Whenever we come across the word ‘health,’ we often associate it with personal medical matters. Whereas public health mainly focuses on the health, well-being, and prevention of diseases among people in the public sphere. With the rapid increase in global population over the years and lack of environmental measures, the spread of new viruses and illnesses has become easier. The ongoing pandemic is a good example. It has caused distress and fear in everyone and has affected almost every aspect of our daily lives and business practices.
Anything as little as a virus is harmful to us. Hence doctors, nurses, and other public healthcare professionals invest their time to figure out ways to protect the environment and people. This includes the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
However, not all public health issues are caused by a virus. Some are caused by a general lack of awareness and ignorance towards healthy lifestyle choices. The good part is that people are now becoming more aware of these issues actively taking steps to counter their adverse effects. Educational facilities now offer diverse and flexible degrees such as this online MPA (Master’s in Public Administration) to equip motivated individuals with the necessary skills to address growing public health concerns. With that said, here are some of the significant public health issues that deserve more attention than ever.
Cardiovascular diseases are the class of diseases that involve heart and blood circulation-related issues. Heart attacks and strokes are some of the leading causes of death in the present time.
Cardiovascular diseases can arise due to various reasons. Some people are genetically more prone to them, while others fall ill due to personal habits. People who experience a stroke sometimes also have to face physical immobility due to their health conditions. Most people have high risks of reviving cardiovascular issues back even after going through surgeries within a certain period.
Many healthcare professionals fear that cardiovascular health might increase over time due to people making bad lifestyle choices such as eating unhealthy, not staying physically fit, and smoking. This is why it is essential to prioritize raising awareness about good habits to prevent this public health issue from going out of control. Individuals who are at risk should regularly get their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked.
Obesity is not just being overweight. People become obese when they consume more than the daily required amount of calories their body needs to function correctly. The excess fat gets stored in your body and causes weight gain in an unhealthy way. And just like cardiovascular diseases, some individuals have a genetic predisposition to the condition, while others just love to consume way too many calories and not burn them off.
Obesity has caused many premature deaths in the past years. What causes these deaths are several health issues triggered by excessive weight gain, such as the increased risk of clogged blood vessels, diminished organ function, and sometimes even fatal fractures. Diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, and strokes are examples of the problems that cause obesity.
Treating obesity as a public health concern isn’t straightforward as it may seem. Parents and teachers should ensure determining a healthy lifestyle for children followed by healthy meal plans. For adults, various campaigns can provide required exposure. That can educate them about living a healthy and physically active lifestyle and what being obese can do to them in the long run.
Use Of Intoxicants And Tobacco
Intoxicants like alcohol and tobacco are a literal cancer to public health and social well-being! People who frequently consume them get addicted without realizing it. Over usage has several long-term impacts on personal health, such as the increased risk of heart diseases, cancer, a weak immune system, and even poor mental health.
Not to mention drunk drivers wreak havoc on the roads and contribute to several deaths in road accidents every year. The consumption of intoxicants also has substantial adverse effects on social and family interactions leading to violence, abuse, and crime.
One solution to limit the use of intoxicants is to restrict their accessibility by jacking up their prices. They should not be easily accessible and affordable for everyone at all times. An increment in taxes on such items may result in people buying them less. However, this is not as straightforward as it sounds. Governments need to play their role in policy-making, whereas public healthcare professionals need to educate people about side-effects continually.
Infectious diseases are disorders known to cause by organisms like viruses, bacteria, etc. Some of them live within our bodies and are harmless. Still, under certain conditions, they can be extremely dangerous and life-threatening. The novel coronavirus is a perfect example of the latter. Since its outbreak, healthcare providers have been tirelessly working to develop a suitable vaccine to counter the viral infection.
Viral infections can be very threatening as no immediate and determined solution is available for them. Such viruses transmit from person-to-person via physical contact or air droplets.
Due to their potential to bring social activity to a complete standstill, viral infections and public hygiene are arguably the most significant public health concern – well, at least in current times. The solution to this is timely identification before the spread gets out of hand and regularly enforcing public awareness regarding personal and general hygiene. While opting for herd immunity may not always be an option, it is safer to take individual measures and amplify their impact to control the spread of viral infections.
AIDS is a life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. However, unlike the covid-19 virus, HIV is transmitted through sexual contact, blood exchange, or mother-to-child during pregnancy. Research has shown that most people don’t even know that they are affected by this virus until signs start showing, by which time it is already too late.
The rate of HIV infections is declining, but it still remains among the top public healthcare concerns in specific groups of people and underdeveloped countries. Measures that can help avoid the spread of this issue include launching more awareness campaigns and inculcating proper knowledge about STIs and STDs among students from an early age.
Air pollution is an overall global public health concern. A common cause of air pollution is everyday mundane activities, including commuting to work and back home. The burning of fossil fuels is one of the most significant environmental challenges we have yet to overcome.
Air pollution can be a cause of many severe health conditions. One of the most common ones is lung cancer and increased breathing difficulty, leading up to cardiovascular diseases. The solution to air pollution is to avoid the burning of excessive fossil fuels. Growing plantations globally can also facilitate the rapid reduction of air pollution making it more breathable.
Summing It All Up
Many healthcare providers put in effort and time in dealing with issues related to public health every day. Many lives have been lost due to a lack of knowledge and exposure to make the right choices. The population is multiplying, which exposes more people to numerous public health concerns as time goes by. It is imperative that we take strict measures to spread awareness about the concerns mentioned above. Only by creating awareness and collectively working together can we improve the overall state of our public health and social well-being.