Public Health is the science and art of promoting health, preventing disease, and prolonging life through the organized efforts of the society. Scientific basis for public health practice is provided by study of Epidemiology, Bio-statistics, Environment, Demography, Nutrition, Economics, Social and Biological sciences. While epidemiology plays a central role, social sciences make essential contributions in the study of determinants of health, and in the development and evaluation of effective public health interventions. Public health actions are directed at whole populations so as to provide safe environment, healthier food and accessible health care.
Public Health Challenges continued to burden the existing resources both in India & abroad. Attempts towards achieving the millennium development goals. While old diseases continued to challenge health systems, new deceases have appeared. Hence the overburdening the health system. The countries have taken up the responsibility towards creating a healthier population. Govt. & Voluntary organizations are working together to improve the health system through different approaches. Public Health Professionals help them bridging the gap between the clinical , managerial & Programme implementation aspects & inputs.
Public Health programme demand a special emphasis on the study of diseases epidemiology, determinants of health, emerging challenges in health, Public policy, programme management. In future Public Health professionals will be required in all the scientific studies, National Health Programmes, sanitation, clean water, garbage waste disposal etc.
MPH Basic Competencies
The five core competencies of public health are as follows
Discipline of Public Health
Public health is the art and science of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organized efforts of society. The goal of public health is the biologic, physical, and mental well-being of all members of society. Thus, unlike medicine, which focuses on the health of the individual patient, public health focuses on the health of the public in the aggregate. To achieve this broad, challenging goal, public health professionals engage in a wide range of functions involving technology, social sciences, and politics. Public health professionals utilize these functions to anticipate and prevent future problems, identify current problems, identify appropriate strategies to resolve these problems, implement these strategies, and finally, evaluate their effectiveness.
In this chapter, we introduce the reader to the scope and current major concerns of public health as we enter the twenty-first century, giving examples of each. It is the goal of the chapter to assist the readers in understanding the conceptual framework of the field, which will help them in placing the subsequent more detailed chapters in the context of the entire field of public health.