What is public health?
What are the three goals of Public Health? : In simple terms, public health is the discipline that addresses health at a population level. Public Health has made a significant impact on improving the health of the population.
Making people healthy and saving lives. For instance, in India, between 1960-2019, the life expectancy rate increased by over 28 years. The current life expectancy for India in 2022 is 70.19 years, a 0.33% increase from 2021.
The World Health Organisation defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being rather than the mere absence of disease or infirmity.
Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organized efforts of society.
Is it different from clinical medicine?
A clinician’s primary focus is the immediate health problem of the individual. The public health approach would be holistic and focused on figuring out the how and why.
For instance, a person has an accident and has a broken leg. Clinician’s focus would be on the injury of the patient. The public health approach will ask: Why did he have the accident?
Was there a problem with his vision? Was it poor driving skills or a bad attitude towards driving?
What was he under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving? Also are there laws against it and resources to enforce it? What are the community expectations or attitudes towards driving?
Does the person have a good social support network to help his recovery? Was the road he was driving on safe? Was he driving a safe car that was well maintained?
And so on. Hence, health is determined by a complex interaction between factors like individual characteristics, lifestyles, behaviors, and physical, social, and economic environments. These are called the social determinants of health.
Who is responsible for public health?
The responsibility for creating a healthy community rests with all sectors of society. Health Departments do have a central role; however, improving the health of a population requires the coordinated efforts of a broad range of stakeholders.
This includes other areas of government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and communities, to name a few.
How does public health work? Three goals of public health.
The World Federation of Public Health Associations has developed a helpful framework to understand how public health is delivered. The core areas of public health are Protection, Promotion, and Prevention.
Protection includes the control of infectious diseases, managing environmental hazards, ensuring a healthy workplace, and managing health emergencies. Promotion is about improving the health of the population.
It covers a broad range of activities that not only focus on the individual but also on improving the social determinants of health. Prevention is about preventing health issues before they occur.
It includes activities such as vaccination and screening. Therefore For public health goals, good governance, advocacy, capacity, and information must be provided. Advocacy required to support and commit to actions that support a health goal.
Capacity means having an adequate, well-trained, and supported public health workforce. Accurate, timely information also required to support health actions. The actions include relevant research, surveillance, monitoring, and evaluation.
For more information : https://www.profitbyhealth.com/