MecklenburgCounty is located in the United States of America. As a fast growingregion, the population as at the year 2014 was 1,012,159. In thisplace, there are several groups which are underrepresented, and theyinclude the physically challenged, the youth, children below fiveyears of age and the elderly. The homeless in these age groups arealso listed in the vulnerable population of this county. The medianage is marked at 34.5 years. Regarding economics, the averagehousehold income stands at $54,278, while the rate of unemployment isobserved to be 9.3%.
Thelevels of poverty are seen to be at 15% in the year 2014 while thepercentage of the uninsured population proportion is 17.7% [ CITATION Mec13 l 1033 ].Concerning ethnicity, the white race dominates 39%of the total population, African-American at 31%, Hispanic at 13%,while Asians and other races contribute to the remaining 8%. Aconsiderable number of the County residents have attained degreelevel education (42%), 47% have attained high school diploma andabove and 11% did not achieve high school diploma [ CITATION Mec15 l 1033 ].
Bothinfectious and non-communicable diseases affect the County adversely.Such illnesses include obesity, tobacco-related issues, mental healthproblems, sexually transmitted infections, cancer, heart diseases,Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. The communicable diseases havinghigh prevalence include tuberculosis and other food-borne infections.However, sexually transmitted diseases including syphilis, gonorrhea,and HIV infection account for the highest percentage. Mortality ratestands at an average of 26.9 per 100,000 population with injuryforming 5% of the deaths [ CITATION Mec14 l 1033 ].
Youthas the Population at Risk
Eventhough chronic diseases account for the highest rates of mortalityand morbidity, sexually transmitted infections are responsible forthe largest number of infectious diseases. The government has takeninto consideration the ways in which the non-communicable diseasescan be taken care of by improving early diagnosis measure,prevention, and rehabilitation. The STDs including HIV/AIDS affect1,086 individuals per 100,000 population. This rate might seem smallbut in essence, 1 infection out of 100 residents is statisticallyhigh. As such, the youth forms a substantial number of the categoryof people that are infected.
Thisphenomenon can be attributed to the behavior associated with thespread. From the data in 2013, close to 34% of teenagers are engagedin alcohol and substance abuse. Likewise, the increase in sexualbehavior among the youth is as high as 50% with 9% of the youthhaving sexual intercourse below 13 years of age. All these factorstranslate to the increased number of infections estimated at 810,246, 13 and 37 cases per 100,000 population, for chlamydia,gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV/AIDS respectively [ CITATION Mec15 l 1033 ].
Severalstrategies have been put in place to try and reduce the rates of newinfections and also to treat the existing ones. One of the essentialmeans is the provision of access to healthcare to all individualswhether they are able to pay for the services or not. This step canbe achieved through the increment of insurance to the youth and theirfamilies. Also, the implementation of health impact assessmentsallows for the detection of areas that are not in order while at thesame time guide in future planning efforts for accessibility,improved delivery and efficient services. Chlamydia and gonorrheascreening and testing should be done to sexually active women under26 years.
Ahost of healthcare resources has been put in place to serve thisvulnerable population. These assets include the development ofcenters and departments that specifically handle the welfare of youngpeople and adolescents. Also, campaigns have been funded to teach andeducate individuals as well as the rehabilitation of those who havebeen involved in substance abuse. Similarly the establishment ofhealthcare plans that are sponsored by the government assist intackling the STD issue. Due to the close relationship betweensexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, the presence of aPMTCT (Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission) center workstoward protecting the safety of infants. Access to family planningtechniques and reproductive health services in healthcare facilitiesat subsidized costs or even free of charge is equally a valuableresource.
Dealingwith the issue of STDs requires the combination of effort fromvarious aspects of the healthcare sector. First, prevention of newinfections is paramount through the use of protection, abstinence,and faithfulness to one partner. Educating the youth on effectivemethods of preventing disease is equally important. Also, earlyscreening and treatment pave the way for the first treatment beforeprogression of the disease in later stages. During the treatmentperiod, it is important to consider both sexual partners for theintervention. As mentioned earlier, a considerable number of theyoung population takes part in substance abuse and engage in anirresponsible sexual behavior [ CITATION Law16 l 1033 ].Theproblem of inappropriate drug use can be effectively alleviatedthrough treatment, rehabilitation, and counseling. Additionally,pregnancy screening is necessary to determine the presence of thefetus and thus ascertain the initiation of PMTCT procedures. HIVtesting and counseling is a service that cannot be ignored to preventfurther spread of disease and initiate management procedures for thesame.
Strategiesfor Plan Implementation
Beforeany health service can be rolled out, the plan must make sure thatthe most urgent and important services are prioritized. In this way,critical situations will be handled as soon as possible. Forinstance, treatment of existing STD cases must be done first,followed by counseling and education of the general population.However, where available funds and resources are enough, differentservices can be offered simultaneously. Resource allocation must alsobe done in a manner that ensures critical areas have been wellhandled. At times, the youth may not be willing or able to access andafford reproductive health services. Planning to establish youthcenters that are affordable, accessible and friendly can draw morepeople to seek healthcare services which will ultimately reduce therates of infection.
Rehabilitationof the individuals who have been addicted to drugs requires dedicatedeffort regarding money, time and social support. The role ofhealthcare workers, family members, and the person must be welldefined so that the preventing process can be successful. Riskysexual behaviors can, therefore, be dealt with through recuperationtherapy. Policy development is an essential step in ensuring that thestipulated laws and regulations have been adhered to. Strict ruleshave to be enforced and streamlined to discourage illegal practicessuch as prostitution for the underage girls, alcohol use and theabuse of substances that are both illegal and psychoactive to thehealth of the young community [ CITATION Law16 l 1033 ].
Interventioneffectiveness cannot be achieved if the cultural, ethnicity andsocial backgrounds have not been put into consideration. Forinstance, practices that include indiscriminate sex and themisconceptions about contraception may ruin the plan. Similarly,provision of services that discriminate the minority races such asthe Asians, African Americans, and the Hispanics regardingaccessibility and affordability will also have detrimental effects.Likewise, the socio-economic background such as the class and povertylevels must be included in a way that caters for all personsregardless of their statuses.
Mecklenburg Community. (2013). Mecklenburg County Summary Report: Responsible Sexual Behavior. North Carolina: Meclenburg County .
Mecklenburg County State. (2014). State of the County Health Report. North Carolina: Mecklenburg County State.
Mecklenburg County State. (2015). Overview of Selected Health Indicators for Mecklenburg County. North Carolina: Mecklenburg County.
Stanberry, L. (2013). Sexually transmitted diseases: Vaccines, prevention and control. London: Academic Press.