Unintended Health Consequences of Poverty Alleviation Strategies
Poverty is real. Today, millions of people are gripped by poverty. Children die every day because of malnourishment. This problem is deeply entrenched in developing countries, which face numerous economic challenges. For developed economies, the problem is manageable as there are strategies in place to address the plight of the poor. Because of the severity of poverty, and its potential threat to human life, there are many poverty alleviation initiatives all over the world. While these strategies have commendable impact, they have led to unintended health issues, which affect the world. In this paper, we shall discuss of these unintended consequences, including ways of addressing poverty without putting the health of beneficiaries at risk.
Environmental health issues are of great concern to developing countries. These issues closely link to other factors such as infrastructure, energy, agriculture, transport and industry among others. These issues fall under two categories, which are traditional and modern hazards. It is worth noting that traditional type of hazards is closely related to poverty while modern arise from lack of environmental safeguards. Modern hazards are what most developed countries are grappling with today. For instance, air pollution has become a common denominator for first world countries. Disposal of wastes and agrochemical usage weigh heavily on the environment, which in turn affects the health of people. However, they are unintended consequences that the world experiences in the process of fighting poverty. Several health risks arise from lack of proper development i.e. poor drinking water supply. These have severe effects, including the burden of diseases, which drain the economy.
When people suffer because of poverty alleviation strategies, this affects their productivity and may lead to the spread of poor quality of life. It is therefore paramount for developing countries to put emphasis in order to realize sustainable and healthy solutions.
According to the World Bank, there are close linkages between poverty eradication measures and health concerns today. In some cases, these effects may lead to the spread of poverty in a community or country when the situation is severe. Where a country does not address unintended consequences of poverty eradication, they may affect the national productivity of a nation. However, these productivity losses widely vary because of the varying health risks. According to research, about 21% of the burden of diseases in the world stems from environmental risk factors that come into play when fighting poverty. Pollution is number one effect of poverty eradication strategies, which lead to serious unintended effects.
When poverty eradication strategies lead to the poor quality of drinking water, victims suffer from It is a major problem that the world is yet to solve. Annually, the world records up to 4.4 billion cases of diarrhea, out of which 2.2 million victims die. These are alarming statistics, which need a solution. These victims are mainly children who suffer in the hands of communicable diseases. Further survey indicates that about up to 1.1 billion in the world do not have access to safe drinking water while 2.6 billion others do not have access to adequate sanitation. Because of improved living standards, people use stoves and several fuels domestically including cooking. This leads to in door pollution, which claims the lives of up to 1.6 million people worldwide.
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