Description of Policy Health Issue

Description of Policy Health Issue

research public health issues on the “climate change” or “ Topics and issues“ Pages of the American public health association (APHA) website. Investigate a public health issue related to an environmental issue within the U.S. healthcare delivery system and examine its effect on a specific population. Write 1000 word policy brief that summarizes the issue, Explain the fact on the population, and proposes a solution to the issue. Follow this outline when writing the policy brief: 1. Describe the policy health issue. Include the following information: (a) what population is affected, (b) at what level does it occur (local, state, or national), and (c) evidence about the issue supported by resources. 2. Create a problem statement. 3. Provide suggestions for addressing the health issue caused by the current policy. Describe what steps are required to initiate policy change. Include necessary stakeholders (government officials, administrator) and budget or funding considerations if applicable. 4. Discuss the impact on the health care delivery system. Include three pair review sources and two other sources to support the policy brief.Description of Policy Health Issue


Benchmark Policy Brief

Description of policy health issue

The public health issue of concern is the misinformation associated with Covid-19 pandemic. SARS-Co-V-2 is a novel coronavirus that first came to the public attention when it infected many people in Wuhan province of China towards the end of 2019. Once infected with the virus, an individual develops coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). The viral infection was declared a pandemic and public health emergency on 11th March 2020. However, efforts to halt the spread of the virus and infection have been largely hindered by rumors and misinformation about the virus (American Public Health Association, 2020). Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on public health in the USA. Case data collected by 30th August 2020 reveals that the USA has reported more than 6,140,005 confirmed cases of which 186,874 persons died from the virus while 3,409,003 recovered. These figures reveal that 95% of the Americans infected with the virus recovered and were discharged while 5% died from the virus infection. Epidemiological statistical projections reveal that 317,312 persons will die from the virus infection by 1st December 2020 if the current trends continue. Daily deaths are likely to increase to approximately 2,100 if the current trends continue and could reduce to about 859 if a universal masks policy is applied (Worldometer, 2020).Description of Policy Health Issue

Covid-19 affects the whole of the USA with every person considered to be at high risk of contracting the virus. The infection is occurring at the national level. Although the epidemiological data reveals that the impact of the virus differs in both magnitude and character from one area of the USA to the other area. In addition, the virus has forced a halt in public activities, caused the economies, social measures and public health to scale make. Many resources have been invested in conducted frequent periodic assessments of key indicators and continuous monitoring of the virus status within the country to support evidence-based and data-driven interventions with a focus on protecting American residents and enabling a speedy resumption of economic and social activities even as the pandemic continues (Prevent Epidemics, 2020). However, the effects of these efforts have been limited by rumors and misinformation that result risky behaviors among Americans, such as rumors and misinformation that social distancing and face masks do not offer much protection against the virus (American Public Health Association, 2020).Description of Policy Health Issue

Problem statement

Howard (2020) reports that Covid-19 rumors in the USA are to blame for the spread of misinformation in the country that has led to many injuries and deaths from the virus. The article particularly notes that conspiracy theories, stigma and rumors related to the virus are fast spreading in online newspapers, social media platforms and other websites. They include beliefs intended to achieve malicious goals, devaluing and discriminatory statements, and false/fabricated statements determined as such through evidence. Between 31st December 2020 and 5th April 2020, there have been 2,311 misleading reports about Covid-19 of which 3.5% were stigma, 7.8% were conspiracy theories and 89% were rumors. Some of the rumors spread about the virus include reports that: the virus is a bioweapon funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation; drinking bleach kills the virus; and animal products are contaminated with the virus. The misinformation about the virus is masked as credible prevention and control strategies targeted at the virus, and they result in serious implications when prioritized over evidence-based guidelines. Following the misinformation about the virus, 60 people become blind, 5,876 were hospitalized and 800 died after drinking methanol rumored to cure the virus (Howard, 2020).

Fleming (2020) similarly explores the issue of rumors and misinformation as a concern in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic. The article debunks some of the rumors presented to address the virus, mentioning that injecting a disinfectant or eating sea lettuce is not a valid prevention strategy against the virus. There is a huge demand for information on the virus and this places a toll on health care systems with many questions left unanswered thereby creating the perfect breeding ground for conspiracy theories, fake news and myths. While some of the misinformation is mostly ignored as ludicrous and largely harmless, others are considered as true with fatal consequences (Fleming, 2020). Coleman (2020) also mentions that 5,800 Americans have been admitted to hospital as a result of acting on misinformation accessed from social media. Some of them died from drinking alcohol-based cleaning products under the wrong belief that it is a cure for the virus. Some of the more recent rumors indicate that Bill Gates intends to use Covid-19 vaccine to implant microchips on people, a rumor that 28% of Americans believe and could undermine vaccination efforts (Coleman, 2020). Overall, there is a need to develop policies for addressing the misinformation and rumors that complicate efforts to effectively manage the spread and control of Covid-19.Description of Policy Health Issue

Suggestions for addressing the policy health issue

It has been determined that rumors and misinformation is a threat to efforts targeted at managing Covid-19. To address this concern, two policy suggestions have been presented. The first suggestion is public education efforts targeted at enabling the public to identify rumors and misinformation. This would enable the public to better evaluate information found from different sources such as social media and other outlets. The policy would present guidelines for evaluating information to include insisting on collecting information from trusted sources such as official health care and government websites, evaluating other information sources and links for reliability, and searching other credible sources of information to see if they share similar information (John Hopkins Medicine, 2020). The second policy suggestion is to create Covid-19 outreach teams that deliver health care directly to US residents and engage in health promotion activities that spread promotion messages, and make referrals for persons identified to be in need of treatment. This would ensure a continuum of care to Americans, from hearing verified information and updates about the virus to receiving access to primary and secondary health care thus presenting a health services network (Black, 2020).


Impact on health care delivery system

As earlier indicated, rumors and misinformation have implications for Covid-19 management and control. Through implementing the two policy suggestions, new workflow processes would be presented as medical personnel take on public education and outreach responsibilities. In addition, it would ensure that Americans have access to reliable information that improves virus infection efforts (Black, 2020). Description of Policy Health Issue


American Public Health Association (2020). Covid-19.

Black, B. (2020). Professional Nursing: Concepts & Challenges (9th ed.). Elsevier.

Coleman, A. (2020). ‘Hundreds dead’ because of Covid-19 misinformation.

Fleming, N. (2020). Coronavirus misinformation, and how scientists can help to fight it.

Howard, J. (2020). Covid-19 misinformation is spreading in 25 different languages, leading to deaths and injuries, study finds.

John Hopkins Medicine (2020). Coronavirus Myths, Rumors and Misinformation.

Prevent Epidemics (2020). Covid-19 trends in the United States.

Worldometer (2020). United States: Coronavirus.

Description of Policy Health Issue