Health Equity and Chronic Diseases

By Pearl Marumoto

An island girl

Being Fragile

Being Inundated

Health Equity and Chronic Disease are intertwined as health concepts and outcomes when defining healthcare access and services in small island nations like Palau. It is important to accept the limited healthcare skills and finite resources to support small healthcare systems, such as hospitals and public health services to serve small populations. It is also important to accept our environments are changing, urbanized poverty indicators are slowly surfacing, violence against women are present in our communities, and traditional family values are changing.

To Accept the Now

1. Use Wellness as a bona fide process to transform current disease model to health protection model. Wellness as a tool for screening and education processes (institutions, providers, communities, worksites, homes, individuals) as an integral part of our healthcare system at the primary care level. This approach will put Wellness and Health protection at the entry level of our healthcare system. This approach will reduce chronic disease burdens in our living environments, may it be at homes, workplaces, and communities.

2. Institutionalized wellness screening as a mandated protocol for all healthcare entry points (private & gov’t clinics) and all insurance policies, an innovative approach to reach health equity.

3. To ensure that socioeconomic status do not widen health disparities in poverty ridden and vulnerable populations to access health and wellness services.

4. To create a new synergy to re-connect people to land and space, where land and sea are used as food sources; and spaces to create parks and recreation areas to invite more active living.

5. To integrate “inclusiveness” as a language and actionable policy for all people to access health and wellness to pursue “Happiness” as a state of mind and health as a measureable index for a small island nation’s growth.

To Dream

I imagine a little island girl 10 to 20 years from now will be fully covered by a health insurance with wellness as a primary healthcare service. Bringing back being “healthy” is a norm living in a Pristine Paradise is my thang! I love what I do.

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The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations — dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration and leadership to improve AA and NHPI health.

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AAPCHO

The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations — dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration and leadership to improve AA and NHPI health.