South Africa is one of the strongest and fastest developing countries in Africa. A country that was heavily affected by racial segregation during the apartheid rule that ended in 1994, South Africa has experienced massive growth in its economy over the past two decades. This may be attributed to its rich mineral reserves, especially gold. It has the strongest economy in Africa.
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Analysis of the Country
South Africa is one of the countries that gained independence several years after other African states, and other states around the world had gained independence. The country was ruled by the Boers after the departure of British colonizers in 1910. Nelson Mandela, Walter Susuli among other leaders is lauded to have fought for the independence of this country. It is one of the African states with the best government structures.
The economy of South Africa is one of the fastest developing economies in the world. This is due to good governance and rich oil reserves. The country has the best infrastructure in Africa, especially after hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, most of the South Africans, especially those living in the rural set-ups and in slums, live in object poverty.
For a long time, South Africa had experienced racial segregation where the whites and blacks had different status in the country. The blacks were considered subordinate to the whites. This came to an end when Mandela finally came to power. Other than the xenophobic movement that was slightly experienced in 2009, South Africans have come to appreciate cultural diversity.
South Africa is not one of the giants in the field of technology. However, this country has come to embrace the importance of technology in running various sectors. The government has supported various initiatives meant to enhance technological developments. Institutions such as schools, hospitals, and business units among others have embraced the emerging technology.
Geographical and Climate Issues of South Africa
This African country generally has two seasons in a year. The country has winter and summer. During summer, the country experiences hot and wet climate, while in winter, the temperatures are rather cold. The country borders the Indian Ocean, making its beaches one of the most attractive beaches in the world.
Health Status and Healthcare System in South Africa
South African government has made concerted effort to ensure that its healthcare system reflects the needs of its populace. The population of South Africans has been on the rise over the past one decade, but the government has not been in a position to upgrade its health system to reflect this. According to Padayachee (118), although the government has made an effort to improve health facilities in major cities, people living in rural set-ups and slums lack proper medical facilities.
Relationship between South Africa and the World
South Africa has had a very cordial relationship with its neighbors and the world. Following the end of apartheid rule in 1994, this country has been able to develop a cordial relationship with other states in Africa and the world at large.
South Africa and its Neighbors
South Africa has been a friendly nation to its neighbors. It has been a very resourceful neighbor to Swaziland and Lesotho which are landlocked countries within its borders. Its neighboring countries such as Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique have registered satisfaction with the relationship they have had with this country.
South Africa and the World
South Africa has also had a positive relationship with other African states and the world in general. Being the only African country which is a member of the G-20, this country has been seen to champion the interests of African nations in the world forum. Its first president, Nelson Mandela, is known to have been a champion of peace around the world.
About 92 percent of those who live in South Africa are the black Africans who are the natives. The highest percentage out of this population lives in object poverty. About 2 percent of this population is the Dutch who never left the country after the curtain fell on their leadership. There are other ethnic groups like the Arabs, Chinese, and other ethnic groups from all over the world.
The main religion in South Africa is Christianity. This religion was spread during the colonization of this country. However, there are various other religions in this country. After Christianity, African religious groups are dominant, especially in the interiors of the country. Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism are also practiced, especially among the non-natives.
South Africa is one of the countries with rich cultural heritage. Most of the native Africans have maintained their cultural practiced such as male circumcision. The culture that allows men to marry more than one wife is also cherished in various societies. In various national ceremonies, traditional dancers and artists would be called upon to perform before dignitaries.
Most of the young South Africans, especially those who were born after independence, have had the opportunity to go to school. However, a good number of the middle aged and the aging population also have basic education. This is because they were either too busy fighting for the liberation of this country from the Boers, or they could not withstand racial segregation witnessed in schools during their era.
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Health statistics of this country shows that South Africa is one of the countries at risk of experiencing massive health problem. According to Padayachee (56), South Africa is one of the countries with the highest percentage of its population living with HIV/AIDs in the world. A number of South Africans have also perished from cardiovascular diseases. The table below shows the percentage of those suffering from cardiovascular disease over the last three years.
|Year||Percentage of those Suffering From Cardiovascular Disease|
Source: (Rao 78)
Majority of those affected with cardiovascular disease in this country are the middle class who have put their focus on gaining financial security. This category of people does less strenuous work because they work in large offices in major cities in this country. They have limited time to spare for physical activities hence putting them at risk.
Major Health Concern
As stated above, cardiovascular disease is a major killer disease in this country. Many South Africans have died due to this health complication. The main reason why these people perish is because of lack of proper healthcare facilities in the country to deal with this complication.
Economic and Social Impact of Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease has had serious impact on the economic and social status of those affected. Most of those who suffer from this disease are the middle class trying to find financial security. Once affected by this disease, they would spend most of their savings, and would at times run into debts trying to meet the costs of treating the disease. This affects their social standings a great deal as they find themselves in lower social class that they thought they had passed.
Scope of the Problem
According to Jamison (92), although the problem has not reached an alarming level, the rate at which individuals are being diagnosed with this problem is alarming. The problem, once thought to be a preserve for the rich, is now affecting the middle class which is actually the driving force of this country. Although the government has tried to deal with it, it still remains a big issue in the society.
Historical Development of Cardiovascular Disease
Historical development of cardiovascular disease can be analyzed on an individual level basis. History of this disease on one patient may not be the same as that of another patient. According to Rao (67), this health issue is associated with lack of proper physical exercise and intake of a lot of calories. When the body fails to burn these calories, their accumulation may lead to this health concern.
World Wide Disparity of the Problem
Cardiovascular disease was previously considered a disease of the west. This was so because of the technological advancements in the west that meant that people would only perform light tasks that does not need heavy physical activity. However, as this technology spread, the disease became common even among Africans. Currently, cardiovascular disease is considered as a major global issue in the society.
Effects of Globalization and Technology on Cardiovascular Disease
Globalization and technology has had positive effect on the efforts to counter this disease. Given the fact that this is not a communicable disease that can be spread by being in contact with a victim, the ability to move enhances the possibility of finding its solution. A patient from South Africa can be flown to the United States where there are adequate medical facilities to deal with the problem. Advancements in technology has helped in coming up with sophisticated machines that help in detection and treatment of this complication.
Effects of Cardiovascular Disease if Left Unchecked
If left unchecked, cardiovascular disease can have serious negative impact in the society. The government needs to equip public hospitals with the machines that can help deal with the problem. If this is not done, the country will continue losing its citizens, and this would lead to decreased labor force in the economy. Children will be left orphaned, and this will increase the levels of poverty in this country.
International Healthcare Organization Involved in the Delivery of Healthcare in South Africa
The main international healthcare organization that has come out to help country this problem in the country is World Health Organization. Working with the local hospitals and community health workers, W.H.O. has made an effort to increase awareness of this disease. It has been working closely with donors and government to find permanent solution.
Summary and Conclusion
Cardiovascular disease is a health concern that has been on the rise in this country. The government of South Africa has not been able to come up with a lasting solution for this problem because of the costs associated with its treatment. However, partnering with international agencies such as W.H.O., the government has increased its effort in managing this disease.
Jamison, Dean. Disease and Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. Washington: World bank, 2006. Print.
Padayachee, Vishnu. The Development Decade? Economic and Social Change in South Africa, 1994 – 2004. Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2006. Print.
Rao, Gudu. Coronary Artery Disease: Risk Promoters, Pathophysiology, and Prevention. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers, 2012. Print.