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Community health issues affect entire populations and require increased attention from medical specialists. The effect of such large problems on people can lead to many adverse outcomes and change the health of generations. For example, one of the top healthcare issues in the Bronx, NY, is asthma. The rate of people, especially children, with asthma in this area is among the highest ones in the city (DiNapoli, 2014).
Multiple factors cause this healthcare issue, and systematic change is needed to improve the current situation. Some of the problems in other communities differ from the discussed one. However, asthma is a disorder that has an impact on all regions of the country. Possible interventions for treating asthma in children include learning opportunities for families and patients affected by asthma, the recognition of a connection between the onset of the condition and environmental and socioeconomic factors, and timely preventive and ongoing treatment.
The issue of asthma in New York and the Bronx, in particular, is connected to multiple factors. According to Abraham et al. (2015), the quality of air in the city and the changing temperature and environment directly correspond to the rising rates of people with asthma exacerbations. The high concentration of pollutants in some regions of the city can also be linked to asthma diagnoses – chemicals used in manufacturing, fumes, and smoke are considered to be among the risk factors for asthma (DiNapoli, 2014).
Rohr et al. (2014) investigated the health of children in South Bronx and East Harlem, NY, and found that the city had increased concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and carbon, as well as various metal sulfates. These pollutants come from industrial production, causing the atmosphere to affect children’s respiratory system. The effect of the altered air contents is substantial – the Bronx is among the regions with the highest and most consistent death rate of people with asthma (DiNapoli, 2014). Therefore, all healthcare professionals, including community nurses, should pay attention to the changes in people’s respiratory health.
The problem of asthma is not a unique issue for the Bronx or even New York. It is a global issue that affects countries with developed transport manufacturing industries (DiNapoli, 2014). Reznik, Bauman, Okelo, and Halterman (2015) state that asthma affects around 10% of all children in the United States. Thus, other communities may also have similar problems with their populations along with other conditions such as hypertension.
It can be argued that underserved groups that live in areas located near manufacturing and farming facilities are exposed to similar environmental problems. They may have the same respiratory problem as people in the Bronx. Nurses can address the problem of pediatric asthma by raising awareness, providing patient education, and advocating for the community. For example, community nurses should initiate learning-based asthma campaigns such as one introduced by the Health Department of New York (NYC Health, 2016). For families whose children are affected by asthma, it is vital to understand that this condition is chronic, and the child’s health can deteriorate because of unfavorable living conditions.
Many people’s socioeconomic position does not allow them to make significant changes in their living arrangements. However, education can help parents, caregivers, and teachers to become aware of effective asthma managing techniques (Reznik et al., 2015). Advocating for patients with asthma and those who are at risk of developing the condition may have an impact on the region’s environmental policies.
Abraham, R., Toh, J., Desai, T., Shum, M., Patel, P., Rosenstreich, D. L., & Jariwala, S. (2015). Association between asthma-related emergency department visits, meteorological measurements, and air quality concentrations in the Bronx (2001-2008). Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 135(2), AB87.
DiNapoli, T. P. (2014). The prevalence and cost of asthma in New York State. Web.
NYC Health. (2016). Health Department launches asthma campaign “Your Child’s Asthma Is Always There, Even When They Seem Perfectly Fine.” Web.
Reznik, M., Bauman, L. J., Okelo, S. O., & Halterman, J. S. (2015). Asthma identification and medication administration forms in New York City schools. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 114(1), 67-68.
Rohr, A. C., Habre, R., Godbold, J., Moshier, E., Schachter, N., Kattan, M.,… Koutrakis, P. (2014). Asthma exacerbation is associated with particulate matter source factors in children in New York City. Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, 7(2), 239-250.