Need for Workable Strategies to Curb Social Harm

Need for Workable Strategies to Curb Social Harm Need for Workable Strategies to Curb Social Harm

Strategies adopted to check social harm so far have not achieved the desired results and “we need to find or create new methods,” said deputy health minister Ali Akbar Sayyari at a function at the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, on Monday.

Social harm is a byproduct of social inequality and to remove the disparities in the Iranian society the main targets must be pursued, he stressed.

Those targets include facilitating daily life through basic infrastructures (including transport, healthcare, water and electricity) for all on equal footing and closing the gaps in power, wealth, and access to services. Evaluating the progress made in these targets is equally important, Sayyari said.

No results will be achieved without confronting the issues from the root cause of the problems and creating new capacities to address the emerging social problems, he stressed, as reported by the Islamic Azad University’s news agency ANA.

Globally too, the approach to the issues of social harm has been similar: firstly, by ignoring and denying such problems, secondly, by negative punishment (like taking away something good or desirable to reduce the occurrence of a particular behavior) and lastly, by empowering people to protect themselves.

Obviously, the third strategy is the most effective and scientific in such a context. But empowering people and involving them in the socio-cultural milieu as well as providing opportunities for social support and problem solving at all levels requires supportive policies.

Fortunately, the first step has been taken at the top level and that is acknowledging the existence of the problem, deemed Sayyari, pointing to the Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s six-month ultimatum to all executive bodies to investigate the root of all social maladies and address them.

  Using Innovative Ideas

“Our old methods have not helped reduce inequality and they will never do so, unless we use young entrepreneurs and innovative minds to find and present new solutions,” he said, and called for reversing the brain drain which is also a kind of social harm.

The Health Ministry has been trying to alleviate the situation of the socially marginalized population by extending social and medical services to city outskirts.

With the cooperation of the private sector, 10.2 million people living in outlying areas across the country now have access to basic health and medical services.

In total, one health expert and one nutritional specialist has been assigned for every 3,000 people across 700 unofficial settlements in the country.