Improving Health Through Education and Knowledge Creation
Health, according to the World Health Organization, “is a state of total health: body weight, total body mass, total caloric intake, and height and gender.” A variety of other definitions have also been applied to health in the scientific community. Some of these are very simple indeed-efficient, balanced diet, regular exercise, and so on. Others are more complicated, including things like sleep, stress, alcohol abuse, workplace violence, and so on. When a society defines health in this way, it is easy to see how so much of what people do and think about can be so detrimental. It becomes easy to just look toward solutions like drugs and therapies, rather than looking toward prevention and remedies.
It’s too bad, because defining wellness isn’t an easy process. There are plenty of research papers out there that talk about the process of defining health, but it’s not something that comes naturally to most of us. It tends to get put into medical conversations, with reference to heart disease or strokes or other life threatening diseases. The important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a ‘waste’ disease, and that prevention is the best form of public health care.
Public health professionals and experts aren’t always talking about prevention. They’re talking about improving health through education, knowledge creation, and action. And that action can take many forms. Programs such as the National Health Service or the immunization programs known as Pneumonia, tuberculosis and viral Hepatitis programs are all designed to improve health through education and knowledge creation and to raise awareness. Prevention is definitely a key component here, but when you think about it, there’s an awful lot of waste that’s going into the making of health decisions and public health programs, such as the flu shots that everyone receives each year.