Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30063
Perceptions of Health Status and Lifestyle Health Behaviors of Poor People in Mauritius

Authors: Smita S. D. Goorah, Melisha Panchoo

Abstract:

In Mauritius, much emphasis is put on measures to combat the high prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Health promotion campaigns for the adoption of healthy behaviors and screening programs are done regularly by local authorities and NCD surveys are carried out at intervals. However, the health behaviors of the poor have not been investigated so far. This study aims to give an insight on the perceptions of health status and lifestyle health behaviors of poor people in Mauritius. A crosssectional study among 83 persons benefiting from social aid in a selected urban district was carried out. Results showed that 51.8% of respondents perceived that they had good health status. 57.8% had no known NCD whilst 25.3% had hypertension, followed by diabetes (16.9%), asthma (9.6%) and heart disease (7.2%).They had low smoking (10.8%) and alcohol consumption (6.0%) as well as high physical activity prevalence (54.2%). These results were significantly different from the NCD survey carried out in the general population. Consumption of vegetables in the study was high. Overweight and obesity trends were however similar to the NCD survey report 2009. These findings contrast with other international studies showing poor people having poor perceptions of health status and unhealthy behavioral choices. Whether these positive health behaviors of poor people in Mauritius arise out of choice or whether it is because the alternative behavior is too costly remains to be investigated further.

Keywords: Health behavior, non-communicable diseases, poor people.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1087029

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF

References:


[1] M. Ravallion, “Poverty lines across the world,” Policy research working paper, Washington D.C: The World Bank, 2010.
[2] World Bank, “Countries and Economies,” 2011. Available from: http://data.worldbank.org/country/mauritius
[3] Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, “Poverty Analysis 2006/07,” 2009. Available from:http://www.gov.mu/portal/goc/cso/ report/natacc/poverty /poverty07.pdf.
[4] World Health Organization, “Noncommunicable diseases Country Profiles 2011,” 2011. Available from: http://whqlibdoc.who.int /publications/ 2011/ 9789241502q283_eng.pdf.
[5] J. Wardle and A. Steptoe, “Socioeconomic differences in attitudes and beliefs about healthy lifestyles,” J Epidemiol Community Health vol. 57, pp. 440–443, 2003.
[6] D. Nettle, “Why are there social gradients in preventative health behaviour? A perspective from behavioural ecology,” PLoS One vol. 5, issue 10, e1337, 2010. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013371.
[7] R. Lakshman, A. McConville, S. How, J. Flowers, N. Wareham and P. Cosford, “Association between area-level socioeconomic deprivation and a cluster of behavioural risk factors: cross-sectional, populationbased study,” Journal of Public Health vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 234-245, 2010.
[8] Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, “Digest of Social Security Statistics 2009,” 2010. Available from: http://www.gov.mu/portal/goc/cso/report/natacc/ socsec09/socsec09.pdf.
[9] Australian Government, “Building Healthy Communities - commonly used health questionnaires,” Department of Health and Ageing, 2004. Available from: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/ Content/ ruralhealth-pubs-BHC-eval-quest.htm.
[10] Baker IDI and Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, “The trends in diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Mauritius, the Mauritius Non Communicable Diseases survey, 2009,” 2009. Available at: www.gov.mu/portal/goc/moh/file/ncd/ncd-2009.pdf.