Social determinants of health refer to not only the social conditions in which surround the population and influence health status, but also the economic conditions. Social determinants of health can break down into different factors; those that promote health, and those that can be seen as risk factors to negatively impact one’s health. According to the World Health Organization, many organizations recognize the following as social determinants of health: stress, early life, food, addiction, social support, and unemployment to name a few.
My health issue presents a strong focus on the overall state of reproductive health of the young women in Argentina due to teen pregnancies. Considering that, I have found a low socio-economic status to be the largest social determinant of health among these young women, meaning that it is the most prominent factor leading to not only their lack of education surrounding reproductive health, but also the lack of healthfulness of their reproductive health.
Due to the economic state in Argentina and how it has gotten much worse over the years, a large percentage of the population is unable to afford simple contraception, let alone health insurance. The most common population affected by this is women at low socio-economic levels. It is common for women in this social class to have little to no education due to the lack of income and personal funding. This overall lack causes a gap of knowledge about their own bodies and reproductive health, a topic that is not discussed much among young Argentinian women to begin with.
In Argentina, abortion is deemed illegal. However, each year hundreds of thousands of women undergo an abortion for several reasons such as not being able to take care of and support the baby and unintentionally getting pregnant due to the lack of contraceptives and not wanting to keep the baby, so unfortunately, this means that within the lower income bracket are more vulnerable women and they do not have the access or money to a private clinic or even hygienic abortion clinics. Although there may be a law to help provide information on reproductive health to these women in Argentina, not all of the resources are there. For example, there is a constant struggle to receive free contraception from public entities such as hospitals. With this struggle and the lack of education surrounding reproductive health for these women categorized in a low socio-economic status, the incidents of unwanted or mistaken pregnancies is rather high (Miranda, 2018).
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), by eliminating the disparities caused by the social determinants of teen pregnancy, the pregnancy and birth rates would “help achieve health equity, improve the life opportunities and health outcomes of young people, and reduce the economic costs of teen childbearing” (CDC, 2018). While it is easy to see what could come from eliminating these disparities, it is not exactly easy to eliminate them without implementing programs and additional resources for these women, which would require funding where there may not be any. Overall, there are not enough public health services to provide for the rate of teens becoming pregnant which ultimately leads to this task being a burden to non-governmental organizations, much of which don’t have the funding in Argentina to provide for educational programs and more contraception.
Marmot, M. (2005). p.10 Social determinants of health inequalities.
Ministerio de Salud Presidencia de la Nación. (n.d.). Healthy Cities in Argentina. Retrieved August 10, 2018. Retrieved from
Miranda, M. E. (2018). The Reproductive Health of Young Women in Argentina: An Unsettled Issue. Retrieved August 9, 2018, from
Wilkinson, R. & Marmot, M. (2003). p. 1099-1102. Social Determinants of Health: The Solid Facts. Retrieved from http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp270-us18/files/2015/05/Soc-Determs-of-Hlth-the-solid-facts-WHO-2003.pdf