Public health is the study and practice of managing threats to the health of a community. Health is a state of complete physical mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity The field pays special attention to the social context of disease and health, and focuses on improving health through society-wide measures like vaccinations, the fluoridation of drinking water, or through policies like seatbelt and non-smoking laws. Vaccination is the administration of Antigenic material (the Vaccine) to produce immunity to a disease Water fluoridation is the addition of a chemical to increase the concentration of Fluoride Ions in Drinking water with the purpose of reducing the A seat belt, sometimes called a safety belt, is a Safety harness designed to secure the occupant of a Vehicle against harmful movement that may result from Smoking bans are public policies including Criminal laws and Occupational safety and health Regulations which prohibit Tobacco smoking
The goal of public health is to improve lives through the prevention or treatment of disease. The United Nations' World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. " In 1920, C. E. A. Winslow defined public health as "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals. "
The public-health approach can be applied to a population of just a handful of people or to the whole human population. Public health is typically divided into epidemiology, biostatistics and health services. Epidemiology is the study of factors affecting the Health and Illness of populations and serves as the foundation and Logic of interventions made in the Biostatistics (a Portmanteau word made from biology and statistics sometimes referred to as biometry or biometrics) is the application of Statistics Health care is the prevention treatment and management of illness and the preservation of mental health through the services offered by the medical, Nursing Environmental, social, behavioral, and occupational health are also important subfields. Environmental health is the branch of Public health that is concerned with all aspects of the natural and Built environment that may affect human Health Behavioral health as a general concept refers the reciprocal relationship between human behavior individually or socially and the well-being of the body mind and spirit whether the Occupational safety and health is a cross-disciplinary area concerned with protecting the Safety, Health and welfare of people engaged in
The focus of a public health intervention is to prevent rather than treat a disease through surveillance of cases and the promotion of healthy behaviors. In addition to these activities, in many cases treating a disease can be vital to preventing its spread to others, such as during an outbreak of infectious disease or contamination of food or water supplies. An infectious disease is a clinically evident Disease resulting from the presence of Pathogenic microbial agents including Pathogenic viruses Pathogenic Vaccination programs and distribution of condoms are examples of public health measures. Vaccination is the administration of Antigenic material (the Vaccine) to produce immunity to a disease A condom is a device most commonly used during Sexual intercourse.
Most countries have their own government public health agencies, sometimes known as ministries of health, to respond to domestic health issues. In the United States, the frontline of public health initiatives are state and local health departments. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the A health department is a part of Government which focuses on issues related to the general Health of the Citizenry. The United States Public Health Service (PHS), led by the Surgeon General of the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, headquartered in Atlanta and a part of the PHS, are involved with several international health activities, in addition to their national duties. Organization of the Public Health Service The Public Health Service Act placed the United States Public Health Service ( PHS) as the primary division The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC) is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services based in unincorporated
There is a vast discrepancy in access to healthcare and public health intiatives between developed nations and developing nations. The term developed country, or advanced country, is used to categorize countries with developed Economies in which the tertiary and quaternary sectors Developing countries are countries that haven't reached Western-style standards of democratic government free market economy industrialization social programs and human rights guaranties In the developing world, public health infrastructures are still forming. There may not be enough trained health workers or monetary resources to provide even a basic level of medical care and disease prevention. As a result, a large majority of disease and mortality in the developing world results from and contributes to extreme poverty. For example, many African governments spend less than USD$10 per person per year on healthcare, while, in the United States, the federal government spent approximately USD$4,500 per capita in 2000. The United States dollar ( sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of Currency of the United States; it has also been The federal government of the United States is the central United States Governmental body established by the United States Constitution.
Many diseases are preventable through simple, non-medical methods. For example, research has shown that the simple act of hand washing can prevent many contagious diseases. Hand washing is the act of cleansing the Hands with Water or another Liquid, with or without the use of Soap or other Detergents 
Public health plays an important role in disease prevention efforts in both the developing world and in developed countries, through local health systems and through international non-governmental organizations, like the International Public Health Forum (IPHF)
The two major postgraduate professional degrees related to this field are the Master of Public Health (MPH) or the (much rarer) Doctor of Public Health (DrPH). The Master of Public Health ( MPH or MPH) is a professional Master's degree awarded for studies in areas related to Public health. The Doctor of Public Health ( DrPH) is an advanced Professional degree for those who intend to pursue or advance a professional practice career in Public Many public health researchers hold PhDs in their fields of speciality, while some public health programs confer the equivalent Doctor of Science degree instead. "PhD" redirects here for other uses see PhD (disambiguation. DSc ScD SD, or DrSc are common abbreviations for the Latin Scientiæ Doctor, meaning Doctor of Science. The United States medical residency specialty is General Preventive Medicine and Public Health.
In some ways, public health is a modern concept, although it has roots in antiquity. From the beginnings of human civilization, it was recognized that polluted water and lack of proper waste disposal spread communicable diseases (theory of miasma). Water is a common Chemical substance that is essential for the survival of all known forms of Life. Waste management is the collection Transport, processing, Recycling or disposal of Waste materials Early religions attempted to regulate behavior that specifically related to health, from types of food eaten, to regulating certain indulgent behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or sexual relations. A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos Food is any substance usually composed primarily of Carbohydrates Fats water and/or Proteins that can be eaten or drunk by an In Chemistry, an alcohol is any Organic compound in which a Hydroxyl group ( - O[[hydrogen H]]) is bound to a Carbon Human sexual behavior or different human sexual practices encompass a wide range of activities such as strategies to find or attract partners ( Mating and display The establishment of governments placed responsibility on leaders to develop public health policies and programs in order to gain some understanding of the causes of disease and thus ensure social stability prosperity, and maintain order. For the government of parliamentary systems see Executive (government. The word leadership can refer to Those entities that perform one or more acts of leading A disease is an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs bodily functions and can be deadly Wealth derives from the old English word "weal" which means "well-being
By Roman times, it was well understood that proper diversion of human waste was a necessary tenet of public health in urban areas. Ancient Rome was a Civilization that grew out of a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 10th century BC Waste management is the collection Transport, processing, Recycling or disposal of Waste materials The Chinese developed the practice of variolation following a smallpox epidemic around 1000 BC. Chinese civilization originated in various city-states along the Yellow River ( valley in the Neolithic era Inoculation is the placement of something to where it will grow or reproduce and is most commonly used in respect of the introduction of a serum Vaccine, or antigenic substance Smallpox is an Infectious disease unique to humans caused by either of two virus variants named Variola major and Variola minor. An individual without the disease could gain some measure of immunity against it by inhaling the dried crusts that formed around lesions of infected individuals. Also, children were protected by inoculating a scratch on their forearms with the pus from a lesion. Inoculation is the placement of something to where it will grow or reproduce and is most commonly used in respect of the introduction of a serum Vaccine, or antigenic substance This practice was not documented in the West until the early-1700s, and was used on a very limited basis. The practice of vaccination did not become prevalent until the 1820s, following the work of Edward Jenner to treat smallpox. Vaccination is the administration of Antigenic material (the Vaccine) to produce immunity to a disease Events and trends Nationalistic independence helped reshape the world during this decade Greece gains independence from the Ottoman Empire Edward Jenner, FRS, ( May 17 1749 – January 26 1823) was an English scientist who studied his natural surroundings in Berkeley Smallpox is an Infectious disease unique to humans caused by either of two virus variants named Variola major and Variola minor.
During the 14th century Black Death in Europe, it was believed that removing bodies of the dead would further prevent the spread of the bacterial infection. The Black Death, or the Black Plague, was one of the deadliest Pandemics in human history widely thought to have been caused by a bacterium named Yersinia This did little to stem the plague, however, which was most likely spread by rodent-borne fleas. Rodentia is an order of Mammals also known as rodents, characterised by two continuously-growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws which must Flea is the Common name for any of the small wingless Insects of the order Siphonaptera (some authorities use the name Aphaniptera Burning parts of cities resulted in much greater benefit, since it destroyed the rodent infestations. The development of quarantine in the medieval period helped mitigate the effects of other infectious diseases. For other uses see Quarantine (disambiguation Quarantine is voluntary or compulsory isolation typically to contain the spread of something However, according to Michel Foucault, the plague model of governmentality was later controverted by the cholera model. Michel Foucault ( (15 October 1926 – 25 June 1984 was a French philosopher, Historian, Intellectual, Critic and Sociologist. Governmentality ( "Gouvernementalité" in French is a concept first developed by the French Philosopher Michel Foucault in the later years of Cholera, sometimes known as Asiatic cholera or epidemic cholera, is an infectious Gastroenteritis caused by the Bacterium A Cholera pandemic devastated Europe between 1829 and 1851, and was first fought by the use of what Foucault called "social medicine", which focused on flux, circulation of air, location of cemeteries, etc. A cemetery is a place in which dead bodies and cremated remains are buried. All those concerns, born of the miasma theory of disease, were mixed with urbanistic concerns for the management of populations, which Foucault designated as the concept of "biopower". The miasmatic theory of disease held that Diseases such as Cholera or the Black Death were caused by a miasma (Greek language "pollution" Urbanism is the study of cities &mdash their Geographic, Economic, Political, Social and Cultural environment Biopower was a term originally coined by French Philosopher Michel Foucault to refer to the practice of modern states and their regulation of their subjects The German conceptualized this in the Polizeiwissenschaft ("Science of police"). Polizeiwissenschaft ( German for "Police science" though "Polizei" may in this case be better translated as "Public Policy" or "Politics"
The science of epidemiology was founded by John Snow's identification of a polluted public water well as the source of an 1854 cholera outbreak in London. Epidemiology is the study of factors affecting the Health and Illness of populations and serves as the foundation and Logic of interventions made in the John Snow ( 15 March 1813 &ndash 16 June 1858) was a British physician and a leader in the adoption of Anaesthesia and medical Cholera, sometimes known as Asiatic cholera or epidemic cholera, is an infectious Gastroenteritis caused by the Bacterium Dr. Snow believed in the germ theory of disease as opposed to the prevailing miasma theory. The germ theory, also called the pathogenic theory of medicine, is a Theory that proposes that Microorganisms are the cause of many Diseases. The miasmatic theory of disease held that Diseases such as Cholera or the Black Death were caused by a miasma (Greek language "pollution" Although miasma theory correctly teaches that disease is a result of poor sanitation, it was based upon the prevailing theory of spontaneous generation. In the Natural sciences, Abiogenesis, or origin of life, is the study of how Life on Earth emerged from Inanimate Organic Germ theory developed slowly: despite Anton van Leeuwenhoek's observations of Microorganisms, (which are now known to cause many of the most common infectious diseases) in the year 1680 , the modern era of public health did not begin until the 1880s, with Robert Koch's germ theory and Louis Pasteur's production of artificial vaccines. Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek (October 24 1632 &ndash August 30 1723 was a Dutch tradesman and Scientist from Delft, the Netherlands A microorganism (also spelled micro organism or micro-organism and also called a microbe) is an Organism that is Microscopic (usually Events and Trends Technology Development and commercial production of Electric lighting Development and commercial production of gasoline-powered Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch ( December 11 1843 – May 27 1910) was a German Physician. Louis Pasteur (27 December 1822 – 28 September 1895 a French Chemist and Microbiologist, is best known for remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and A vaccine is a biological preparation which is used to establish or improve immunity to a particular disease
Other public health interventions include latrinization, the building of sewers, the regular collection of garbage followed by incineration or disposal in a landfill, providing clean water and draining standing water to prevent the breeding of mosquitos. For other uses see Water treatment and Land reclamation. A landfill, also known as a dump (and historically as
As the prevalence of infectious diseases in the developed world decreased through the 20th century, public health began to put more focus on chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. An emphasis on physical exercise was reintroduced.
In America, public health worker Dr. Sara Josephine Baker lowered the infant mortality rate using preventative methods. Sara Josephine Baker ( November 15, 1873 – February 22, 1945) was an American physician notable for contributions to Public health She established many programs to help the poor in New York City keep their infants healthy. Dr. Baker led teams of nurses into the crowded neighborhoods of Hell's Kitchen and taught mothers how to dress, feed, and bathe their babies. After WWI many states and countries followed her example in order to lower infant mortality rates.
During the 20th century, the dramatic increase in average life span is widely credited to public health achievements, such as vaccination programs and control of infectious diseases, effective safety policies such as motor-vehicle and occupational safety, improved family planning, fluoridation of drinking water, anti-smoking measures, and programs designed to decrease chronic disease. Family planning is frequently used to mean that people plan when to have children using Birth control, preconceptional counseling. Water fluoridation is the addition of a chemical to increase the concentration of Fluoride Ions in Drinking water with the purpose of reducing the
Meanwhile, the developing world remained plagued by largely preventable infectious diseases, exacerbated by malnutrition and poverty. Malnutrition is a general term for a medical condition caused by an improper or insufficient diet. Front-page headlines continue to present society with public health issues on a daily basis: emerging infectious diseases such as SARS, making its way from China to Canada and the United States; prescription drug benefits under public programs such as Medicare; the increase of HIV-AIDS among young heterosexual women and its spread in South Africa; the increase of childhood obesity and the concomitant increase in type II diabetes among children; the impact of adolescent pregnancy; and the ongoing social, economic and health disasters related to the 2005 Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in 2006. Childhood Obesity is a condition where excess body fat negatively affects a child's health or wellbeing These are all ongoing public health challenges.
Since the 1980s, the growing field of population health has broadened the focus of public health from individual behaviors and risk factors to population-level issues such as inequality, poverty, and education. Population health is an approach to Health that aims to improve the health of an entire population A risk factor is a variable associated with an increased risk of Disease or Infection. Modern public health is often concerned with addressing determinants of health across a population, rather than advocating for individual behaviour change. There is a recognition that our health is affected by many factors including where we live, genetics, our income, our educational status and our social relationships - these are known as "social determinants of health. " A social gradient in health runs through society, with those that are poorest generally suffering the worst health. However even those in the middle classes will generally have worse health outcomes than those of a higher social stratum (WHO, 2003). The new public health seeks to address these health inequalities by advocating for population-based policies that improve the health of the whole population in an equitable fashion.
The burden of treating conditions caused by unemployment, poverty, unfit housing and environmental pollution have been calculated to account for between 16-22% of the clinical budget of the British National Health Service. 
UK Public health functions include:
Today, most governments recognize the importance of public health programs in reducing the incidence of disease, disability, and the effects of aging, although public health generally receives significantly less government funding compared with medicine. In recent years, public health programs providing vaccinations have made incredible strides in promoting health, including the eradication of smallpox, a disease that plagued humanity for thousands of years.
One of the most important public health issues facing the world currently is HIV/AIDS. Tuberculosis, which claimed the lives of authors Franz Kafka and Charlotte Brontë, and composer Franz Schubert, among others, is also reemerging as a major concern due to the rise of HIV/AIDS-related infections and the development of tuberculin strains that are resistant to standard antibiotics. Tuberculosis (abbreviated as TB for tubercle bacillus or T u' b' erculosis Bacillus --> is a common Charlotte Brontë (ˈbrɒnti (21 April 1816 &ndash 31 March 1855 was a British Novelist, the eldest of the three famous Brontë sisters whose Novels
Another major public health concern is diabetes. Diabetes mellitus (ˌdaɪəˈbiːtiːz or /ˌdaɪəˈbiːtəs/ /məˈlaɪtəs/ or /ˈmɛlətəs/ often referred to simply as diabetes ( Ancient Greek: grc In 2006, according to the World Health Organization, at least 171 million people worldwide suffered from diabetes. Its incidence is increasing rapidly, and it is estimated that by the year 2030, this number will double.
A controversial aspect of public health is the control of smoking. Tobacco Smoking is the inhalation of smoke from burned dried or cured leaves of the Tobacco plant most often in the form of a Cigarette. Many nations have implemented major initiatives to cut smoking, such as increased taxation and bans on smoking in some or all public places. Proponents argue by presenting evidence that smoking is one of the major killers in all developed countries, and that therefore governments have a duty to reduce the death rate, both through limiting passive (second-hand) smoking and by providing fewer opportunities for smokers to smoke. Opponents say that this undermines individual freedom and personal responsibility (often using the phrase nanny state in the UK), and worry that the state may be emboldened to remove more and more choice in the name of better population health overall. Nanny state is a Derogatory term that refers to state Protectionism, Economic interventionism, or regulatory policies and the perception that However, proponents counter that inflicting disease on other people via passive smoking is not a human right, and in fact smokers are still free to smoke in their own homes.
Public hygiene includes public behaviors individuals can take to improve their personal health and wellness. Topics include public transportation, food preparation and public washroom use. These are steps individuals can take themselves. Examples would include avoiding crowded subways during the flu season, using gloves when touching the handrails and opening doors in public malls as well as going to clean restaurants.
The application of economics to the realm of public health has been rising in importance since the 1980s. Economics is the social science that studies the production distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The 1980s was the decade spanning from January 1 1980 to December 31 1989. Economic studies can show, for example, where limited public resources might best be spent to save lives or cause the greatest increase in quality of life.
Public health investigates sources of disease and descriptors of health through scientific methodology. This can lead to a public health solution to an epidemic, or a community based intervention for chronic diseases. Either way, research can provide the link between cause and effect for public health issues.
In contrast to clinical, patient oriented, or literature review research, community based participatory research (CBPR) investigates community-based etiology, involves community leaders, and overall respects the forces under which the community and its participants preside toward promoting and sustaining public health matters. Community-based participatory research (CBPR is Research that is conducted as an equal partnership between traditionally trained "experts" and members of a Community Etiology (alternatively aetiology, aitiology) is the study of causation. As described by the WK Kellogg Foundation Community Health Scholars Program, CBPR is a
"collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. CBPR begins with a research topic of importance to the community, has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social change to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities. "
CBPR methods have been necessary for implementation of certain public health actions. This have been difficult to accomplish because communities in poorer, less well developed areas often distrust researchers and scientists from "outside. "