Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a condition “of full physical, mental and emotional well-being with no restrictions of health.” Various definitions have been employed over the years for various purposes. One definition that is commonly used today is “exceedingly well matched with appropriate standards of health, provided for by legislation,” which means that the individual meets standards that are necessary for optimal health.
Public health and prevention can be described as a combination of preventative measures and curative measures. These include efforts to decrease the numbers of persons affected by communicable diseases, control or reduce the causes of serious health problems and improve the quality of life of people affected by such diseases. The term “communicable diseases” refers to those that cannot be prevented from being transmitted from person to person. Some examples include: tetanus, diphtheria, rabies, AIDS, leprosy, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Prevention is a broad term that involves various strategies to reduce the risks of infection and illness. These include: limiting the spread of infectious organisms, educating people about their health, monitoring and testing those who are at risk and providing protective equipment to those at risk, preventing disease, and providing support to those who are ill or injured. These strategies are designed to reduce the numbers of people infected by communicable diseases and to protect the healthy members of the community from infection.
Prevention is an action or a series of activities directed toward making the population safe from disease, its symptoms and its consequences. This approach has been used since ancient times to deal with a wide range of health issues. It can be defined as a conscious determination not to cause harm in the pursuit of reasonable solutions to problems. Public health, as it relates to communicable diseases, can be seen as a component of a comprehensive public health strategy that would address the many different risks associated with communicable diseases. The term is widely used and may have many different meanings, but they all have one common factor.