Public Health and Epidemiology


PublicHealth and Epidemiology

Oneof the key interests of man is ensuring that his health is well takencare of. Public health and epidemiology are some of the methods thatenhance these interests. Epidemiology is the study of patterns ofdiseases and their effects on different populations. Public health onthe other hand is a system of promoting safety and health ofindividuals by improving their lifestyle. Epidemiology can thereforebe ingrained in public health. There have been significant events andoccurences in the history of mankind that have influenced the wayhealth care is delivered. These events date back to as far as 500 BCbut this paper will only discuss those events that have occurredsince the year 1988 to date.


Thesignificant event that occurred in this period was the publication ofthe report called The Future of Public Health by the Institute ofMedicine. This report offered a new perspective to public health. Itidentified ten essential services which the public health system wassupposed to carry out. These included: diagnosing and investigatingdifferent health problems in the community, public education onmatters concerning public health, develop the public health policies,enforce public health laws and regulations, research new methods thatcan be used to solve exixting health problems, mobilize thecommunity to help in the public health effort, ensure that allAmerican citizens have access to health care among other functions.


Inthis year, there was a publication called Healthy People 2000 by theCentre for Disease Control (CDC). This publication contained threehundred and nineteen objectives touching on twenty two differentpriority areas that were meant to improve the health of the Americanpopulation by the year 2000.


Thefood labeling act that was passed in this year enabled a betterpublic health delivery system. the people were aware of what theywere putting into their bodies and this was meant to reduceincidences of illnesses from consumption of harmful material (Curtis,2013).


Thisis the year where there was the master settlement agreement involvingtobacco companies. It helped people recognise tobacco as a threat totheir health.


Despitethe successes that had been achieved in the previous periods, the newcentury ushered in new threats. The public health sector had toadjust to cater for biological, chemical and radiological attacks byterrorist organisations. Therefore, in order to deal with thesethreats, the public health department has to adjust so that it cantake care of the citizens’ health in case of these threats.


Inthis year, the Institute of Medicine came up with the Future ofPublic Health in the Twenty First Century report. This reportbasically recognised the successes of the existing health system butalso acknowledged the new bio- threats that have come in the newcentury. This report affected the system by providing recommendationson how to strengthen the public health system. it called forparticipation from both private and public sectors.


Therewas also the development of the SARS virus that was first noticed inChina. It was a concern to the whole world because of the effects ithad. However, it was contained and prevented from spreading to therest of the world. The last case of the virus was reported in 2003(Abraham, 2004).


Afterthirteen years of research, a project called Human Genome Projectwas completed. This research led to the creation of the field calledthe public health genomics. It involved a study of the human DNA andled to different applications in fields such as human behaviour anddiet.


Thisis the year when hurricane Ktrina hit the United states. It revealedthe fact that the public health system was inadequately prepared todeal with incidences of such magnitude despite their possibilities ofhappening. However, since that time, more measures have been taken toensure the repeat does not take place.


TheCentre for Disease Control published another document called HealthyPeople 2010. This was a follow up of the Healthy People 2000. It alsooutlined ways through which the public health department wouldachieve health objectives for the new century.


Abraham,T. (2004). Twenty-firstcentury plague: The story of SARS.Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Curtis,P. A. (2013). Guideto US Food Laws and Regulations.Wiley.