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Introduction to Public Health. What is Public Health?. Public health is the science of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices or society. (C.E.A.Winslow, 1920) It is concerned with the overall health of a community.
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What is Public Health? • Public health is the science of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices or society. (C.E.A.Winslow, 1920) • It is concerned with the overall health of a community.
Characteristics of Public Health • It deals with preventative rather than reactionary measures. • It deals with population-level health issues, not individual-level ones.
Public Health Components • Public Health usually is divided into smaller categories: • Epidemiology: studying the factors that affect a populations health • Biostatistics: the collection, summarization and analysis of health data • Health Services: the preservation of health through the services of health professionals (nurses, doctors, dentists…)
The Focus • The focus of public health is to prevent disease/illness through surveillance and the promotion of healthy behaviours. • Sometimes curing a disease can be a form of prevention as in most infectious disease outbreaks.
The Goal • The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not just the absence of disease”. • The goal of public health is to improve lives through the treatment and prevention of disease.
KFL&A Health Unit • This is Kingston’s Public Health Unit. • Website: www.kflapublichealth.ca • It provides information on health issues for the Kingston area. • It also has resources for educators, immunization clinics, travel health clinics, sexual health clinics and info for all age groups as well as business owners and bosses in workplaces.
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care • This is the provincial public health unit. • Website: http://www.health.gov.on.ca • It keeps track of health issues affecting Ontarians. • It also comes up with initiatives that the government deems necessary to act upon in our province. • Currently, diabetes, H1N1 flu, and colon cancer are some of the problems being focused on in Ontario.
Health Canada • This is our national public health unit. • Website: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index-eng.php • It looks after health issues affecting Canadians. • Covers many of the same issues and preventative measures that provincial and municipal public health agencies in Ontario cover since a third of the Canadian population is in Ontario.
Homework • What is public health? • What are the sub-categories of public health? What do they look at? • If you live in Kingston, Ontario, what three public health agencies do you fall under? • Choose an issue affecting a fictional person and see what info the public health agencies can give you about that topic. Possible health topics include: obesity, diabetes, any STD, seasonal flu, H1N1 flu, nutrition, exercise, alcohol or drug use, etc…