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Health Care Policy Development Essay

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Updated: Sep 17th, 2022

The impact of climate change on human health is a topic of extreme importance. Although it has only recently begun to attract attention, immediate action is needed to minimize this impact. Climate change has a significant adverse effect on human health, animal population, the social, economic, and political strength of countries. It is suggested that climate change is associated with crucial health impacts, including high mortality rates from hurricanes and storms, heat-related diseases, outbreaks of infectious illnesses (malaria, dengue), forced migration and civil conflicts, malnutrition, and other severe health outcomes (National Center for Environmental Health, 2020). As climate change continues to evolve, more people find signs and symptoms of various diseases, and healthcare organizations face increasing rates of individuals who require immediate treatment. This paper will examine the policy health issue, namely the management of asthma influenced by climate change, and suggestions on how the health issue can be addressed.

The Policy Health Issue

American Public Health Association (n.d.) states that climate change is among policy health issues that a society experience nowadays with various negative outcomes upcoming and needed to be adverse. While authorities initiate programs that aim to mitigate the climate change impact on individuals, it is noted that asthma is among diseases that are severely impacted by climate change (APHA, 2019). Analysis of data shows that patients with asthma have a high sensitivity to weather and climatic changes, confirmed by clinical and epidemiological studies (Robichaud & Comtois, 2019). Another research conducted in the United States showed that with a rapid increase in temperature by 10 degrees or an increase in humidity by 10%, as often happens in spring and summer, the number of hospitalizations of children with asthma increased dramatically (Bodaghkhani et al., 2019).

Population Affected

Various experts state that climate change-related health impacts associated with asthma affect different people in the population. However, it was discovered that African Americans have a 36% higher rate of asthma occurrence and three times more likely to get into the emergency room or die from asthma-associated outcomes than non-Hispanic White people (Rudolph et al., 2018). The similar rates of higher prevalence of asthma and death rates experience Latino children, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities than non-Latino Whites. People with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are also at higher risk of respiratory illness due to more extreme temperatures, the increased ozone layer, wildfire smoke, and increased pollen.

Occurrence Level

The high incidence of asthma is associated with increased humidity and temperature, significant differences in individual indicators of the atmosphere’s physical state. Bronchial asthma (BA) is considered one of the primary diseases of the inhabitants of the southern island territories. Nevertheless, it can be stated that asthma occurs at the national level (APHA, 2019). Depending on the climatic and geographical zone, industrial production, and other factors, the prevalence of BA varies for adults and children in the US. Moreover, water and air pollution are also triggered by climate change and influence pollen release that provokes the occurrence of asthmatic diseases across regions (Poole et al., 2019).

Evidence About the Issue

According to the American Academy of Allergic Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), climate change has led to both an increase in the intensity of the pollen season and an increase in its duration that provoked asthmatic diseases in individuals (Poole et al., 2019). Inhalation of air pollutants, including diesel exhaust gas particles, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide, has been found to cause inflammation and increase the permeability of mucous membranes in the respiratory tract, ultimately increasing the permeability of the barrier to allergens (APHA, 2019). Analysts also found alarming facts that climate change, triggering air pollution, is also associated with an increased risk of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema in children (Motavvef, n.d.).

Problem Statement and Suggestions for Addressing the Health Issue

Summarizing the information, it can be stated that there is a vital health problem of asthmatic disease across the US population caused by the climate changes that should be addressed by the authorities. To initiate policy change, it is essential to create an educational program for people and organizations that should influence legislative and statutory officials to establish stricter rules regarding water and air pollution management.

Furthermore, responsible stakeholders, including APHA, AAAAI, National Center for Environmental Health, should collaborate to introduce new policy related to allergen management, industrial production guidelines, and temperature decrease to ensure that agencies and private organizations comply with the rules that would create a positive impact on climate change mitigation. Budgetary decisions should be made at the federal level because it is highlighted that the healthcare sector is the main contributor to greenhouse gases directly associated with asthmatic diseases’ development (Ortsäter et al., 2020).

Impact on the Health Care Delivery System

The impact of climate change reduction on the health care delivery system and the existing higher occurrence of asthmatic diseases in the US can be tremendous. Analysts concluded that asthma brings a social and economic burden on communities and authorities. It is costly to treat chronic disease per patient per year than other respiratory illnesses that happen from time to time (Nunes et al., 2017). Overall, one can conclude that the high health care cost caused by asthma is a significant problem that is rapidly exacerbating due to climate change. Therefore, authorities should evaluate the health issue’s health precisely and collaborate to create united goals and solutions, such as the usage of new treatment methods, to help people sustain their well-being and decrease the socio-economic cost of the disease on the health care sector.

References

American Public Health Association. (2019). Web.

American Public Health Association. (n.d.). Web.

Bodaghkhani, E., Mahdavian, M., MacLellan, C., Farrell, A., & Asghari, S. (2019). Canadian respiratory journal, 3435103. Web.

Motavvef, A. (n.d.). We Act. Web.

National Center for Environmental Health. (2020). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web.

Nunes, C., Pereira, A.M. & Morais-Almeida, M. (2017). Asthma Res and Pract, 3(1). Web.

Ortsäter, G., Borgström, F., Baldwin, M. et al. (2020). Appl Health Econ Health Policy, 18, 433–442. Web.

Poole, J., Barnes, C., Demain, J., Kagen, S., Portnoy, J., Nel, A. et al. (2019). The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 143(5), 1702-1710. Web.

Robichaud, A. & Comtois, P. (2019). Air Qual Atmos Health, 12, 1495–1509. Web.

Rudolph, L., Harrison, C., Buckley, L., & North, S. (2018). Public Health Institute and American Public Health Association. Web.

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