Monday, May 30, 2005

If all you have is a hammer...

...then every problem looks like a nail. This seems to be the problem with DestinyNZ, who have just proposed reducing NZ's diabetes epidemic by "strengthening families". But I'm at a complete loss to see how "promoting" marriage (meaning banning divorce and stigmatising de facto couples), banning abortion, repealing the Civil Union Act and driving gays back into the closet is going to help at all...


Well I can think of one thing that would make a difference. Stability of residence.

A stable family is less likely to move around, staying with one doctor/health practice can make a _huge_ difference in terms of health care outcomes, especially for children. Even just staying at the same school helps because at risk kids are more likely to get seen by public health nurses and are more likely to get ongoing assesment and treatment.

Even things like simple skin infections, eg. boils, lesions, can seriously affect long term health if they are left untreated, or antibiotics aren't properly taken. Moving residence makes a big difference here.

Poverty and health are pretty intertwined, but having social/health agencies maintain a relationship with an at risk family can really help health outcomes.

So for instance, in diabeties, regular foot check ups with a doctor/nurse who knows the health history, is going to reduce the number of amputations.

Sadly, those in defacto relationships, or those with a series of partners are less stable in terms of residence, than those who have married, especially if the couple has home ownership/morgage. And to be fair (as much as I disagree with Destiny Church theologically) Destiny is very pro home ownership.

One of the current problems at the moment with people moving around all the time is lower socio economic Maori/Pacific Islanders and TB. Our TB rates are rising and public health nurses waste serious time keeping up with those on long term drug regimes as they move around. Some TB patients are actually imprisioned in order to regulate their drug regime - due to non compliance. At least that's what we were taught when I was a nursing student.

Posted by Muerk : 5/31/2005 09:28:00 PM