Healthcare is vital to all of us some of the time, but public health is vital to all of us all the time. C. Everett Koop. Public Health was coined many years ago, and the history of public health is derived from many historical ideas, trial and error, the development of basic sciences, technology, and epidemiology(Tulchinsky, &Varavikova2014).Public Health began in ancient times and many of its concept have changed. Historical public health measures include the isolating of leprosy victims in the middle ages and the increase of infant deaths in Europe. Many of these situations led to the establishment of modern public health interventions that is designed to control diseases and oversee the availability and distribution of medicine (Rhodes & Bryant 2019). Evidently, the science of Public Health is necessary in the fight to eliminate diseases and outbreaks, maintaining good health and decreasing the amount of deaths due to diseases.
Public Health is an essential art that positively impacts every community and emphasizes the importance of a safe and healthy environment.Public Health is the science of disease prevention, prolonging life, and promoting physical and mental health, sanitation, personal hygiene, infectious disease control and organization of health services (Rhodes & Bryant (2019). The discipline of Public Health is very comprehensive and has an important role in the overall health and safety of every community.Public health consists of three core functions, 1. Assessment, 2. Policy Development and 3. Assurance. Under the umbrella of the core functions are ten essential public health functions that provide the activities for all communities to follow.The ten essential public health functions are (Assessment)1. monitor health status,2. diagnose and investigate health problems and hazards in the community, (Policy Development)3. inform, educate and empower people about health issues, 4. mobilize community partnership 5. develop policies and plans, (Assurance)6. enforce laws and regulations, 7. link people to personal health services, 8. assure a competent public health and personal health care workforce, 9. evaluate effectiveness, accessibility and quality and 10. research.( ADD A REFERENCE HERE for the 10 essential function). The definition of Public Health and its role in disease prevention and death; the two public health functions thatshould be given priority are 1. To inform, educate, and empower people about health and 2. to monitor health status – to identify and solve community health problems.
Firstly, let us examine the word “Public Health”, the name itself highlights that the essential functions are ideally for the people in the community and therefore the public health functions that should be given priority are the ones that is solely for and allows persons to be engaged andinvolve in their health.According toSmith et al. (2015) community engagement has appeared to be an increasingly effective strategy for harnessing community potential and health improvement.Evidently, community engagement can help with public health interventions and assist with public awareness on health risks. When residents are aware of the dangers and the effects of certain action or activities, they can identify issues and act quickly to avoid threats or other risks. Community engagement involves those affected in understanding the risks they face and involves them in response actions that are acceptable (WHO, n.d).Overall, community engagement has a great impact on society.
The working relationship between public health workers and the community can combat any potential health risk and dangers in the community. Community engagement can also build rapport between public health professionals, health care providers and the general public. A good and trusting relationship between health care providers and clients promotes health and decrease diseases.
Public health is grounded on and emphasizes it goals to promote health and prevent diseases. Thus, it is imperative that in the Caribbean we focus on educating and empowering our people about living a healthy lifestyle. The question may be asked, “why is health education important and should be given priority? Well the answer is quite simple, let us concentrate on the aim anddefinition of public health. In the article, “Public health economics: a systematic review of guidance for the economic evaluation of public health interventions and discussion of key methodological issues (2013)” the authors identify that public health is the science and art of how society jointly aim to improve health and reduce inequalities in health. Therefore, society is apart of improving their health and should be well-informed aboutdiseases.
Education is crucial in all aspects of life. Knowledge allows an individual to be aware of all major information that can affect their life. Furthermore, educating the public about their physical, mental, emotional and social health is even more imperative. The public will be motivated to improve and maintain good health. The support and the involvement of the public in their healthy living will encourage them to continue practicing and making healthy decisions and eventually their will be a decrease in diseases and risky behaviors. |Lack of Knowledge is the problem ( W. Edwards |Deming).Public Health focuses on supporting and prolonging the lives of individuals.Public health science fights to protect the safety and improve the health of communities through education, policy making and research for disease and injury prevention (. University of Pittsburgh Graduate School Public Health, 2019). The fight against disease and health safety can be challenging, although it might be challenging the work still has to be done. This task will not be easy and requires teamwork and a strong workforce. Yes, everyone has a responsibility to assist with securing a safe community that includes the government and the people of the community. In reality, all efforts and work perform is to secure the environment for the future generation.
Another public health function that should be given priority is monitor health status. It is imperative to monitor all aspects of health. The act of monitoring assist with identifying risk and issues, it highlights positive feedback and provides ideas for changes and adjustments to improve health.It is important to understand that health can change daily and sometimes there are no signs or symptoms. Many times, individuals do things to their body and it alters the way the body functions. it is vital to recognize that certain decisions we make will impact the status of health. One of the best ways to make sure that harm is not being done to the body is to constantly monitor its health status.
The question might be raised why it is important to monitor health status. The answer to the question is very clear which is to prevent complications. There is a health concern globally, regionally and domestically. Studies have shown that by monitoring health status can decrease that chances of difficulties and allows prompt treatment. In the article “Wearable Sensors for Remote Health Monitoring”, the authors suggested that a new technology which is remote health monitoring (a non-invasive sensor) will be used to help healthcare personnel to monitor important physiological signs of their patients, assess health conditions and provide feedback (Majumder et. Al,2017). Obviously, health care workers are creating innovative technology to monitor health in order to improve health status which shows that this function is vital in disease prevention. In public health the act of monitoring is always being used, at a simple clinic visit vital signs, weight and blood glucose testing is performed. These exams allow providers to monitor the individual’s health status and make necessary treatment, advice or changes to the treatment plan. On the other hand, environmental monitoring is imperative as well. Daily, it is important to monitor the water, soil and plants for contamination levels. For example, water contamination can be both harmful to health and the environment. When certain constituents enter in to the water it then becomes polluted and water is a major element for survival. Water is needed in all aspects of life such as cooking, showering, cleaning and drinking. Therefore, if it becomes polluted it can be detrimental to life (Mehtab et. Al, 2017). In the article, “Water pollution and human health” the authors stated that water is a universal solvent and a major source of infection. The authors further stated that “safe drinking water is necessary for human health all over the world” ( Mehtab et. Al, 2017). It is understood that public health goal is to prevent death and promote health which is why we should focus on monitoring health status by ensuring that all areas are equipped with the necessary equipment and to work force to ensure that this is being performed adequately. Air pollution is another very important environmental hazard that is thoroughly monitored. Air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year (WHO, 2020). Wholeheartedly, in order to monitor heath status, it is important to identify and monitor all aspects of life that can impact health status. All aspects of life have a role in maintaining good health and preventing complications. The activities we perform in our lives daily can have a great impact on health and the environment. The choices we make and the efforts we put in is the answer to a healthy community.
Each of the publichealth functions has a domineering task to maintain a healthy and safe community. However, the functions can be prioritized by which actions should be used first to uphold the principle of public health which is “Prevention is better than cure”. This paper precisely identifies the two functions that should be given priority. Also, the evidence provided and discussed in this paper strongly supports which public health functions should be priority. In the words of W. Edwards Deming “Lack of knowledge that is the problem. Hence, the reason the public health function on education was chosen. This paper carefully highlights the impact of education in public health. The astonishing correlation people public health and to monitor health status together completes the purpose and the reason why public health has been coined.
- Cyril, S., Smith, B. J., Possamai-Inesedy, A., &Renzaho, A. M. (2015). Exploring the role of community engagement in improving the health of disadvantaged populations: a systematic review. Global health action, 8, 29842. doi:10.3402/gha.v8.29842
- Edwards, R.T., Charles, J.M. & Lloyd-Williams, H. (2013). Public health economics: a systematic review of guidance for the economic evaluation of public health interventions and discussion of key methodological issues. BMC Public Health 13, 1001 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-1001
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- University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. (2019). What is the definition of PublicHealth? Retrieved fromhttps://www.publichealth.pitt.edu/careers/what-is-public-health
- World Health Organization. (n.d)Community Engagement. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/risk-communication/training/Module-B5.pdf