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Impact of Social Determinants of Health on the Wyndham Community

   

Added on  2023-01-17

6 Pages1684 Words42 Views
Nutrition and WellnessPublic and Global Health
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Introduction
The City of Wyndham is located on the western edge of Melbourne, between the metropol-
itan area and Geelong. Wyndham features 27.4km of coastline bordering Port Phillip to the
east. It is Melbourne’s one of six designated Victorian growth areas. In Wyndham, Wer-
ribee River has been a significant place for Aboriginal people to build community and
share responsibilities for its land. Wyndham is the city where large population of Aborigi-
nals and Torres Strait Islanders resides. Wyndham is a multicultural city, as per the recent
report, just under 99% population migrated to Wyndham is from overseas and 53 out of
100 residents speaks language other than English. The SDH impact on migrant and
refugees ability to engage with health systems. The Australian Journal of Rural Health
(AJRH) stated that the economic, environmental, social and cultural viability constitute the
health determinants of rural community. This report will discuss five SDH that are impact-
ing the health of Wyndham’s community.
Physical environments
As per the information received from the website of Wyndham city council, it has been
confirmed that Wyndham is the fastest growing area in the west of Melbourne due to which
roads and trains are more congested as more people are travelling to city for work. Roads
and trains in Wyndham are getting increasingly congested due to quick population growth.
In 2014 and 2015, 40% of morning peak hour services were carrying more passengers
than recommended. In 2014, 17% of Wyndham residents reported that at least one mem-
ber of their household travelled 90 minutes or more to get to and from work. This figure in-
creased to 27% in 2016 before decreasing to 17% in 2017.55% of households in Wynd-
ham have access to two or more vehicles, compared to 46% of households in Greater
Melbourne. In 2017, 5% of morning peak hour commuter trains on the Werribee line are
breaching capacity recommendations, down from 29% of services in 2016. Congested
transport system increasing the stress level of the community as people are not getting
enough time to maintain their health and family life which also causing the increase in fam-
ily violence.
Social environments
Wyndham community is facing challenges in their daily social life as there is not enough
public space available for the growing population in the area. Between 2011 and 2016,
Wyndham experienced the largest population increase of any Local Government Area
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Impact of Social Determinants of Health on the Wyndham Community_1

(LGA) across Victoria. Wyndham city has only 13.1 hectares public open space per 1000
population which is much less than the growth areas in the east of Greater Melbourne
which includes Cardinal (220.4) and Whittlesea (56.8). Due to less public space, people
are experiencing social exclusion as they are not receiving adequate social support and
resources. Social support is important because it provides positive connections and helps
people to feel empowered by sharing their feelings and feels social inclusion which helps
them to have greater controls on their lives and health (Leach, 2014). Any marginalisation
of individuals and families through adverse SDH prevents them from fully interacting with
community assets, leading to social exclusion (WHO 2017b).
Health practices, coping skills
Wyndham Health statistics stated that 53.9% of Wyndham community members are over-
weight and obese due to eating unhealthy diet and more consumption of alcohol. As per
recent survey 58.4% community members do not eat enough fruits and vegetables and
42.2% consumes alcohol at high risk levels. Also, 21.3% are consuming sugary drinks on
daily basis and 25% of Wyndham women smoke as compared to 17% in Victoria. Physical
activity rate for children is 14% below then the state average. Mental health is Wyndham’s
priority health issue. According to Burden of Disease Data, mental disorders were the
leading cause of disability in Wyndham. Mental health services in Wyndham are greatly
impacted by the growing population with limited services available and current providers at
capacity.
Employment and working conditions
While in recent years improvements have been seen in university education rates and em-
ployment, Wyndham still falls short on several other social and economic factors com-
pared to neighbouring local government areas and the Greater Melbourne region. Be-
tween 2015 and 2017, Wyndham experienced higher levels of unemployment compared to
the rest of the state. At September 2017, the unemployment rate in Wyndham reached
7.8% compared to 5.9% for Victoria. Research studies shown that there is a ‘social
gradient’ in health, whereby those who are earning higher income have better psychoso-
cial health as compared to those who are unemployed or relatively earning low income
(Kendall et al. 2017). This coupled with the exponential growth in population means that
Wyndham is in a great need of investment in schools and education provision to keep with
demand.
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Healthy child development
Good physical and emotional health in early childhood helps in having positive health be-
haviours, wellbeing and learning throughout adolescence to adulthood. Over 20% of the
Wyndham population are aged between 0 and 11 years of age. Compared to students
across Victoria, a larger proportion of Wyndham year 3 and 5 students were not reaching
the national benchmarks for literacy and numeracy in 2015. Overall, there are higher pro-
portions of developmentally vulnerable children in Wyndham compared to Victoria and
Australia, across all five developmental domains. Between 2011 and 2015, an average of
5% of children in Wyndham experienced emotional or behavioural difficulties, similar to the
Victorian average (4%). In particular there is a noted need for support services for children,
young people and families. Research has demonstrated cumulative stressors for migrant
individuals and families can impact significantly on their physical and psychosocial health
(McClure et al.2015) which can have lifelong effects on learning, behaviour and health.
Young children’s growth and development is particularly vulnerable to these damaging ef-
fects (Centre on the Developing Child 2017).
Conclusion
The City of Wyndham is the fastest growing rural area of Melbourne and requires an ur-
gent attention towards its development. To overcome some of the major issues which are
directly impacting the health of Wyndham community, State Government needs to focus
on the improvement of the infrastructure, public transport and road transport systems.
Spending more money on schools and educational institutions to fulfilll the growing needs
of the community. The state has the key role to play in ensuring the fundamentals of live-
ability are addressed int he outer suburbs including the quality of planning processes, ac-
cessible, reliable and frequent public transport, the timely provision of schools, support to
councils in providing essentials such as maternal and child health, pre-schools, libraries
and recreation facilities, adequate police numbers and support to not for profit organisa-
tions for the provision of services locally.
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