Page 72 Share Cite Suggested Citation: A History of the Public Health System.
See Article History Public health, the art and science of preventing diseaseprolonging life, and promoting physical and mental healthsanitation, personal hygiene, control of infectious diseasesand organization of health services. From the normal human interactions involved in dealing with the many problems of social life, there has emerged a recognition of the importance of community action in the promotion of health and the prevention and treatment of disease, and this is expressed in the concept of public health.
Comparable terms for public health medicine are social medicine and community medicine; the latter has been widely adopted in the United Kingdomand the practitioners are called community physicians. The practice of public health draws heavily on medical science and philosophy and concentrates especially on manipulating and controlling the environment for the benefit of the public.
It is concerned therefore with housing, water supplies, and food. Noxious agents can be introduced into these through farming, fertilizers The history of public health and, inadequate sewage disposal and drainage, construction, defective heating and ventilating systems, machinery, and toxic chemicals.
Public health medicine is part of the greater enterprise of preserving and improving the public health. Community physicians cooperate with diverse groups, from architects, builders, sanitary and heating and ventilating engineers, and factory and food inspectors to psychologists and sociologists, chemists, physicists, and toxicologists.
Occupational medicine is concerned with the health, safety, and welfare of persons in the workplace. It may be viewed as a specialized part of public health medicine since its aim is to reduce the risks in the environment in which persons work.
The venture of preserving, maintaining, and actively promoting public health requires special methods of information-gathering epidemiology and corporate arrangements to act upon significant findings and put them into practice.
Statistics collected by epidemiologists attempt to describe and explain the occurrence of disease in a population by correlating factors such as diet, environment, radiation exposure, or cigarette smoking with the incidence and prevalence of disease.
The government, through laws and regulations, creates agencies to oversee and formally inspect and monitor water supplies, food processingsewage treatmentdrains, and pollution.
Governments also are concerned with the control of epidemic diseases, establishing guidelines for appropriate medical responses and isolation procedures, and issuing travel warnings to prevent the spread of disease from affected areas.
Ministry of Public Health worker administering water-purifying tablets in Kabul, WHO is especially important in providing assistance for the implementation of organizational and administrative methods of handling problems associated with health and disease in less-developed countries worldwide.
Within these countries, health problems, limitations of resources, education of health personnel, and other factors must be taken into account in designing health service systems.
Advances in science and medicine in developed countries, including the generation of vaccines and antibioticshave been fundamental in bringing vital aid to countries afflicted by a high burden of disease.
Yet, despite the expansion of resources and improvements in the mobilization of these resources to the most severely afflicted areas, the incidence of preventable disease and of neglected tropical disease remains exceptionally high worldwide. Reducing the impact and prevalence of these diseases is a major goal of international public health.
The persistence of such diseases in the world, however, serves as an important indication of the difficulties that health organizations and societies continue to confront.Currently, Commissioned Corps officers are involved in health care delivery to underserved and vulnerable populations, disease control and prevention, biomedical research, food and drug regulation, mental health and drug abuse services, and response efforts for natural and man-made disasters as an essential component of the largest public.
Public health is "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".
Analyzing the health of a population and the threats is the basis for public health. The history of public health is a story of the search for effective means of securing health and preventing disease in the population.
Epidemic and endemic infectious disease stimulated thought and innovation in disease prevention on a pragmatic basis, often before the causation was established scientifically. Public health is "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".
Analyzing the health of a population and the threats is the basis for public health. The "public" in question can be as small as a handful of people, an entire village. The section on history of public health describes early public health theories and how those perspectives influenced the changes necessary in modern health practices.
The history of cardiovascular medicine lists the most significant discoveries and inventions of scientists and physicians from the s to the 21st century. This interactive can be found in Unit 3: Public Health History Connecting the Past and the Present The above timeline shows how the definition, goals, and organization of public health has changed over the last years - often going hand-in-hand with social reform.