Readers Write: Healthy Children Need Healthy Parents

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
October 4, 2010
Young Child Waits With Parents For Medical Care

Today, we bring you a new occasional feature on DipNote: "Readers Write." Look for more comments -- and replies -- highlighted on the blog in the weeks to come!

In response to a previous blog posting, Dr. Eileen N. in California had written:

"Focusing on health in children is important, but their adult parents must be healthy too. Any global health care system strengthening program must include provision for sustainable changes and improvements to the entire healthcare system no matter what age the people it serves may be. Although admirable and a start, a healthy child program runs the risk of consuming healthcare resources at the expense of the greater good, just as disease specific programs do. Broaden the program out in order to create healthy families and healthy communities."Jennifer Klein, who works on global health policy topics in the Office of Global Women's Issues, replies:

Doctor N.,

You raise a very good point. The “Thousand Days” initiative was created to deliberately focus on child and maternal nutrition within a narrowly-defined (and crucial) time period, but that doesn't mean that other programs and initiatives don't -- or shouldn't -- take a broader view.

The U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI), for example, prioritizes sustainability and a holistic conceptualization of health. This worldwide program seeks to strengthen existing health systems and develop countries' capacity to improve the health of their people. It recognizes that, for instance, improving women's health means successfully tackling the economic, cultural, social, and legal barriers that put obstacles in the way of their care. This means taking on gender-based violence, a lack of educational and economic opportunity, and harmful traditional practices, such as early marriage and female genital mutilation. The Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues has been active in promoting this initiative.

The Global Health Initiative will help the U.S. integrate and coordinate its many global health programs so they meet the range of needs women, children and families face in the developing world. Secretary Clinton's recent address on the initiative explains the vision. You can also see examples of the GHI in action in the work of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We believe that providing a variety of programs, coordinated through GHI, allows us to be nimble and responsive to changing healthcare needs around the world and to adapt our strategies to different regions and cultures on the basis of “lessons learned.” You can follow some of those stories on DipNote (e.g., Swaziland's Bold Leadership in Fighting HIV/AIDS; Reproductive Health Care in Crisis Situations), and we hope to bring you more in the future.

Thanks for your thought-provoking comment!

Comments

Comments

Oystercracker
|
United States
October 4, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

Excellent point! What is the State Department doing about California decriminalizing marijuana so they can pay for their billion dollar tax deficit? If long use marijuana causes schizophrenia in older age, think of the health costs it will cost our nation? Are we prepared to deal with a nation of schizophrenics in 10-20 years from now? This is a vital issue. Also, why are drug addicted parents allowed to raise their children? Shouldn't good parents be sober parents? These are serious health issues for our country. We're a nation of drug addicts. Geez, I wonder how that happened?

Oystercracker
|
United States
October 4, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

I am an American citizen. I have liver and kidney disease and was denied Medical. Why can an illegal alien with a child get medical easier than a sick American? Why does my own government discriminate against me? These sre the evil policies that make Americans sick.

Oystercracker
|
United States
October 4, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

The ugly,dirty secret in America is that there is medical apartheid. God forgive the American that lost his job or can't afford healthcare as they will be thrust onto the county service program that is at its breaking point. This is the world that the President, Secretary of State or Congress will never see because they are too busy quarrelling over scraps while the country's County healthcare system is in tatters because it is overburdened by too many people. Medical apartheid exists in the Land of the Free but no one will acknowledge it because a third of the country is in poverty. What great nation would allow a third of its population to live in abject poverty? It's unconscionable but ever growing reality.

Patrick
|
Maryland, USA
October 4, 2010

Patrick W. in Maryland writes:

I think i understand ,so you mean, we need different programs for different parts of the world.So, the GHI is making these programs available to people along with other family programs?That help on a case by case sort of thing around the world.

Then you see what programs work best,sounds good..:)

elpi
|
Philippines
November 18, 2010

Elpi in the Philippines writes:

i agree with you children need a healthy parents, if parents are not in good health this will affect also the health of kids.

.

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