Public Health – Quo Vadis?

Let us first get a bird’s eye overview of what Public Health is all about.

Public health is classically defined as “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals”. CEA Winslow is credited with this statement which has stood the test of time and is constantly being redefined in its boundaries and pushing the envelope when it comes to its scope.

For the interested reader, a cursory perusal of the Wikipedia page should suffice to whet one’s appetite for more info on this seemingly esoteric and intangible field of public work.

To quote from the CDC, USA:

“Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases.

Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country or region of the world.

Public health professionals try to prevent problems from happening or recurring through implementing educational programs, recommending policies, administering services and conducting research—in contrast to clinical professionals like doctors and nurses, who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured. Public health also works to limit health disparities. A large part of public health is promoting healthcare equity, quality and accessibility.”

Society the world over is now realising that adopting best practices in Public health saves money, improves our quality of life, helps children thrive and reduces human suffering.

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