How Geography affects your health.
Geography refers to lands (including the seas/oceans, mountains/hills/valleys etc), the features (climate, plants, and animals) and the people living on the lands; the behavioural patterns of the people, the culture and the way they relate to the land.
So when we talk of geography we talk of location, place, climate and climatic seasons and the way of life of the people.
All these impact negatively or positively on our health.
Geography affects your health through the following:
The location of a house could also be hazardous, certain neighbourhoods are prone to violence and other social vices that are deleterious to health. Location also determines availability of potable water supply and proper sanitation facilities.
Your location determines your access to social facilities such as healthcare facilities and schools and also exposes you to vices such as smoking, alcohol consumption and prostitution.
In choosing a place to live consider the safety of neighbourhood, potable water supply, refuse disposal among others.
By place we refer here to regions; there are seven continents in the world: Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Oceania (Australia and the Pacific Islands) and Antarctica. Disease patterns in these continents vary, communicable diseases are more common in Africa, South America, and South east Asia while non-communicable diseases are more common In Europe, North America and part of Oceania (Australia).
For example, HIV/AIDS is most common in Africa with about two thirds of HIV/AIDS cases and of deaths from HIV/AIDS occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria occurs mainly in Sub—Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.
In other words, even as an African, you are very very unlikely to have an attack of malaria if you live all your life in Europe.
The distance from healthcare facilities can affect your health. If you live far away from the nearest healthcare facility you are unlikely to go for routine check-up, register for antenatal if a woman and pregnant and also take the children for immunization as at when due.
Hospital delivery is also affected if there is no nearby healthcare with its possible complications. The same applies to any other form of ailment.
The time of the year also determines the type of disease that is common. In the tropics there are two main seasons, the Raining Season and the Dry Season, In the temperate regions there are four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. The disease patterns in these seasons are different. Certain diseases like malaria are more common during the raining season while a disease like meningitis is more common during the dry season.
The environment where we live has a lot of impact on our health; be it physical, biological or social environment. Physical environment refers to the AIR, WATER and SOIL. Biological environment refers to ANIMALS and PLANTS. The social environment refers to the PEOPLE, RELIGION, CULTURE, GOVERNANCE, ECONOMY, EDUCATIONAL LEVEL OF NEIGBOURS, ECONOMIC STATUS OF NEIGHBOURS, ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES etc.
All the above impact on our health.
There are two main types of climate in the world; Temperate and Tropical climate; determined by nearness to the equator. All countries lying between the Tropic of Cancer to the North of the equator and Tropic of Capricorn to the South of the equator have tropical climate while all those to the North of the Tropic of Cancer and to the South of the Tropic of Capricorn have Temperate climate.
Communicable diseases such as Malaria, Ebola, Yellow fever and Vika virus infection are more common in the Tropics because mosquitoes involved in their transmission are able to thrive in the tropics.