A health asset is any factor or resource that helps in improving the ability of people, communities or populations to uphold and sustain the health and wellbeing as well as reducing inequities in health. Therefore, they are the collective resources that the aforementioned stakeholders have at their disposal and use to promote health status as well as protect against the negative health outcomes. Essentially, an asset-based approach will help in addressing the balance between evidence that shows effectiveness about the things that work but as identified by the problems. One of the positive attributes of the asset-based approach would be to reduce health inequalities.
The adoption of asset-based approach can also be used in the management of common epidemiological risk factors that can provide ways of challenging the issue of health inequalities. Reduction of the gaps in health inequalities is a fundamental issue that underpins fairness as well as social justice within any society. Creating fairness is important for any society is an important way of ensuring that its population enjoys better and well-distributed health care. In most nations in the world, efforts have been made to improve the well-being and health of every citizen.
However, some nations still lag behind in improving the life expectancy of the poor populations, which can be attributed to health inequalities. This implies that the current approaches may not be working well to reduce these inequalities. With a large body of knowledge and evidence representing the groups and populations that are deprived of better healthcare, there is need to reduce these gaps. These gaps include inadequate evidence about the effectives of the policies, projects and programs used in reducing the gaps.
An asset-based approach can be used to manage the health inequalities as well as the use of asset principles that can be used to complement the present efforts. First, it is important to target the appropriate areas or communities that the government and other healthcare stakeholders can work within. Moreover, communities must be allowed to determine and acknowledge their individual or collective assets that can be used to recreate confidence within the system. The asset-based approaches must also enable people to be at the leadership in the provision of healthcare. Further, it would be prudent to build trust within populations by making changes in the manner healthcare is provided.
The strength of this asset-based approach in reducing health inequalities is that it engages all stakeholders such as the communities and individuals to propose how the gaps can be reduced. It also adopts numerous approaches that have been proven to work such as use of powerful influences of behavior to help people make positive initiatives to enhance health and wellbeing. Third, there is wide array of data on the causes of health inequalities, which makes it easier for the managers of healthcare to direct their actions towards particular area of inequality.
However, the disadvantage of adopting the asset-based approach is that it may conversely lead to an increase in health inequalities. Further, the more advantaged members of the society find it easier to embrace health behaviors because of better access to resources. The disadvantage of this is that some areas may be more favored in addressing the health inequalities as compared to others. Additionally, without a clear definition of the aspect of health inequalities as they have multiple parameters may make it difficult to identify the specific areas that require improvement or reduction of gaps.