BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Health and Poverty



Similar to many other determinants of health, poverty is both a cause and a consequence of poor health. As a cause of poor health, poverty reflects limited resources available for an individual to access adequate health care while as a consequence; poor health prevents an individual from being gainfully employed or sustaining an employment thereby leading to poverty.

The relationship between health and poverty cannot be overemphasized. Poverty perpetuates poor health because it compels people to live in environments that cause them to become sick, without affordable and basic housing, clean water and adequate hygiene. Moreover, poor living conditions which are always associated with poverty can contribute to the spread of infectious diseases namely Anthrax, Chickenpox, Influenza, Measles, Smallpox, Cryptococcosis, and Tuberculosis. In addition, poorer countries always have the worst health outcomes compared to richer countries. These outcomes are measured using health indicators such as infant/maternal mortality rate, life expectancy and prevalence of infectious diseases.

According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O), approximately one-fifth- 1.2 billion people in our world today live in extreme poverty which is defined as living on less than one dollar per day. Extreme poverty is considered the worst case of poverty which means that much more people than 1.2 billion are still poor. On a global scale, W.H.O plays a major role in reducing poverty by supporting countries to design and implement ‘pro-poor’ health policies such as global advocacy, regional initiatives and providing direct support to ministries of health in developing countries.

The question is…what can we do to reduce poverty on an individual level?

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