The community of Flatbush has experienced many challenges in relation to the health of its residents. The diversity of the community in Flatbush presents different health challenges as a result of diverse cultures and beliefs. In carrying out this community assessment I applied the framework of community as a partner model that was developed by Betty Neuman. It consists of studying the aspects of the community and the different lines of prevention. This categorizes the community core, the community subsystems and perceptions. This model looks at the three lines of defence for the community and the nursing functions as the necessary components in the well being of a community.
The challenges to the well being of the community are identified using this model and proper care system is proposed to the people in the town. There is evidence that the community is not well informed about the positive health practices; hence I would attribute the health challenges being faced by the community of Flatbush to the lack of education on health issues and proper health policies by the Government. Good health education is primary to good health care as well as a good health care system assures citizens of good health care (Kongstvedt,2003).
Flatbush is a community of the Borough of Brooklyn which is part of New York City. It is mostly inhabited by foreigners and this means that it has a diverse culture since its residents a mainly from neighbouring countries and also overseas. The youths are the largest age group followed by the Adults and the children below the age of sixteen then the old aged. Most of the people in Flatbush are immigrants from different countries hence the diverse nature of the community. It has a population of approximately 316, 700 residents. It can be translates to 82,161 people per square mile.
Most of the population lives above poverty levels. The population has both working class and middles class residents and the housing features are apartment buildings in rows. It is recorded that out of the 316,700 residents of Flatbush 28 percent are in the age bracket of zero to seventeen years and the largest being those between the ages of twenty five to forty four years. They represent thirty percent of the Flatbush population. Those in the age of forty five to sixty four are twenty two percent of the total population and the age group of sixty five and above are only nine percent. Seventy seven percent of Flatbush residents are black followed by nine percent which is representing the whites and the Hispanic who are also nine percent.
The other races are Asians who are only two percent and others representing the three percent. This brings us to the point that fifty one percent of the Flatbush community residents were born outside the United States. Most of the residents of Flatbush who are above twenty five years have completed some college and poverty levels are not so high. The community is Christian mostly and there are establishments of Adventist church and redeemed churches. There is also the Orthodox Jewish community (NYC health, 2003).
This short analysis of the community of Flatbush translates a picture of a highly youthful population that is educated and having a fun loving lifestyle. This can be the best explanation of the high levels of Sexually Transmitted Infections that have been recorded by the Bureau of Sexually Transmitted Diseases control department. The number of people who are contracting these diseases is on the rise and it is at an alarming rate (NYC health, 2003).
The assessment also revealed a problem of access to prenatal care by pregnant women. This has led to the birth of babies who are having low birth weight. The results of babies who are born with low birth weight are the persistent problems they experience during their childhood for example Asthma. The health of children is one of the most delicate areas in the medical practice. The children in Flatbush face many health problems and dangers. For example lead poisoning. It is a major concern for many practitioners and it affects the physical development of the child and may have an effect on the child all through his or her life. The need to improve the well being of children should be a priority since they cannot decide for themselves. Immunizations programmes conducted in Flatbush are not extensive; that is the services do not reach many children. This leaves many more not able to access the very important immunizations. This leaves them vulnerable and heir health is totally at risk (NYC health, 2003).
The assessment also found out that a big population of Flatbush adults were obese. Since more than half of the population was not involved in physical activity of any form it is apparent that this was likely to cause heart problems in the long run and also there were notable cases of cancer. Tobacco was cited as one of the substances that were over used in Flatbush. The continuous use of Tobacco results to cancer. The high death rates recorded in Flatbush were as a result of heart diseases. This was an indication that more adults were dying as a result of problems that could be avoided (McGoy, 2004). The assessment was an eye opener to the loopholes in the health care system. They are posing a great danger to the residents of Flatbush by exposing them to imminent dangers and health problems and forcing them to budget more on health.
Hiv/Aids are recorded to be low whereas Substance abuse is average. Alcohol consumption is also on the rise. This may be the possible cause of the rise in obese cases. Other ailments are not considered to be a problem since they are quite recorded in low levels. The environmental quality does not affect the resident’s health that much. There are low levels of pollution (McGoy, 2004). The community deaths are mostly caused by cancer, heart disease but many people die below the age of seventy five years. This is considered premature death. It can be attributed to the behavioural health of the community for example tobacco smoking, lack of regular physical activities to keep the body healthy and many more health problems. Cancer claims nineteen percent of the deaths where ad heart disease claims sixteen percent. Other factors such as crime, accidents, homicides and other diseases in general claim about thirty eight percent while prenatal conditions and Hiv/Aids related cases claim eight and ten percent respectively (NYC health, 2003).
An analysis of the health challenges that the residents of Flatbush face, it is evident that it is possible to either reduce the levels of the health problems to a minimal rate or completely eradicate these problems.
The tools that were used in the analysis were:
- A set of questionnaires were provided to a given number of the residents of Flatbush. The questions answered were a source of information
- Focus groups were also formed in order to get information from a broad perspective.
- Information was also from the department of health and community health profile magazine.