Essay Help: Healthcare in Columbia

Abstract

The Republic of Colombia faces myriads of healthcare challenges. The allied health professionals, nurses and other medical practitioners have a strenuous task of delivering care to the Colombian population. There has always been need to preserve mental health and manage all forms of illnesses that may impede development in the Colombian economy. The country is faced with a difficult role of preventing, controlling and even treating both tropical and lifestyle diseases.

Introduction

Colombia is the second most populous nation in Latin America. It is positioned close to the Caribbean Sea in the northwestern part of South America. In spite of its strategic position in the continent, the country is plagued with a couple of challenges ranging from healthcare delivery to poor socioeconomic status of its population. Political turmoil has also been a major destabilizing factor. For instance, drug trade has instigated armed conflict since the 1960s. Although the situation is being rectified, Colombia has other emerging and chronic national challenges that will continue to affect it even in future.

About 75 % of the Colombian population is made up of urban residents. The country has a total population of slightly over 46 million people. However, it has a marginal per capita income of 8,600 US dollars. The latter figure is far below the regional mean of 23,823 US dollars. Although the country’s economy has been performing dismally over the years, it is still among the largest economies in South America (ranked at number four).

17 percent of the entire population lives under abject poverty while 46 % is comprised of Colombians who live under the poverty line (Jacobsen, 2009). The last twenty years has witnessed a steady expenditure on healthcare even though regional spending has significantly gone up. According to the latest healthcare statistics, the eastern savannas, the Amazon forest and the coastal region of the Pacific Ocean are among the worst hit regions with malarial infestation. Close to 86 percent of the population is faced with the threat of malaria as a communicable disease (Bleakley, 2010). This paper offers a critical look at the burden of disease, socioeconomic determinants of health, access to healthcare and healthcare inequality, status of child health, control of infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, and the state of nutrition in Colombia. Healthcare recommendations have also been given at the end of the essay.

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