There are many different ways of promoting and protecting public health, these vary from health promotion and activities to specific protection. The most common and obvious way to promote public health is through the media, for example making advertisement for the television or the radio, and through using news updates. Another common way of promoting public health is through the internet, as well as advertisement on web pages, there are also many easy to use websites for advice such as the BBC or the NHS.
Magazines and newspapers are also common in finding information on protecting public health, and can be very useful as not everyone has access to a television or a computer/laptop. In many magazines they have weekly articles on how to get fit, or ‘lose weight the healthy way’ and in many cases these can be useful articles. Sometimes there are reports in newspapers and magazines as well, most commonly are ways to prevent diseases and ill health, such as lung cancer by stopping smoking.
In some magazines and newspapers they print statistics as a tactic to possibly scare the public as a way of promoting public health. A very common example of the promotion of public health are the true life stories that most magazines these days have, in which ordinary people discus how their life was ruined for example by ill health or disease and they have turned their life around, this is a very effective way of promoting public health as it reaches people on a personal level.
There is also a downside when it comes to public health in regards to magazines. In almost every magazine in almost every issue there are picture of famous people in on the red carpet or in a photo shoot, and quite often they have been airbrushed, when young people look at these images they aspire to be like them and to look like them, even though every body is different and it is impossible to look exactly the same as someone else, as a result of this an increasing number of young people starve themselves in trying to be the same size as a famous person.
Possibly the best and most reliable source of getting public health information out to the public are through leaflets or flyers which can be found at the doctors, in surgeries and even in libraries. These are dependable sources of information especially if they are from the doctors. In some areas the NHS send out letters or posters promoting public health, this can especially be a good idea as they can send out specific information that affect them in that area.
A way of protecting public health that is used are generally through using these ways of promoting public health but also though governmental laws. An example of this is no smoking in public buildings as there have been many reports saying that the effects of second hand smoking can be irreversible. There are also laws in regards to the legal age for drinking in a public house in most countries around the world as over-consumption of alcohol can have a devastating effect on anyone’s health.
Over the years many different organisation and councils have set up specific methods in promoting and protecting public health both locally and nationally to target specific issues. A very common healthy eating campaign is the ‘5 a day’ which is targeted at every single person in the UK and it was set up by the NHS; it is a way to promote the public to eat at least 5 fruit of vegetables a day.
Locally in the Ceredigion area there is a organisation set up called ‘5×60’ its main purpose is to encourage children and young adults to do 60 minutes of exercise 5 times a week. And they offer cheap and sometimes free activates that children and young people can participate in. Jamie Oliver is very famous for promoting healthy eating, especially within schools. He created a show called ‘Jamie Oliver’s school meals’ that went around schools in Britain primarily promoting healthy meals that were easy to prepare, and that provided a variety of nutrients.
Within Supermarkets they have ways of promoting public health as well, such as putting deals and promotions on fruit and vegetables, and developing own brand products that possibly have less hidden fat and sugar in them. There are also shows on the television that promote public health such as ‘Supersized vs Superskinny’ or ‘The Biggest Looser’ these are 2 programs that take over weight and in this case underweight people and encourage them to change their dietary habits by shocking them with the truth about what they are doing to their body.
There are many promotions to public health in relation to smoking, some of which are directly targeted at parents in order to encourage an overall healthy lifestyle within the family. As well as this there are many advertisements for as smoking patch, and various other aids for quitting smoking. It also became illegal to advertise cigarettes on the television and on the radio in 1971, which was a massive step forward in the promotion of public health. Immunisation is another form of specific protection in protecting public health.
As a baby there are many vaccinations that are advised if not compulsory for the child, the DTaP/IPV/Hib or 5-in-1 vaccine is given between the 2nd month and the 4th, the Pneumococcal (PCV) is given at 2 and 4 months and between 12-13 months, Meningitis C is also given at 3 and 4 months of age, the Hib/MenC (booster) is given at 12-13 months of age and the MMR jab is given at 12-13 months and at 3 years and 4 months of age and the last compulsory is the DTaP/IPV (or dTaP/IPV) ‘pre-school’ booster which is given at 3years and 4 months or sometime after that.
Another form of specific protection is the promotion of safe sex; in most secondary schools across Britain they have some form of sex education, specifically about safe sex. There is also plenty of information that young people can find on the internet or from the school nurse and they are also encouraged to visit the doctor or a sexual health clinic if they need any help in regards to getting contraception.
Environmental factors can also affect the public’s health, pollution and incorrect waste disposal such as waste heaps can cause an increase in rats especially in large cities and these are common carriers for communicable diseases as well s badgers they are very common in spreading diseases such as TB and measles.
In 2011 there was a report that stated that there were an increasing number of measles cases in Wales especially in Ceredigion, and this outbreak prompted an urgent call for measles vaccinations nationwide, especially as measles can have a detrimental effect on a person’s health, in particular in males as in severe cases it can cause them to become infertile. In the past couple of decades there has been a massive increase in the promotion and protection of public health especially in Britain, and it isn’t stopping now as the government is constantly trying to devise new ideas in maintaining and improving the public health in the UK.