April 26, 2013
Health and Illness in Society
Infant Health: United States Verses South Korea
Each country has a different procedure when it comes to their health care and their care with pre and postnatal. Some countries can spend a great amount of money on their health care (such as the United States) but still might not have the best health care in the world. Others have special arrangements that new mothers and infants can go through to make sure that they start off their life in a good and healthy environment. In this paper I am going to compare and contrast the infant health care and the overall prenatal care in the United States and South Korea by referencing multiple articles and textbooks that focus on this subject. Both countries have various ways in which they handle their health system and the care of their newborns. There are many factors that determine the health of a newborn such as the nutrition that the soon to be mother consumes, the environment that the mother and the child live in, and the hospital that the child is born in. Throughout the years each of these countries have been putting time and money into their health system with the goal of having the most outstanding health care system in the world. Their progress can be recorded in many different ways which will be discussed within this paper. Also the United States and South Korea both have very different systems when dealing with prenatal and infant care. One way that the infant care of a country is measured is through the mortality rate of the infants. In fact (Bae et al., 2011), “Neonatal mortality rate (NMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR) are two of the most important indices reflecting the level of public health of a country” (Abstract Section Para. 1). Without measuring and keeping track of these mortality rates, researches would not be able to figure out what countries are working towards a better health care service and which countries need help. Even though the United States is a developed country, and unlike less developed countries, it should have a high mortality rate. In all actuality the United States has one of the worst mortality rates compared to other counties. According to Levine and Munsch (2012), “Despite the wealth and the availability of (but not always access to) world-class medical facilities, the United States has the same or worse infant mortality rates compared with 37 other industrialized countries (Hoover Institution, 2007)” (p. 176). There are reasons for the high mortality rate, such as the fact there are many different races, ethnicities, and social statuses within the United States. Race and ethnicity do have an input in a person’s health and their life style. Some races (such as Asians) have a higher life expectancy and a lower mortality rate throughout their race because of the way that they are raised and the traditions that they fallow. The social statuses of the expecting mothers also have an impact on the future children because when the parent is part of a higher social status, it is assumed that they have a higher level of education and therefore know more about how they should care for themselves and their infants. The opposite goes for people who are part of a lower social status. The United States has been lowering the number of infant mortality rates by putting programs in affect to try and help out the health system. Some of these programs are (Bae et al., 2011), …execution of Medicaid (1965), Medicare (1965), Supplemental Security Income (social health care security programs for children and pregnant women of the lower income group), provision of State Children’s Health Insurance Programs, Children Vaccine Program, Health Start Program (1991, Early Head Start Program, full day care service, parent education, case management, Community Resource Assistant)…” (Discussion Section para. 5) and much more. The United States has more programs to help reduce the risk of...
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