MPH502-Introduction to Public Health (Module 4 SLP) - Essay Example

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It was a comprehensive health promotion and disease prevention program that aspired to cover all corners of United States. This program had two main…
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Focus Areas of Healthy People ‘Healthy People was set in motion by the Department of Health and Human Services in the early months of 2000. It was a comprehensive health promotion and disease prevention program that aspired to cover all corners of United States. This program had two main objectives; to increase the quality and duration of healthy life and reduce disparities in health parameters that exist between different communities and groups defined on grounds of race, ethnicity, religion, education levels and economic status. In order to achieve its stated goal, the program had laid down 28 focus areas where each such focus area constituted an important segment of public health. These focus areas are:
Access to quality health services
Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Chronic Back
Chronic Kidney Disease
Disability and Secondary Conditions
Environmental Health
Educational and Community-Based Programs
Family Planning
Food Safety
Health Communication
Heart Disease and Stroke
Immunization and Infectious Diseases
Injury/Violence Prevention
Maternal, Infant, Child Health
Medical Product Safety
Mental Health and Mental Disorders
Nutrition and Overweight
Occupational Safety and Health
Oral Health
Physical Activity and Fitness
Respiratory Diseases
Public Health Infrastructure
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Substance Abuse (including alcohol)
Tobacco Use
Vision and Hearing
Source: (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009)
As can be observed from the given list of focus areas, each area represented an important parameter of public health as for example, access to quality health services and improvement of public health infrastructure surely are some of the basic requirements for any public health agenda to be really effective and successful.
Also, timely intimation of impending health hazards is an equally important part of a health program if it anticipates voluntary and enthusiastic participation from all sections of the society. People must be aware of an issue before they can react positively to it. Similarly, immunization and protection against infectious diseases that might affect large sections of the community is also a very important part of a successful national health program.
Environmental health, as is widely acknowledged, forms an intrinsic part of a healthy society and quite rightly it finds a mention among 28 focus areas of ‘Healthy People 2010’.
Children are the future of any society and if United States wants to attain a healthy future, it is quite natural that maternal, infant and child health should occupy an important place in any public health initiative.
Fitness is essence of healthy life and overweight can be eliminated only through properly calibrated physical activity and proper nutrition. Thus, quite obviously, these form a part of the focus areas.
Education is possibly the single most potent tool to make people responsible and aware of public health issues as it enables people to fully realize their rights and duties as members of civil society and such an awareness can best be spread through programs that involve entire communities.
Tobacco is a silent killer and it is being accepted to be so by all leading medical and health practitioners. Thus, it is no wonder that tobacco use and substance abuse (including alcohol) also find their place among 28 focus areas. The other focus areas as cancer, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, mental health and mental disorders, sexually transmitted diseases and chronic kidney disease are some of the biggest threats to large number of people and thus they also are present among the focus areas of ‘Healthy People 2010’.
Leading Health Indicators
‘Healthy People 2010’ is essentially a program where there is a need to involve entire communities. So, over and above declaring the focus areas of ‘Healthy People 2010’, it is also necessary to provide health indicators that are easily understood by all strata of the society and it becomes that much easier for administrators to motivate communities to be willing partners in this nationwide health initiative. Keeping this in mind, the program has laid down ten major health indicators (which are essentially part of the 28 point focus area) that represent the main health concerns of United States in the beginning of 21st century. These health indicators are:
Physical Activity
Overweight and Obesity
Tobacco Use
Substance Abuse
Responsible Sexual Behavior
Mental Health
Injury and Violence
Environmental Quality
Access to Health Care (Healthy People, 2006)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009, October 14). Healthy People 2010 Focus Areas at a Glance. Retrieved December 03, 2009, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Healthy People. (2006, August 27). What are the Leading Health Indicators? Retrieved November 03, 2009, from Healthy People: Read More
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