The city of Hartford is a relatively small city with a medium population. However, the city is divided into districts by city planners as well as by the level of life. East Hartford and Manchester are divided from the city center by the river, which can be seen as ‘Ninth Street’. Moreover, two major highways run through the center that divides the city. Apart from physical division, the population became segregated depending on wages and racial groups. Wealthier people inhabit West Hartford which has little communication with the rest of the city. The North End is the place where poorer people live, mostly African Americans. This district has many problems, among which is the poor health of the population.
West Hartford is a place with modern houses that tower over beautiful parks and the river. In fact, since the river divides West Hartford from the rest of the city, it is more like a town in itself where wealthier residents live. There are many health promoters, among which are high-quality clinics and beautiful recreational areas. The North End is divided from the downtown by a highway that serves as ‘Ninth Street’. This district is where most workers live and where there were riots in the past. Some parts of the district burned down and were never rebuilt. The population suffers from many illnesses due to the low level of life. The health threats here are pollution and criminal activities that the region is notorious for.
The problems that exist within this district are rooted in ecology and lack of access to healthcare for many groups. Thus, the houses there are very old and may have lead paint on the walls, which is dangerous, especially for small children. While other districts were rebuilt, many buildings in the North End were abandoned and served as places for illegal activities, reducing the safety of the population. The hormones of stress that accumulate due to such a situation become harmful to the health of the residents (Unnatural Causes). This problem is exacerbated by the absence of decent clinics and the inability of many people to get healthcare services when needed.
The knowledge gained in this unit significantly enhanced my ability to assess the problems disadvantaged people encounter in their everyday lives. First of all, I learned the level of stress plays a vital role in people’s lives and should, by all means, be reduced not to cause chronic illnesses. Listening to people’s concerns helps reduce the level of stress; a caring attitude can alleviate stress in people’s lives. Secondly, environmental conditions play a crucial role in people’s health. A person’s home and workplace have the strongest impact on human well-being. Indoor air is usually dry, and there is a significant concentration of chemical pollutants in it when people live in old houses built as cheap accommodations.
Different pollutants such as lead or mercury that people can get in contact with can gravely damage their health. In poor districts, housing and working conditions are such that people touch or inhale hazardous substances without knowing how dangerous they can be. Children that live near powerful power plants not equipped with dust collectors may have changes in their lungs (Gonçalves, 2018). Dust containing silicon oxides causes severe pulmonary disease – silicosis. Heavy air pollution with smoke and soot, lasting for several days, can cause poisoning of people. Atmospheric pollution is especially detrimental to humans in cases where meteorological conditions contribute to the stagnation of the air over the city.
Once the problems are determined, the question of how to take care of individuals living in disadvantaged conditions can be raised. First of all, the problems must be clearly explained to people so that they minimize their contact with hazardous substances. Secondly, psychological work should be conducted to reduce the levels of stress and disappointment. Thirdly, all people should enjoy equal access to healthcare, as people’s health is the most important factor that determines their quality of life.
Unnatural Causes 1. In Sickness and In Wealth [Film].
Gonçalves, M. E. S., Souza, M., & Bomfim, L. S. V. (2018). Ecology In Health: Beyond Medical Ecology. International Journal of Development Research, 8(10), 23713-23718.