Public health refers to the science of improving and protecting families as well as the entire population by putting in place organized measures to prevent diseases and promoting healthy lifestyles for purposes of ensuring that life is prolonged. This is done through planning and conducting research with respect to diseases, injury prevention, detection and control of infectious diseases. These undertakings are aimed at creating an environment in which people can be safe, and healthy. Public health efforts are targeted at entire populations and not on specific patients or diseases. Public health is therefore concerned with the entire system; not only the extinction of a certain disease but also in identifying health problems and priorities of the communities and the population at large.
Functions of Public Health
First, public health ensures that all populations have access to suitable and affordable care, including health promotion and disease prevention services. This is done through provision of educational programs that sensitize people on healthy living with the aim of eradicating diseases. Secondly, public health efforts involve formulation of public policies to solve as well as identify local and national health problems and priorities. Public health professionals monitor and diagnose health concerns within communities and promote healthy practices and behavior’s to ensure that populations stay safe and healthy. A large part of public health ensures that there is equity in accessing healthcare and that the services offered are of quality. Generally, the total population that public health is concerned in protecting can be as small as local communities or can comprise an entire nation or region of the world. The underlying principles of public health have to do with a focus on preventive health as opposed to curing diseases. Public health does not focus on individuals; rather its efforts must seek to address the needs of many people living in an area.