Health Promotion, Disease Prevention, and Health Maintenance Essay
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Health promotion, disease prevention, and health maintenance are related terms that all pertain to public health. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2011) defines health promotion as "the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behaviour towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions." Promoting health involves marketing and publicizing information that can help individual consumers, communities, and organizations make decisions that reflect scientifically proven methods of creating health. For example, if scientists discover that smoking causes cancer, a public health organization can create public service announcements related to that finding. The public service announcements might include television advertisements as well as advertisements in newspapers and magazines. In addition to using marketing channels, a public health promotion program can include changing public
policy to reflect public health and evidence-based practice. For instance, the banning of smoking in public areas reflects the health promotion campaign. Changing policies in schools as well as private organizations is also a goal of health promotion.
Disease prevention is related to health promotion, but is generally targeted at specific conditions. Those specific conditions might depend on the demographics of the community. For example, some illnesses impact certain ethnic groups more than others or certain age groups more than others. Issues impacting seniors, for instance, would be disease prevention concerns in areas with large elder populations. A disease prevention campaign would then target the population most affected by the disease. Disease prevention combines individual responsibility with public health awareness and public policy. Obesity, for example, is a common problem in the United States. The diseases related to obesity that can be prevented can be the target of advertising campaigns and media awareness. Local newspaper editors can participate in disease prevention programs by asking their team of writers…
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