, and other drugs, has serious health consequences such as addiction and other related health conditions. On the other hand, premarital sex can lead to teen pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, which are all costly to the family of the affected and the whole community (Elliott et al., 2012). Lastly, unhealthy eating habits can lead to overweight and obesity, which can result in other diseases such as heart conditions among other problems, which are also very expensive to manage.
Community health nurses work closely within a given community to provide not only treatment and healthcare services to all members of the community but also preventive measures towards illnesses and health problems that often affect communities (Lundy & Janes, 2009). In this role, a community health nurse often serves the public through his or her interaction with society members. The nurse may gather information through observation and/or questionnaire methods in an attempt to identify the emerging health problems. The goal is to determine the relevant preventive measures before such problems reach levels that are beyond human control. The services of a community health nurse differ significantly from those that are offered in an acute care setting (Lundy & Janes, 2009). An acute care setting is confined to hospitals where doctors place the sick person in a hospital setting for closer observation. The goal is to offer curative services in an acute care setting, as opposed to both curative and preventive services that are offered through community nursing.
Elliott, D., Huizinga, D., & Menard, S. (2012). Multiple Problem Youth: Delinquency, Substance Use, and Mental Health Problems. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.
Lundy, K., & Janes, S. (2009). Community Health Nursing: Caring for the Public’s Health. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Rosato, M., Laverack, G., Grabman, L., Tripathy, P., Nair, N., Mwansambo, C., & Costello, A. (2008). Community Participation: Lessons for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health. The Lancet, 372(9642), 962-971.
Smith, J. (2009). Reconstructing Childhood Health Histories. Demography, 46(2), 387-403.
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