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Health Status Indicators for Populations in New Zealand

Info: 2332 words (9 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 22nd Dec 2020

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Tagged: healthnew zealand

Identify four current health status indicators for three diverse groups from national and international perspective.

New Zealand Children

One of the target groups of the Ministry of Health are the children of age group 0- 14 years. The early stages of life are one of the most important factors that one has to consider in health because it determines how healthy adulthood and advanced age would be (Ministry of Health 2012). Research conducted by the Ministry of Health on health programs are used to address certain issues of specific population groups.

Obesity is one of the health indicators identified for the New Zealand Children:

It was identified that 10% of children under the age 2-14 years old in New Zealand are obese and this constitutes about 91,000 children in the population. While, two in ten (21%) children aged 2-14 y/o were overweight but not obese or an estimated number of 184,000 children.

Obesity has become prevalent due to modernization as children spend more time indoor watching television and more children opt now to eating chips and drinking sodas. Obesity is the result of unbalanced physical activity and metabolism between excessive food and drinks intake (Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Young People 2-18 y/o, 2012).

See also: Childhood Obesity as a Global Epidemic

Unmet needs for primary health care

About 20% of children age 0-14 year old experienced unmet need for primary healthcare for the past 12 months. This composes of 180,000 children in the year 2011-2012 (The Health of New Zealand Children 2011-2012).

Unmet primary healthcare need may mean that there is a possibility that a child’s condition can worsen if not treated promptly (MOH 2012).

New Zealanders with Intellectual Disability

There is 0.7% or a total of 31,847 identified as persons having intellectual disability. The group comprises of those with cognitive impairment early in life and those who developed it at a more advance age. Persons with disability tend to have poorer health outcomes than the rest of the population (MOH 2011).

Chronic Health Conditions: Respiratory Disease

Respiratory disease, together with coronary disease, is the leading cause of death of people among persons with intellectual disability. There are 7,060 or 22% are diagnosed and are receiving treatment for respiratory disease such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease like emphysema (MOH 2011).

Respiratory disease is preventable through proper and regular screening. There is no known form of screening among people with intellectual disability in New Zealand. There are also evidences that other form of screening are inequitably delivered overseas (MOH, December 2013)


It is said that in Maori culture, suicide or whakamomori is not sanctioned except in time of grief. It was not prevalent among pre-contact Maori society because it is believed that strong family ties and social structures protect them against suicide. Maori’s youth have higher rates of suicide than the older Maori due to the possibility that they perform a positive role of integration to their whanau and hapu (Durie, 2001).


On the data gathered on The Suicide Facts by Ministry of Health there are 549 deaths due to suicide in 2012. Maori has highest suicide cases of 120 deaths or 21.9%. In the age standard suicide rate there are 17.8 per 100,000 Maori population compare to 10.6 per 100,000 in non-Maori group. Maori youth suicide remains consistently high and is 1.7 times more likely to commit suicide than non- Maori group.

Maori population tends to suffer more health and socioeconomic challenges compare to the non-Maori population. Risk factors for Maori which are associated with suicide like social and educational disadvantage, unhappy family and childhood background, mental health problem and recent life crises (Durie, 2001).

The World Health Organization is the leader in promoting, monitoring and coordinating body on international health within the United Nations.

They are basically working on five areas like health systems, non-communicable diseases, promoting health through life course, communicable diseases, corporate services and preparedness, surveillance and response.

As a part WHO’s role in preparedness, surveillance and response they do risk assessment, help countries prepare for, respond to and recover from emergency due to hazard that pose a threat to human health security.


The WHO has categorized the Arab Syrian Republic health crisis as “Grade 3” or most serious humanitarian emergency thus requiring lot of help from several organizations. In 2011 there are 190,000 people killed, 1 million injured and 6.5 million who are displaced (WHO, WHO and health partners responding to the Syrian Arab Republic health tragedy, 2014)

Syrian Children (0-5 y/o)

Syria’s population is 21,898,000 in the year 2013 (WHO, World Health Statistics , 2015). The United Nations has said that 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian assistance and this includes 5.6 million children. Investigators have accused the rebels as well as the government itself that as a method of war it has blocked access to water, food and healthcare services. (Roger, 2015)


Findings on the status of nutrition in Syrian children from 2007-2014 identified that there are 27.5% who are stunted, 11.5% are wasted, 10.5% are underweight while there are 17.9% of overweight children. (WHO, 2015).

An increase of undernourished children predisposes them to health problems. The status of nutrition also indicates the country’s socioeconomic status.

Stunting is described as low height for age or the failure to reach linear growth due to suboptimal level of health or nutritional condition. High levels of stunting signify poor socioeconomic conditions such as illness and inappropriate feeding. 5% – 65% prevalence is common among less developed countries. Wasting or thinness which was described as low weight for height is a severe process of weight loss due to severe disease, acute starvation or due to chronic unfavorable condition. Above 5% prevalence is alarming because the possibility of mortality may follow. An occurrence of wasting bet 10-14% is regarded as serious. (WHO, Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition, 2015)

Immunization status for children 1 year and below

Measles immunization status among Syrian children showed considerable drop from 84% in 2000 to 61% in 2013. Other immunization like DPT3 (Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus toxoid) only covered 41% of children. 41% of the children were immunized with Hib3 (Haemophilus Influenza type B) and 71% were vaccinated for HepB3 (Hepatitis B).

Immunization reduces the risk of increase mortality rate among children especially those diseases that can be prevented through vaccines. The Global Vaccine Action Plan 2011-2020 is dedicated in strengthening routine immunization to meet vaccination target, prevent millions of death by making vaccines more accessible to the communities, increase the control of preventable diseases and spur the research for future vaccines. (WHO, Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals:Global Vaccine Action Plan 2011-2020, 2015)

General Syrian Population

Mortality & Morbidity

The recorded deaths due to all causes per 100,000 Syrian are 28,718 in the year 2012. The highest reason of death is due to injuries which accounts for 18,227 people. Second leading cause is due to non-communicable diseases which affected 7,685 people. The record on deaths by communicable disease indicated 2,807 deaths (WHO, World Health Statistics , 2015).

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War has brought a devastating effect on Syrian population. It has suffered for four years due to conflict causing a decline to the country’s health situation. Half of the hospitals are not functioning, patients need to travel hundreds of kilometers just to access to the nearest hospital, outbreak to communicable diseases, and there was a shortage of medicines for non-communicable diseases and poor water and food sanitation causing waterborne diseases contributed all to mortality and morbidity rate of Syrian people. (WHO D. f., 2015)


As a response to the ongoing war, the United Nation developed a Regional Response Plan (RRP) for Syria. The RRP adopted an open border policy to Syria’s neighboring country such as Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt (U.N, 2015).All in all there are 3,984,393 Syrian refugees registered to The United Nations Refugee Agency as of June 17, 2015.

Lebanon is situated in the western part of Asia. It has a population of 4,822,000 in the year 2013 (WHO, World Health Statistics , 2015). On the northern and eastern part it is bordered by Syria while on the southern part is Israel.

Syrian Refugees

Lebanon has 500, 654 Syrian refugees in the year 2013. Aside from accepting the highest influx of Syrian refugees, Lebanese government faces the issues like water and waste management, funding for health are also being stretched as facilities and supplies was divided for locals and for refugees (U.N, 2015)


It is a tropical disease acquired from the bite of a sand fly. It has three forms, cutaneous, mucocutaneous and the visceral leishnmaniasis. In the past years, between 2001-2014 there are only 0-6 cases every year. In year 2013 there has been a drastic increase to 1,033 cases. Syrian refugees are greatly affected with 998 cases or 96.6% and 3.4 % are composed of Lebanese nationals and Palestinian refugees.

Environmental sanitation is a contributing factor in the spread of the disease. Wars and cluster relocation are also the cause of Leishmaniasis (Alawieh, 2014).

Analysis of related causative factors identified in pertinent national and international literature.

“The cost of inaction is clear and unacceptable. Through investing in vigorous and well targeted prevention and control now, there is a real opportunity to make significant progress and improve the lives of populations across the globe.”

-Lee, Jong Wook (Director General, WHO

Ischemic heart disease among adult New Zealanders

According to the statistics in 2012 ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death killing a 4.6 thousand of New Zealanders. (WHO, New Zealand: WHO statistical profile, 2015).The survey in health in 2013-2014 there are 165,000 (4.6%) people diagnosed of heart disease. The occurrence is highest among 75 years old with 22% prevalence.


Smoking is one of the modifiable causes of heart disease. People who smoke are 2-4 times more prone to having heart attack or stroke. (Heart Foundation, 2015).There is 17.2% or an estimated number of 615,000 adult New Zealanders who are current smokers and 15.5% are known to smoke daily (MOH, Annual update of key result 2013/2014: New Zealand Health Survey, 2014)

The chemicals present in tobacco accumulate overtime and causes damage to the lining of arteries triggering inflammation that may block the flow of blood supplying the heart (Heart Foundation, 2015)


Obesity is measured by means of Body Mass Index. A BMI that exceeds 30 or more is considered an obese person. Three in ten adults or 30% are identified as obese by the health survey in 2013-2014 (MOH, Annual update of key result 2013/2014: New Zealand Health Survey, 2014).

A lot of condition may develop due to obesity, it is usually accompanied by elevated blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and elevated lipid profile as well. According to Michael Smith fat people are more prone to develop heart attack and diabetes.

Hazardous drinking among adult Maori

Hazardous drinking poses harm not only to one self but also to others. Behaviors such as domestic abuse, cultural offences, violence and even an increase in motor vehicular accidents are positively related to alcohol misuse (Durie, 2001). It was identified that one in three (30%) adult Maori are hazardous drinkers.

Socio-economic disadvantage

There are many causative factor linked to hazardous drinking of Maori, one of them is socio economic disadvantage such as poor housing condition, unemployment, low educational attainment and unmet health care needs. Due to colonization, Maoris developed a culture of dependence. Alcohol dependency is one of them as a means of escaping humiliation and entrapment. (Durie, 2001)

Ischemic heart disease

According to the data gathered by WHO, ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death globally. In 2000 there are 6 million deaths while in 2012 it increased to 7.2 million deaths due to heart disease (WHO, Top 10 leading cause of death in the world, 2000 and 2012, 2015).


World Health Organization. Leishmaniasis—diagnosis, detection and surveillance. Geneva: WHO; 2013. Available at: http://www.who.int/leishmaniasis/ surveillance/en/

http://www.who.int/features/2014/syria-health-tragedy/en/ <


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Health care in New Zealand is affected by a number of factors that determine the trends and demands in terms of health. How the health workers plan for, implement and evaluate health interventions greatly depends on some environmental factors, attitudinal factors, international health policy and New Zealand campaigns and policy.

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