Health People in Healthy Communities (Public Health Functions Steering Committee APHA1995)
Promote Physical and Mental, Social, Societal, Economical, Spiritual, Emotional and Vocational well being, and Prevent Disease, Injury and Disability
Dubai Emirate Public Health and safety shall protect, promote, and enhance sustainably the health and well-being of citizens, residents as well as visitors of Dubai through an integrated program of services, information, education, research and practices aiming at eliminating health disparities and controlling the socio economic determinants of health.
Our mission acknowledged the need for an organized, coordinated multisectoral approach involving all concerned stakeholders with emphasis on community engagement, involvement and empowerment in health development, through culturally and ethically sound practices.
Public Health Approach
The Public Health mission acknowledge the vital role of building alliances and partnership with concerned stakeholders from in and out the health sector through an organized and coordinated multisectoral approach by means of community engagement, empowerment, organization, mobilization and sustainable planning to:
• Prevents epidemics and the spread of disease.
• Protects against environmental hazards.
• Prevent Injuries.
• Promotes and encourages healthy behaviors.
• Responds to disasters and assists communities in recovery.
• Assures the quality and accessibility of health services.
Public Health Functions
– Tracking and preventing disease and other threats; regulating dangerous environmental and workplace exposures; and ensuring the safety of water, air and food.
– Health promotion, defined as “the process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health” (World Health Organization [WHO], 1986), creates living and working conditions that enable people to make healthy life choices, and then supports them in that choice.
– The focus should be on groups or communities, rather than on individuals, and on changing the social norms that ultimately shape behavior.
– This is accomplished through a set of health promotion strategies focused on communities, groups and individuals. Based on the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (WHO, 1986), these strategies are:
- Develop public policies (and private sector policies) beyond the health care sector that will improve health (e.g. a healthy energy policy, or a healthy food policy);
- create physical and social environments supportive of health;
- Strengthen communities’ capacities to address health issues of importance to them, and to mutually support their members in improving their health;
- Help people to develop the skills they need to make healthy life choices, and to care for themselves and their families’ minor or chronic ailments; and where necessary,
- Re-orient health services to support health promotion, health protection, and the prevention of disease, disability, and injury.
– Helping assure access to high quality health care for all populations
Health Assessment and Disease Surveillance:
– Monitor and report on population health status, and changes in that status, particularly with respect to core programs; and
– Detect disease clusters and outbreaks (both communicable and non-communicable) through community-based, hospital-based, clinical epidemiology and laboratory surveillance networks (microbiological, genetic, metabolic, and toxicological).
Definition of Public health:
Public Health as defined by WHO is: “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals."
Public Health in simple words:
• Is concerned with threats to the overall health of a community based on population health analysis.
• The population in question can be as small as a handful of people or as large as all the inhabitants of several continents (for instance, in the case of a pandemic).
• Public health is typically divided into epidemiology, biostatistics and health services. Environmental, Social, Behavioral and Occupational Health and Health Promotion and Health Education are also important fields.
There are 2 distinct characteristics of public health:
• It deals with preventive rather than curative aspects of health
• It deals with population-level, rather than individual-level health issues
The WHO holistic meaning of Health:
World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as:
"A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
As health is a multidimensional phenomenon, other dimensions were added to the physical, mental and social. These are: societal, emotional, economic, vocational , spiritual and economic
Public Health Services
10 Essential Public Health Services (se figure below /public health wheel)
1. Monitor health status to identify community health problems.
2. Diagnose and investigate health problems hazards in the community.
3. Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
4. Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems.
5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
7. Link people to services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
8. Assure a competent public health and personal health care workforce.
9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
10. Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.
Assure competent workforce
Link to/Provide care
Inform, educate, empower
Mobilize community partnerships
Diagnose & Investigate
Source: Public Health Functions Steering Committee, Members (July 1995):
(Adopted by PHFSC: Fall 1994 )