The World Health Organiza? on (WHO) states; ‘Public health refers to all organized measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the popula? on as a whole’ (World Health Organisa? on, 2014) Public health is about helping every individual to stay healthy, and to try and protect people from threats to their health. GOV. uk states that; ‘The government wants everyone to be able to make healthier choices, regardless of their circumstances, and to minimise the risk and impact of illness. ’ (GOV. UK, 2014)
The UK’s faculty of Public health has a certain approach to public health which includes, making sure that is popula? on based, emphasises collec? ve responsibility for health, its protec? on and disease preven? on, recognises the key role of the state, linked to a concern for the underlying socio- economic and wider determinants of health, as well as disease and emphasises partnerships with all those who contribute to the health of the popula? on. (The UK’s Faculty of Public Health, 2014) There are key roles within public health prac? ce which involve organisa?
ons such as The World Health Organisa? on and the government. One key role is monitoring the health status of the popula? on. This is a key role in public health which involves monitoring changes in the health of the whole popula? on, and also making sure people are being alerted about any poten? al problems that may occur. An example of this is the increasing number of people developing asthma within the popula? on. For asthma this key role can include organisa? ons such as The World Health Organisa? on (WHO), who play a role in coordina? ng interna? onal e6orts against the disease.
WHO have put in a strategy with an aim reduce the disability and premature death related to asthma. This includes things such as; surveillance to map the magnitude of asthma, analyse its determinants and monitor trends, with emphasis on poor and disadvantaged popula? ons, primary preven? on to reduce the level of exposure to common risk factors, par? cularly cigare7e smoke, frequent lower respiratory infec? ons during childhood, and air pollu? on and also improving access to cost-e6ec? ve interven?
ons including medicines, upgrading standards and accessibility of care at di6erent levels within the health care system. (WHO, 2013) Another key role is iden? fying the health needs of the popula? on. Once informa? on and data has been collated from the monitoring and the public health problems are iden? :ed, this is when the need for services and research can be iden? :ed. In the case of asthma, this can include pu;ng into place more things such as asthma support services and also asthma educa? on programmes for school sta6 and parents of su6erers.
Developing programmes to reduce risk and screen for disease early on is another key role in public health. Once the risk of certain problems and diseases are iden? :ed, the public health services will then need to put in services and programmes to screen for the diseases early on so that levels of ill health can be iden? :ed and then strategies put in place to reduce the damage done to lives. In the example of asthma this can include a GP iden? fying risks of developing asthma in individuals because of certain factors such as smoking, and living in city centres where there is a lot of pollu?
on. The GP could then refer them to asthma support services or smoking services for advice if needed. Public health would also put out awareness and adver? sing about these problems to try and educate the public on the poten? al risk factors which can in;uence the certain diseases. Another public health key role is controlling communicable disease. This is about aiming to control the impact of infec? ous diseases though certain control measures. For example immunisa? ons for measles, mumps and rubella. Laura Munday Unit 12 – Task 1 P1
Promo? ng the health of the popula? on is an ongoing important key role for the public health which can help to reduce the risk of ill health. This role can include having ac? vi? es and things such as adver? sing and campaigns to promote health to the public. An example of this in the case to asthma can include some campaigns encouraging people to no? ce the risk factors for asthma, this can include things such as stopping smoking campaigns, which will bene:t the public health rela? ng to lots of other problems too not just asthma.