Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of illness and infirmity. Various definitions have been applied to health throughout the history of its existence. In modern times, the definition has been broadened to include prevention, diagnosis and treatments of diseases and their effects. It is the responsibility of health professionals to ensure that all people attain optimal health. It has been noted over the years that people’s attitude towards health and wellness has improved drastically resulting in greater health awareness and acceptance of medical advances.
The World Health Organization’s Health Definition is, “A healthy environment where the public’s health is ensured through effective communication and information systems that promote the identification, assessment, research and treatment of diseases and related conditions.” The WHO’s approach to defining health is comprehensive, as it includes prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatments of diseases. On a national level, a country’s health system needs to be capable of handling acute and chronic disease, ensuring quality health care, and protecting the rights of individuals to ensure their health. At the community level, community health systems work on preventing health problems through mass education, direct medical contact, and surveillance of the community.
By far, the best way to improve a country’s overall health is to ensure that all people have access to quality basic health services. These services should be made available at no cost except where alternative, more cost effective, solutions are available. This includes AIDS programs and related programs as well as immunization programs for children.