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What is Public Health and Why Should You Be Paying Closer Attention?

Written by Courteney

Posted on April 3, 2017 at 12:50 am

The first week in April is National Public Health Awareness week, so we wanted to take a closer look at just how important public health is to us all as individuals, and our country (and planet) as a whole.

What is Public Health, Exactly?

Public health is essentially the science of promoting public wellbeing and safety. It involves informing the public of potential health hazards such as infectious diseases, promoting safety and awareness and helping prevent illness for the general public. The leading public health resource and authority in the United States is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What Does the CDC Do?

CDC professionals work tirelessly to:

  • Provide credible, thoroughly researched health information.
  • Work with local, state and federal partners to keep watch on and help prevent infectious disease outbreaks.
  • Conduct health research.
  • Warn public of potential infectious hazards, and gives information on what to watch out for and how to avoid particular illnesses.
  • Lead public, front-line health efforts to help control infectious diseases.
  • Help develop and reform health policies.
  • Help disseminate important health-related government information by making it more accessible to general public.
  • Provide a detailed, current database of information about countless diseases and conditions.
  • Ensure the latest health information is always up-to-date.
  • Provide funding for state and national health programs and facilities.
  • Promote healthy lifestyles and behaviors.

All these efforts by the CDC and similar organizations help keep us all safer and healthier.

Public Awareness is Power

By warning the public of various serious or life-threatening contagious diseases, public health organizations like the CDC or the WHO (World Health Organization) can help us learn what symptoms to be on the look out for, precautionary measures to take and other ways to prevent contracting these illnesses. The more we know, the more we can do for our own health.

Which Issues Fall Under the Public Health Umbrella?

Public health usually focuses on issues like smoking, cancer, infectious diseases, healthy living, diabetes and other chronic diseases, recent nutrition and diet information, HIV/AIDS, prenatal issues, climate change, pollution, obesity, vaccines and much more.

What Can You Do to Contribute to Better Public Health?

If you felt inclined to contribute to public health awareness, you can help make a difference by joining the public health movement, ‘Generation Public Health’, or helping raise awareness for certain diseases, causes, or organizations like the CDC on social media, or you can physically volunteer in your local public health sector.

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