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PBHL20007 Cultural Immersion and Lived Experience Assignment Sample

We each come to public health with a set of our own beliefs, assumptions, experiences, judgments, and views that reflect our culture and upbringing, as well as the events of our life. For this assignment, you must think about your own health experiences and the way they have been impacted by your cultural background and the way you think about health and illness. Firstly, think about how your family deal with illness or treat illness condition. Do they use home remedies to treat illness? How do they decide an illness is serious? What are their preferred ways of managing health and illness?

Secondly, compare how your own personal experiences relate to the views and actions of other people in the same community. Is your family in the majority when it comes to dealing with health and illness? Do they act differently to the most people in the community? If they are different, then explain why and how their behaviour was shaped that way which made them different to others in the community.

Thirdly, discuss your own assumptions about health.

Who do you think is responsible for health - the individual involved, the family, the society in which he or she lives, the government, health services or others? To what extent, do you think people should manage their own health? Who should carry the risk associated with disease and illness?
Finally, consider the role that culture and social background play in health and illness.

Discuss the ways this might affect professional practice in public health, including why it is necessary for a public health practitioner to be aware of cultural differences in health and illness.

This is an individual 2000 words reflective assessment. Your reflections to these areas should be supported by evidence from literature, textbooks or other authentic sources. All references must be cited appropriately with a reference list. In drawing on your own experiences, you may use pictures and other creative material to help illustrate your reflections, but these must also be appropriate cited if they are not your own materials. You cannot use materials from google or any internet sources which does not meet academic standards and guidelines.

This reflective practice assessment will be assessed against following criteria.

1. A deep reflection with ability to write clearly following academic coherence

2. Logically draw and analyse personal experiences around health and illness

3. Critically examine and compare the familial and social context of health

4. Succinctly provide evidence-based arguments around different conceptualisation and accountability to health

5. Appropriate grammar, citation, and referencing



In the present times, health issues are becoming more significant as the population and portions of the society are getting affected by illnesses such as diabetes, infectious diseases, HIV, mental health challenges and many more. Nutrition and lack of physical activity led to obesity which can cause many of these diseases. This essay for assignment help will discuss my experience with Bangladesh's approach to health conditions. This will take into account my family's experience in healthcare. This will also compare my experience with society's concepts of health issues and treatments. The role of society and culture in health issues will also be stated. This will help in clarifying the idea about health issues in the society and the people of Bangladesh.

Family's approach to dealing with health conditions

The approach of Family-Focused Healthcare is becoming more popular in contemporary times as health professionals believe that the involvement of the family can help many diseases to get cured faster. Many states and nations are adapting the task of reform in healthcare that seems appropriate considering the various merits of the family perspective. Recently through research, it has been considered by various researchers, healthcare professionals and advocates that family has a profound force on the health of an individual. Every country should support and strengthen its family caregiving programs based on this respective research (Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars, 2022). Although in Bangladesh, I have seen that my family has always been very supportive during my illness and provided the best care that helped me recover faster. The approach of family care is also more cost-effective and focuses on individuals' help in the recovery process. Family members also have a high level of influence on the health habits of each other. The nutrition we get from our food is consumed through a pattern that we learn from childhood. The habit of exercising regularly is also a common habit that we acquire from our family. Family distress is also a common cause of individuals' ability to focus on the negatives only. For example, a person suffering from hypertension who lives alone will not be able to provide proper health care to themselves compared to a man who lives with a family with the same disease. The family also plays a very vital part in relapses of various chronic diseases. Families in Bangladesh are quite dependent on home remedies as various areas are below the poverty line and do not have the resources to visit medical centres. The infant mortality rate is also high as many mothers do not make it to the hospitals or the health care providers during childbirth.

In my family and others around me, I have seen several instances, where social support and stress have helped in decreasing or increasing the family member's likelihood to fall ill. This can happen due to several reasons like a bereavement of a spouse or close family member, the detrimental effect of smoking or alcoholism and many more. Any person who is susceptible to stress can fall ill much faster. Families that face prenatal conflict often have cases of children who are lower than five years with high levels of stress hormone in the blood. Marital distress can also reduce the immune system functioning in many individuals. A family's decisions and beliefs about health care are very important to promote a healthy lifestyle. The chronically ill patient is dependent on the family members' setting of care provided to them which is quite important. Many times,it has been observed that the cohesiveness of a family during the acute stage of an illness generally decreases if the illness remains for a prolonged period. For example, a cancer patient is often seen to have less distress compared to their spouse or family members. Families also need therapy and support when their family members are going through those issues.


Figure 1: Family’s role in healthcare
Source: (Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars, 2022, para. 4)

Comparison of personal experience with people of the society regarding health issues

I would start with my experience of the pandemic that we had faced in the last two years and yet the world has not recovered. I learned during this period that every year new pandemics emerge that may or may not be as widespread as the Covid-19 virus. This period has taught me that health education and responsible practices in agriculture and society will help in combating such issues in the future (Hossain, 2020, p.1). Another global challenge that I see around me is the pollution and climate change that is leading to the formation of many new diseases. In many societies, economic disparity and the lack of access to healthcare often lead to diseases and high mortality rates. As a society, there is not much contribution that is done to erase such economic disparities even when individuals are seen to be unable to afford health care. I believe there is an equal role between society and the government in the health services that are provided to us. Managing one's health is very important before we start blaming the communities around us or the government.

I do not believe that my family falls under the majority of the society and how they tackle health issues. The main reason which I can attribute to this is lack of resources as most Bangladesh citizens do not have sufficient income to visit healthcare centres. This forces them to surrender to home remedies which are in many cases not helpful. Moreover, the lack of education in many such families leads to a misconception about health issues that further leads to the wrong treatment of the disease. This can only be combated if the government provides a proper health care system and education to all the citizens of the country.


Figure 2: Bangladesh health care spending shows a significant increase
Source: (TheGlobalEconomy, 2022, para. 2)

Personal assumptions about health

Bangladesh belongs to the category of pluralistic health care system where healthcare is highly decentralised. There are various for-profit companies, international welfare organisations, government schemes and NGOs. This has caused various problems that have caused unequal treatment between various classes in society. Shortage of specialists, clinical equipment and physicians is quite common in the country. There are only 1.07 % of nurses available for 10000 people. The number of physicians per 10,000 people is only 3.06 % (Thelwell & Tashin, 2022). The leading cause of death in the country is non-communicable diseases. These diseases include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, malnutrition and so on. I have seen that most of the physicians and healthcare centres are only concentrated in the urban areas of the country. The rural hospitals are poorly funded which means there is limited access to healthcare options. The government does not provide sufficient healthcare funding as a citizen has to pay 63.3 per cent of the total cost of the treatments (Thelwell & Tashin, 2022).

According to my research, I have found that Bangladesh has shown remarkable progress in healthcare in the last few decades. Bangladesh strategies include out-of-pocket payments, general revenue taxation and development partners' contributions which include insurance (Fahim et al., 2019, p.2). The problem in this case that has been observed is that 5 million people fall into poverty because of exorbitant health expenditures (Sarker et al., 2022, p.4). Unfortunately, I could not find enough data which supports the out-of-pocket costs that are related to the healthcare expenditures in Dhaka. The sustainable development goal of the country is focused on promoting the well-being of every citizen irrespective of their age. This goal will also focus on the socioeconomic factors and the democracy of the population to see if the OOP has any influence on the health care expenditures of the urban citizens. It is also important to understand that despite the various help provided by the government, one should be careful about the various diseases that are surrounding them. The risk of diseases cannot be single-handedly attributed to the government or the nation. I have observed during the pandemic that there were various cases where the public of the nation was casual enough even when they were provided with all healthcare advisories. This had led to the increase in the spread of the virus. Hence, I strongly believe that it is important to be aware of health oneself too.

Role of society and culture on health and illness

The local perception of disease has been seen to vary from community to society all around Bangladesh. Even though long exposure to illness has not enabled these populations to capture a proper explanation based on the scientific background which can be backed by germ theories. diseases are generally divided into subcategories namely lamani (diarrhoea), pansa (chickenpox), dudher haga (watery white excreta), lunti (measles) sardi or kasi(cough and cold). Even while various health education programs like BRAC provide specialised dissemination about diarrhoeal diseases, it has not helped much with the notions of the villagers (Khan, Bhuiya & Chowdhury, 2022, p.2). Although the villagers are aware of the various health risks associated with taking food without adequately washing their hands or even keeping the food in an open area, it has not brought many changes in their attitude. The dependency on various religious beliefs and the older customs have made these villagers not understand the importance of scientific data that backs the diagnosis of the diseases. Other reasons include workload on the head of the household, where, for example, they are not even aware that the soap is bought after the entire consumption. The poor villagers who do not have the access to simple three meals a day would not buy soap or slab latrines to avoid diseases.

Environmental sanitation according to me is also a very important role that plays part in a healthy lifestyle of a society. In Bangladesh, there is a multifaceted sanitation problem that starts from the basic hygiene requirements like safe drinking water and also prevention of excreta disposal methods. Indiscriminate defecation results in various waterborne and filth diseases including diarrhoea, hepatitis, dysentery, hookworm, and so on. The rural housing setup has no arrangement of proper lighting and ventilation. Most marketplaces and public eateries have poor hygiene. There is also a lack of proper disposal of animal waste including inadequate drainage. Rural areas do not receive adequate health education. Some of the severe problems regarding health issues also arise from malnutrition around the country. There are only 35 out of 1000 live childbirths in the lower income strata of the country which is a major reason for the lack of nutrition among young mothers (Joarder, Chaudhury & Mannan, 2019, p.3). This is the direct cause of rapid population growth, inadequate food distribution, illiteracy, poverty and so on. Bangladesh also has a high-frequency tendency of flooding which leads to a huge amount of crop wastage every year.

Practising health in rural areas and countries like Bangladesh requires a clear understanding of the culture and customs of the society. The main reason behind it is most of the patients are not adequately educated and have notions and taboos about treatments. In such cases, the health practitioner must be patient and sensible towards the mindset of the patients, while also providing them with the right treatment (Adhikary et al., 2018, p.1). Moreover, the doctors and nurses also need to ensure that the patients come back for the treatment and do not get agitated by the health care providers.


Figure 3: Malnutrition in children in the last decade
Source: (Tradingeconomics, 2022, para. 2)


It can be concluded from this essay that Bangladesh is yet to cover a long path to reaching an ideal health care system. I have discussed my family's role and also the other families of the society who play a vital part in the healthcare system and it's uplifting. I have also compared my views with the data that I have collected regarding the health care system and the contribution of the government in various parts of the country. The role of the society has also been analysed to understand why Bangladesh is still behind in the healthcare scenario.

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