Why is Public Health Important?

Public health has made a significant improvement on the health of the population. For example, in the U.S, from 1900 to 1999, people’s life expectancy has increased by over 30 years. This improvement is due to public health intervention. AFC Urgent Care Bedford is dedicated to the general health of the public. That is why we provide a variety of patient services that help solve many health problems quickly.

What is Public Health?

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes health as a state of total physical, mental, and social well-being. It is not restricted to the absence of diseases.

Public health can be described as an organized activity of society aimed at promoting, protecting, improving, and, where appropriate, restoring the health of individuals, groups, or the entire population. In other words, it is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organized efforts of society. We must distinguish between clinical medicine and public health. 

Unlike clinical medicine, which focuses mainly on an individual immediate health problem, public health focuses on how and why individuals had such a health problem in the first case so that actions can be determined to prevent it from reoccurring in the future. 

Public health centers on the approach of improving and protecting community health and well-being, with emphasis on disease prevention among a large group of people.

Why is Public Health Important?

The importance of public health cannot be over-emphasized—public health borders on three core areas: protection, promotion, and prevention. 

Protection deals with the protection of the health of an entire community. These include controlling infectious diseases, managing environmental hazards, ensuring a healthy workplace, and managing health emergencies.

Promotion relates to the improvement of the health of a population. It covers a broad range of activities that focus not only on the individual (i.e., promoting health behaviors but also on improving health’s social determinant.

Prevention relates to preventing health problems before they happen. It includes activities like vaccination and screening.

Public health is essential as it aims to achieve the above in all individuals of a population irrespective of age, socioeconomic background, gender, and ethnicity. In these regards, it helps to close the inequality gap to access to health in the community.

Impact of COVID-19 on Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every single aspect of public health. Many people are out of work, some are working remotely, and millions of students are learning in school environments that may feel unsafe. The virus can spread through activities that were considered normal, like sharing a snack, sitting with other people in enclosed spaces, and talking with friends, so the way we interact with each other has drastically changed. This has negatively impacted the mental health of most communities.

However, public health officials are trying to slow the spread of the virus. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 infection helps prevent overload of hospitals and health facilities with sick people. An overload of COVID-19 patients decreases the overall quality of health care and can mean, in some cases, that people don’t get care at all.

To make a difference in public health, a community needs to have good governance advocacy, which should influence, obtain support, and commit to actions that support various health goals. 

In addition to this, providing a well-trained and sustained public health workforce with accurate, timely information to support health actions would be beneficial to the sustainability of public health.