What is Public Health?

Public health focuses on preserving the health and happiness of communities, and more specifically, the individuals who constitute the communities. As such, public health remains significant because it fosters an ongoing dialogue between individuals and their surrounding environment. Further exploration of this dynamic dialogue—through first person accounts, stories, and other literature—helps to expand the scope of public health; public health advocates can use these insights and resources to push for policies that provide more comprehensive and affordable healthcare for people across multiple regions. These advocates are able to accomplish this through conducting extensive experiments, compiling their research, and setting aside time to promote public health. Through the advocates’ findings and efforts, a health standard—a paragon of wellness—can be established and worked toward.

This health standard encompasses individuals in all communities, from the vaccines we receive at the doctor’s office to the regulation of clean water. However, public health also remains relevant because there are public health issues that challenge the health standard. Regardless of whether these issues are ongoing, like the Zika outbreak and climate change, or more recent, like the Louisiana flooding and earthquakes in central Italy, the individuals of a community must form in solidarity and act effectively. As medical dispatchers and local hospital staff send reinforcements and resources to help those affected, they are also setting an example for the common citizen. And it is during this time that the common person plays a crucial role: remaining complacent or ignorant stunts the advancement of public health because there would be no discussion or relationship between individuals and their environment. Reading the news and staying knowledgeable about both domestic and global issues are just stepping-stones to engaging in public health activism. We, as individuals, are responsible not only for preserving the health and happiness of our community, but also for caring about the public health of those around us. Public health’s importance ultimately stems from its ability to foster empathy and bring about change among communities.

What is Public Health?

Public health is the effort that people in a society or a well-developed organization make in order to maintain a healthy and safe environment for the communities in which they live in. Public health involves promoting and preventing disease and other attacks, which may be mental or physical, towards a community’s wellbeing. A healthy community can be maintained through the efforts of individuals or organizations, as well as strictly enforced policies. A crucial part of maintaining a healthy community and efficiently addressing public health issues is an active, ongoing communication between the government and its citizens. This way, the citizens can be easily notified of ways to prevent disease or any other attacks and to protect themselves.

Public health is important because it helps manage and protect threats to the wellbeing of a society. Public health is an essential part in improving the quality of life for everyone involved in the community, especially in under-developed countries. Also, another reason why public health is important is because there is a correlation between public health and the economy. When society is healthy and safe from attacks to their wellbeing, the members of the society are more likely to participate in the economy, which would prevent the nation from going into a recession or, in worse cases, depression. Having a healthy society provides for a more active community as well.

An example of an attack to public health would be the Ebola outbreak. In response to the outbreak, organizations like the CDC tried to work as quickly as possible to ensure public safety from the virus. Due to the Ebola outbreak, many South American countries had to halt trade and implement quarantines because of neighboring countries fears of the spread of the virus. The stop of trade in South American countries also negatively affected other countries that typically get their resources from South America. When viruses like Ebola are not spreading like an epidemic, the quality of life for many people increases, and people do not live in fear of getting infected. Also, managing public health well leads to having a sufficient amount of workers as well as a sufficient amount of people engaging in the economy.

Public health plays a key role in keeping the members of a society living a long, healthy life, as well as keeping the society running. Public health organizations help to reduce the amount of infected people and the spread of any diseases.