Health is a condition of psychological, physical and social well being where infirmity and illness are absent. The dictionary meaning of health is the condition of being fit, healthy, fine and favorable to the environment. It therefore defines the quality of life that one enjoys and the ability to function properly in their surrounding. It also includes the ability to achieve the maximum attainable height for health and physical stature.
Health is related to a person’s complete well-being. This interdependence has great significance in terms of the need for health services. It therefore necessitates community improvement and maintenance with respect to the environment and the general population as well as to the individual. Community well-being therefore implies the whole community coming together for the common good of the whole community. There is an interdependence of the entire health system with respect to the general health, the economy and the environment.
Health service delivery has made significant progress in reducing health disparities among American Indians and other Americans in the last few decades. Despite the fact that there is much work to be done to eliminate health disparities, there has been remarkable improvement. In Indian Country communities, there have been dramatic changes in the quality of life, nutrition, culture and economic well-being. These changes have led to the reduction of major health disparities.
One example of this is the AIDS epidemic that occurred in the Indian community. The lack of education about the disease, coupled with poverty and social marginalization, caused the infection to spread quickly and severely among the Indian people. With new technologies, improved medical treatment and appropriate access to life-extension therapies, the number of people diagnosed with AIDS has significantly reduced. The number of deaths from AIDS has also significantly reduced. The most promising initiative taken by the Indian government to improve the life extension practices is the launch of the National AIDS Trust.
As noted above, the life extension initiatives have led to the reduction of racial and ethnic differences in healthcare. However, the greatest disparity continues to be observed between whites and blacks in the United States. There are a number of reasons for this. Many individuals in the United States live with other individuals who belong to different races and ethnicities. The lack of awareness about health disparities and their causes contribute to this disparity. Another reason for these discrepancies is that black Americans suffer higher rates of illness than any other race or ethnicity.
As shown above, the prevention of disease and the treatment of illnesses remain the primary goals of wellness promotion activities. However, additional efforts such as nutrition education, weight loss management, and stress management will also play an important role in improving overall health. Strictly following a healthy diet and lifestyle, including a daily exercise routine, can help to maintain wellness. The ultimate goal of well-being promotion is to provide the necessary tools and resources to reduce the burden of illness on the individual and family. All individuals, regardless of race or ethnicity should be encouraged to practice healthy living.