What is Public Health?
Heather L Tuttle
Intro to Public Health
Kent State University
19 Dec 2010
When asked what public health is, a majority of people will say healthcare for the poor; however, public health goes much deeper than that. Although the definition of public health has changed over the years the modern meaning is “the totality of all evidence-based public and private efforts that preserve and promote health and prevent disease, disability and death.” Public health is very broad, which is why we need to understand that genetics along with behavior, infection, geography, environment, medical care, and social/economic status are major factors in the spread of disease.
. Behaviors can influence a majority of things in a persons’ life, especially their health. While you may not think about it, wearing a seatbelt is public health because it is used to prevent injury or death in the event of an accident. Many people are embarrassed to talk about their sexual behaviors, and it’s sad because unsafe, promiscuous sex can lead to diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and even AIDS. If more people were open about their sexual behaviors, I believe that the spread of STD’s would significantly decrease. Diet and exercise are two positive behaviors that can help in the prevention of diseases such as diabetes and heart attack.
Geography is another major factor is describing public health. Some diseases, such as malaria and scurvy, often happen only in certain geographical areas. Africa is widely known for both diseases mainly due to dirty waters, lack of nutrition, and unhealthy living conditions.
In 2009, 14.3 % of Americans were considered to be living in poverty, which means a single person with a yearly income at or below $10,830. In order to be able to see a doctor for treatment of illness of disease, a person must have insurance or lots of money, but what are they supposed to do when neither is an option? The sad reality is that...
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