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10 main health issues rural areas currently facing

Researched by Sarfraz
Updated on 1/1/2022

Rural Areas

Rural areas are those which are located away from the city. Basically, it means those who lack the most modern facilities that improve the lifestyle and living standard.

In these areas, most people usually survive on crops production. They sell them and make earnings through it.

Currently, rural people are making some progress as many people are getting or receiving well education and from a lot of rural areas, people are working in urban areas which are full of facilities to make good earnings.

In the past, rural areas were considered a healthy place to live. But now it is changing because of some certain factors or reasons that are affecting.

There are a lot of health issues that are rising and in some areas, the condition is very critical.

Mostly lack of human helping resources, natural resources are creating more problems in rural areas.

Urban people usually say that rural areas are well to live but rural people say urban areas are good for living.

It is just human nature that never settles for money or facilities.

Almost half of the world's population is living in rural areas and not having facilities that improve lifestyle is causing serious health and living outcomes.

According to WHO, only 24 percent of physicians around the world were facilitating the rural people while the remaining 76 percent were working in urban areas. Lack of medical facilities is promoting preventable deaths of rural people.

Here this article will explain 9 main issues that are affecting the health and living style of the people of rural areas and these issues can be solved and needed to be solved as soon as possible.

Taking the proper steps against issues can lower or prevent the damage that rural communities are facing:

Health issues

In the past, rural people were considered as healthy and fit people than urban areas people.

But now, things have changed. As in the past, rural people mostly do routine work like crops, animals, and daily life-related works by using mostly physical strength.

Nowadays, when science has made a lot of progress and it has given a lot of machinery, technology that is helping the rural community to do their crops or related works with the least physical effort.

Less physical engagement and an old eating routine which mostly comprises high fat and carb-rich foods are also causing problems.

Elders in rural areas usually promote the same old diets which if a person consumes and does not engage in physical works then these can cause issues.

High calories diet from carbs and fat which most villagers like to consume can cause serious health issues.

Perhaps that is why according to CDC, rural people are more likely to get fatal diseases like heart issues, cancer, diabetes, or other chronic health issues mostly because of their sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle, diet, and not getting medical help at the needed time.

Even in developed countries like the United States, those people who live in rural areas are at 50 percent more risk to die because of some health issues as compared to urban people.

Motor accidents are also common and most victims of accidents do not get emergency help and they die mainly due to it in most conditions.

Because of less availability of facilities and increased leisure friendly routines in villagers or rural people, these major diseases are rising and are causing death at high numbers:

  • Heart diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer ( due to mainly heavy use of tobacco products )
  • High blood pressure

Incidents of accidents and during pregnancy also contribute a lot in causing health issues and, more likely, death outcomes in most cases.

Not just these but studies say rural children are more likely to face food-related issues as according to study in South Africa 75 percent of people are living in rural areas and almost 77 percent of these people children's health is bad and they are underweight due to mainly malnutrition.

Very few numbers of physicians and nurses are present for the help of rural people. According to WHO data, 24 to 38 percent numbers of world doctors and nurses respectively are performing their duties in these areas and they also lack modern medical technologies.

Few health facilities in rural areas are terrible and are not helping according to requirements.

That is the main reason that is causing significant concerns as because of this issue many people lose their lives and we can save them with proper medical help if provided, research says.

Another issue that is increasing mainly due to increase in sedentary lifestyle is obesity which was common in urban areas in the past but a lot of urban people are successfully controlling it with proper help but in rural areas, this issue is rising and causing many health issues and diseases like obesity are strongly attached with respiratory issues, heart issues, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, kidney issues and much more.


Poverty is very common in rural areas. As studies say, 10.4 billion people are living in high poverty and those 70 percent population is living in rural areas.

Especially in Africa, the poverty level is very high. Their small children are dying daily because of a lack of food and other resources.

Crops are the main income resource for these area-living people. In most countries, a farmer or a villager does not get enough profit from the crop business.

Jobs and opportunities in rural areas are also very less and people have to go to urban areas to make money.

Not having proper financial resources to raise themselves and their children, rural people are facing extreme life-related issues. Malnutrition is very common in many rural areas all around the world.

Not just malnutrition but poverty is stopping the villagers to achieve success in different fields of life.

Not having the required financial resources is causing hurdles for them to get proper education and medical help.

Educational expenses and medical costs are very high in most countries.

Some governments give free treatment to their citizen but most do not provide these facilities.

Money requirement to survive and high education institutes fees are causing rural students to stop their education early or not receiving at all.

It is also a major concern that is stopping the prevalence of education and knowledge in the general population.

Because of poverty, villages are less likely to get benefits from modern technology as well.

Mainly these costs people high and their budget mostly does not let them and their children get facilitates from them.

Lack of clean water

Lack of water to drink and for agriculture, process is also a very common issue and needed to be solved.

Rural areas are facing an extreme shortage of clean water. Unhealthy and dirty water is being drunk in most rural areas and is bringing diseases like common fever, diarrhea, typhoid, stomach issues, etc.

Governments of different countries are taking steps to solve clean water issues by making some steps.

In isolated areas where light is also not available, authorities are solving the water supply issue by installing solar water pumps.

Many are considering these steps helpful as they are working well for help but these are not fulfilling the requirements of water needs. That is why more steps are needed.

The main reason is that water especially clean water resources to drink are shrinking all around the world.

Not just rural but urban areas are also facing water shortages. Experts say shortly wars can take place mainly due to water issues.

In many areas where light is available, authorities and private organizations are funding to build filtration plants. These are also called strong actions to solve water problems.

Not just for drinking rural people also need water for crops which is the major income source for most of them.

Since actions and progress work is reducing water problems but current actions are not enough to face water supply issues to the rural areas but for the urban areas as well.

Soon in the future water availability can reduce furthermore in populated and less population-based areas which can include urban and rural both.

Lacking modern medical facilities

Modern technologies and facilities like electricity, telephone, mobile, internet, television set-top box, hospitals, medical technology, etc are least present in villages or rural areas.

Nowadays, struggle from many governments and non-government organizations are establishing a well-deserved medical system in most areas where they are needed, but these actions are not enough.

As reach is creating problems. Because of being away from urban areas, development towards rural areas can be a long time taking.

A patient can't survive if that one gets serious health issues while in that area that lacks the required treatment facility.

Hospitals or health facilities also lack qualities.

In some rural areas, not even a single health clinic is present. Like in my maternal grandfather's village, not a single health facility is present.

People are being treated by local homeopathy doctors. Many people in my grandfather's village have lost their lives while shifting them to near city hospitals when there were in critical health condition.

Mostly government gives attention to those Rural areas which have a large population.

As they mostly get benefits but least populated areas are still being neglected.

Not providing modern facilities to those areas can make many communities and rural societies all around the world to be unaware of the latest technology that is helping humanity.

Lack of Ambulance services

Not having a hospital or clinic can be an issue, but not having an ambulance or other service to shift the patient to a health facility can be also a serious issue.

If some areas have no health facility but if ambulance service is present, then the patient can easily be shifted to the near city hospital.

But not having an ambulance service nearby can decrease the number of patients or ill people surviving from health issues.

Especially heart attacks, strokes needed fast medical help that is required for patient's survival.

In most rural areas, while not having an ambulance or emergency service towards hospitals, people usually shift their loved ones in their own vehicles, which lack facilities that an ambulance usually has.

Drainage issues

Drainage issues are the major problem that can show an area is developed or non-developed.

Pollution due to not having the required drainage system in the rural areas can cause pollution.

Especially in under-developed countries, rural areas are mostly very polluted due to not having a proper system to remove the wasted material.

Usually, sewerage and water go out to the empty fields and remain there for a long time and become the cause of many diseases.

Old eating habits but the new lifestyle

Usually, people of villages or towns eat high fat and carbs rich diet which provide high calories, mostly.

These types of foods and diets provide benefits when people engage in high-intensity physical workouts. In the past, when machinery for crops was not present, people use their own and animal physical power to work in agriculture-related work in rural areas.

That is why these high calories diets were good for them but now many things have changed.

Mainly because of introducing modern technology that has taken the job of most physical work, people have become lazy and they often live a sedentary lifestyle in rural areas.

A sedentary lifestyle with high calories diet plan can be a problem because your good health goal needs you to burn and use the calories that you have taken from the foods. Not using or burning them can make those to get an attack on your body as fat tissues which can cause obesity.

High carbs diet is also linked with body glucose issues or type 2 diabetes.

Smoking and alcoholism

Bad addicted smoking habit and heavy alcohol consumption are also common in rural areas especially old people like tobacco products like a cigar, cigarettes, too much.

Their habits also make adult people get connected or addicted to smoking.

Alcoholism is also an issue as many people in rural areas like to have many glasses of alcohol per day.

Both smoking and alcohol usage is highly linked with health issues.

Smoking is perhaps the most dangerous habit and can be so addictive that a person may find it very hard or impossible to leave it.


Mainly due to sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits obesity rate is increasing in people not only in rural areas but also in urban areas.

Several health issues like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, lungs issues, high BP, diabetes issues can raise several times with obesity.


It is said that rural areas which were considered as healthy places are becoming issue generating places.

Mostly because of less development, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diets are causing most problems. Many people are shifting to urban areas because rural areas can lack facilities that urban areas provide.

Because of migration, enormous pressure is being built on urban areas and their population.

Perhaps that is why places to live are becoming expensive and urban people are also finding it hard to get themselves adjusted in their area. We need to understand that issues are issues and all of them can't be solved completely but we can make the effort.

  • Roger Strasser, Rural health around the world: challenges and solutions, Family Practice, Volume 20, Issue 4, August 2003, Pages 457–463,
  • WHO - Track-Delivering-health-in-rural-communities-Wynn-Jones Solar-powered pumps to supply water for rural or isolated zones: A case study,.-
  • Energy for Sustainable Development, - J.S. Ramos, Helena M. Ramos, - Volume 13, 
Health Diseases Preventions
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