The Impacts of Transportation on the Health and Wellbeing of the Human Population

Published: 2021-07-08 19:00:05
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Category: Geography

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Transportation is a one of the many factors that influences the health in many society. The level of a transportation system describes how far civilizations have travelled. Transportation is defined as the movement of goods and services from one location to another. Transportation paves a pathway for many developments in societies. Developments are processes that improve the quality of life for a community, province or country as a whole(Simon,1996). There are many types of developments but this paper is focused on developments that revolve around how transportation as a development is able to effect the country’s health and wellbeing. In this review, we’ll be discussing the positive and negative impacts of transportation on the health and wellbeing of the people of Papua New Guinea. The major types and modes of transportation systemThere are different types of transport that are used around the world, and the major ones are land transport, sea or river transport and air transport and these transport were used according to its mode of transportation. The major modes of transportation are waterways, railways, airways pipelines and roads.
In Papua New Guinea the more common transportation systems are the land (roads), airways (airstrips and airports) and sea or rivers(waterways). People who lives along the rivers or coast use canoes and boats to travel to places. Those people who have access to roads are able to use cars, trucks, buses to move around in longer distances. While others in remote areas who have access to none of the two resort to airways by travelling through airplanes and helicopters. Many young people are seen with bicycles travelling the shorter distances while others resort to walking on foot along dirt tracks and foot paths. Positive Impacts transport systemEconomicA good transport system brings economic growth into a nation. For instance, Papua New Guinea exports raw materials such as copper, gas and other mineral resources and imports manufactured goods into the country through shipping. With more economic growth, the government is able to put more funding into improving the health as well as the infrastructures and other basic services for its people. Industries and customers are able to market and buy products in a larger market with the accessibility of a good transport system (Coyle, Novack, Gibson and Bardi, 2011) both domestically and internationally. Airplanes bring tourists in from overseas to visit the country and boosts the tourism industry, providing the local communities just enough money to provide for their families. Public transports (taxis and buses) take people to and from work, hospital, markets and any place that might be included in their itinerary.Effective transportation takes people to their jobs on time, enabling employees to be efficient and focused. Rural areas undergo transport transformation by building highways to connect provinces and communities. Thus, providing markets for trading systems to take place and for the government to provide services(Simon,1996). With the availability of the road connection, locals are able to bring their fresh produce to sell alongside the highway. This saves time, money and brings peace to their minds. A good example of this can be seen along the many highways in Papua New Guinea. And they are providing a much needed service for hungry travelers traveling up and down the highway. Social School children are able to attend school far from home or close using bicycles and public transport. Consider a student walking to school for several kilometers to school, he will be sure to be tired after his arrival at the school and another trip of walking back home when he’s done. For a young person to be this active can be very exhausting especially when he participates in school activities as well. Students are able to attend school on time, saving enough energy every morning to stay focused in school and travel back home after their daily routines are done. All these activities contribute to the economic and social growth of a country or state. Transportation also saves lives in relation to emergency health services. Many health emergencies require airplanes, buses, cars etc… to transport patients to hospitals. In situations like this, lives are saved through the availability of transports. These are all considered to be positive in the society because it improves their livelihoods and creates an efficient pattern of travelling every day. Transportation is also used to transport medical supplies into rural and urban health facilities.
A good transport system is needed to deliver those supplies on time before the medicine stock runs out at the facilities. It also transports health workers, building supplies for new aid posts or maintenance materials for a community health center. The transportation mode used in this particular situation may depend on the geographical location of the health facilities. If it’s closer to land then a land transport can be used, if it’s closer to waterways then a ship, dugout canoe or the more modern form of a canoe, a canoe with a motor or simple called banana boat. Areas that lack access to the two types of transport uses small air planes where there are airstrips and those without airstrips use helicopters. Negative Impacts of transport systermTransportation can also bring in problems. Problems that is environmental, social, law and order and others that may have negate results on people’s livelihoods. With every good thing there’s always a bad thing lurking behind it. Environmental Destruction of environment also takes place when roads are and airstrips are constructed. And that destruction also contributes to the loss of biodiversity when the habitats of organisms are destroyed for human development. Transportation also increases the amount of pollution in the atmosphere.
The imports of vehicles in the country are increasing as people are buying private vehicles therefore increases the amount of gas emissions. In urban areas especially in the larger towns and cities, traffic jams are very common every day which raises the stress levels of drivers. The destruction also brings in another environmental issue, pollution. Pollution of air due to the large amounts of gas emission into the atmosphere. According to Black and Black (2009) it lowers the quality of oxygen that we need to breathe in, has an impact on climate change and it is also a contributor to health problems such as asthma and chronic diseases. Another form of pollution is noise pollution, with many private automobiles and public motor vehicles, they contribute very loud noises on the roads. Some drivers get stressed, agitated and moody when they hear all the noise around. And that stress can lead to heart attack or stroke because their minds are not settled. SocialUrban migration is another problem that impacts the health and wellbeing of the population. When transport is accessible, people leave the rural areas to go to the cities and towns for a better life. They flood into the city, populating it. The schools, hospitals, clinics, markets, stores are quite overcrowded in the cities and towns. But the cities and towns remains expensive with high cost of living so the urban migrators are forced to live in shanty settlements.
The crime rate increases as some of them look for other means of jobs to survive on. From one end of a town to the other, they circle around for their next meal of food and some pocket change. The victim could be an unsuspecting passenger on a bus, cab or a person walking to the market, bank, school or hospital. Buses and walking are their means of transport as they spread around the cities to look for their targets. Transportation also contributes to the spreading of new diseases into a community. When there is a development an area, people from the outside would be exploring into the area as well. They would want to part take in that development as well. They’ll be bringing with them new ideas, new developments and new diseases. The diseases are spread around the area and as soon as a carrier of the disease is travelling to another community nearby, the diseases are spread to that community as soon as it becomes the carrier’s destination of arrival. The higher the chances of people moving the higher the spread of diseases. For example, during the construction of the Mendi-Koroba highway as part of the Okuk (Highlands Highway) malaria-infected workers from the other parts of the country that were employed at that time by the construction company were able to pass the disease to the local people in the communities along the highway (Simon, 1996). Traffic congestions and car accidents happen frequently with the increase of transportation. Many motorists and pedestrians are always on the road daily travelling to work in the cities or areas near the cities. With the over crowdedness of the urban areas, many unfortunate accidents take place. Many lives are lost to car accidents and injuries are also caused by car accidents. Traffic congestions are a norm daily in the urban areas, it is very stressful, time-consuming and costs a lot of money (Coyle and Novack, 20011).
The more time the vehicle is stagnant in a traffic jam or congestion while the engine is running, the fuel is consumed. Which means more money will have to be spent on fuel so it enables the daily travel to and fro. For people who are commuting in public motor vehicles, their working hours are being consumed which means they will face pay cuts and that is very frustrating for working class commuters. In many developed countries, motorists of private vehicles are very lazy to walk and exercise. They depend so much on travelling and driving around in their cars that they are too lazy to work. They eat, sleep and go to work without working the calories off their body or even get their bloods pumping in their body. This lifestyle is creating many unhealthy and obese people around the world. The developing nations are catching on to that type of lifestyle. They are hardly on their foot walking around at all, even with walking to a nearby store to purchase goods is too much of a burden for them, they prefer to drive instead. All in all, transportation is a vital factor that influences the wellbeing and health of a population. It either promotes health and improve the people’s quality of life or it negates it.
The negative impacts can be resolved by the country’s government with relevant policies to prevent them from harming or lowering the quality of life. Policies such as higher penalty fees on drunk motorist and speeding to prevent accidents. And construct feeder roads to avoid traffic congestions and build more foot paths and dirt tracks for bicycles to prevent obesity and other diseases relating to lack of physical fitness. For the environmental problems, people should commute more instead of buying private vehicles from overseas so it reduces the numbers of vehicles on the road and lesser gas emissions into the atmosphere. The positive impacts should be improved so that transportation accessibility will increase. Roads should be maintained by backfilling pot-holes and build more feeder roads into the highways so that services are brought to the people’s door step and that will help lower urban migration. Airstrips for people living in the remotest parts of the country. And the government should look into buying medical ships and planes to provide health care services along the rivers and over the mountains of the country.

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