5.3.4  Health

Urbanisation can have both positive and negative effects on health. The main benefits are associated with easier access to hospitals, clinics and health services in general. If you live close to these services you can reach a doctor in minutes rather than hours or days, so this improves emergency care and general health. There are also benefits from easier access to sources of information such as radio and television which may be used to communicate information about health to the general public. For example, women living in towns and cities are more likely to be informed about family planning, which results in reduction in family size and less frequent childbirth, with consequent benefits to general health.

However, urban life can also damage your health. Poor environment, housing and living conditions are the main reasons for poor health in urban areas. Contamination of water sources can cause epidemics of waterborne disease. Close proximity to other people can make the spread of many types of infectious disease more likely. The polluted air can also cause respiratory disease and contribute to premature deaths among more vulnerable sections of the population such as older people and children.

5.3.3  Wastes and pollution

5.3.5  Food