Health Inequality Within Communities Essay

2905 words - 12 pages

Introduction
Public health as it is implicated in the lives of the community – it is important to conceptualise what this might mean. Moreover, public health has seen as a multidiscipline perspective in which it can be defined on many levels, and I find that it could be elusive to understand its meaning. By simple understanding of public health, I refer to an approach derived by Winslow (1920) and Baggott (2000).
In some way, public health is seen as a modern philosophical and ideological perspective based on ‘equity’ and aimed to determine inequitable in society. It seen as a ‘science’ and ‘art’ in the sense that it deals with the cause of disease, treatment of illness as well as it involves laboratory experiments, intervention and promoting of health of the population. Winslow (1920, p. 23) defined public health as ‘the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting physical health and efficiency through organised community efforts for the sanitation of the environment, the control community infections, the education of the individual in principles of personal hygiene, the organisation of medical and nursing service for early diagnosis and preventive treatment of disease, and the development of social machinery which will ensure to every individual in the community a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health. On the other hand, it is ‘the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organised effort of society’ (Acheson, 1998; in Cowley S, 2002, p. 261).
This is more holistic approach in the sense that it ‘involves the promotion of health, preventing of disease, the treatment of illness, the care for those who are disabled and continuous development of technical and social means for the pursuit of these health objectives’ (Smith and Jacobson, 1988, p.3; in Baggott,2000, p.1). Simply, in this broader knowledge, public health refers as ‘the health of a population’ (Baggott, 2000, p.1); and it is rooted on ‘health’ aspect - the product of a complex interaction of various factors and it is based on individual and population levels. WHO (1946) defined health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absent of disease or infirmity’ (Orme et al. 2003, p. 8; Cowley 2002, p. 45; Graig and Lindsay, 2000, p. 76; Gormley 1999,p.147).
Taking in account, the concept of public health is profoundly acknowledging us ‘the important of socioeconomic factors and their interaction with people’s lifestyles in determining both quality of life and cause of death in which has been taken full into account. It is concerned with the community based population health and the major focus of public health intervention is to prevent rather than treat a disease or ‘provision of care and treatment services’ (Baggott, 2000, p. 1). Nevertheless, the concept of public health has attracted many criticisms, much of which runs in parallel with criticisms...

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