The Covid-19 pandemic shined a spotlight on public health. The health of communities and individuals has always been important. But the pandemic focused attention on how public health affects everyone.
An Explanation of Public Health
Public health concerns the issue of protecting the health of people and their communities. This includes all people – from those in small neighborhoods to whole countries or worldwide regions.
Professionals in public health are concerned with three major goals:
– Preventing sickness and illness from developing
– Stopping health problems that are already spreading
– Preventing existing issues from getting out of control
Information is shared with the public about protecting themselves from a specific illness or sickness. Public health professionals may also offer health services and conduct medical research. The promotion of access to healthcare and good medical treatment is encouraged.
Public Health in the United States
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the main health protection agency in the United States. The purpose of the CDC is to protect the health of all Americans and to save lives.
The CDC has responsibilities that include:
- Preventing or controlling disease outbreaks within America.
- Assuring that America has clean water and safe food.
- Educating the public about ways to avoid illnesses such as viruses, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.
- Monitoring global threats that may impact health in the United States.
During a national health security threat – such as the Covid-19 pandemic – the CDC takes immediate action. They are responsible for discovering how the problem spreads, why it is making people sick, and what preventative actions (if any) are possible.
The reach of the CDC extends beyond the United States. The agency works closely with local and state public health departments in all 50 states. But the CDC also has headquarters in more than 50 countries, including Brazil, South Africa, Jamaica, India, and Ghana.
Public Health Connects the World
Public health is important worldwide. A sickness can develop in one small corner of the world. And that sickness can easily spread to multiple parts of the world.
The goal of public health is to keep everyone safe. And to prevent sickness and illness from spreading. Good public health aids and prolongs the lives of everyone on the planet.