Description of Poverty

Poverty is central to health and development in low-income and middle-income countries.
State your definition of poverty prior to studying public health. Based on this definition,
what would be the focus of poverty alleviation solutions? Based on the relational and
spiritual definition of poverty, discuss how the focus of solutions would change to include a
holistic approach. Identify an example of a health program or solution that integrates a
relational definition of poverty. Watch the video on “Defining Poverty” to help in
responding to this discussion question.

Description of Poverty

My definition of poverty before learning about public health is having inadequate access
to basic human needs like food, shelter, clothing, and housing. Based on this definition, the most
effective way of alleviating poverty is to provide meaningful employment. In particular,
employment should be focused on giving impoverished people fair wages rather than subjecting
them to work for minimum wages. Such jobs will provide people with the level of income
required to elevate their living standards to beat poverty. Also, proper education is essential to
reduce poverty from early on. A good education will enable people to get good jobs hence
escape the cycle of poverty.
The relational and spiritual definition of poverty articulates that poverty encompasses
more than the lack of material things. Poverty is the lack of meaningful social connections and
the dearth of spirituality and faith (Hodgetts & Stolte, 2017). From a spiritual viewpoint, poverty
stems from the lack of a relationship with God and adversely affects a person’s dignity and self-
worth. Based on this definition, a holistic approach to ending poverty would include fostering
strong community ties. It entails developing a political, economic, and social environment that
enables people to reach their full emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical potential. The
interventions would focus on people regardless of socioeconomic status, race, or ability. A policy
that is based on the relational definition of poverty is Healthy People 2030. The policy was

created to forge a national effort that sets objectives and goals to improve the well-being and
people in the United States. It is a holistic approach that aims to improve the health outcomes of
everybody in the U.S, irrespective of race, gender, or socioeconomic status.


Hodgetts, D., & Stolte, O. (2017). Urban poverty and health inequalities: A relational approach.