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Top 4 Common Public Health Problems and How They Can Be Prevented

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There are countless public health concerns prevalent worldwide, ranging from alcoholism to obesity and many more. Though public health representatives work tirelessly to ensure that public health issues are minimised, making a significant positive difference is difficult.  

Catering to the population’s health issues needs contributions from not just healthcare personnel but also other stakeholders, government agencies, and nonprofit organisations. 

Collaboration among people from different specialisations is essential to launch public health initiatives to bring about change. Healthcare representatives’ job is to educate the general public about disease risk factors. However, the policymakers must ensure that adequate measures are taken to prevent the public health concern.

Addiction

Addiction can cause several health issues, such as lung damage, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. 

Common addictions prevalent today include cigarette smoking, methamphetamine use, and alcoholism. It is commonly known that tobacco smoke is associated with a high risk of cancers, particularly lung cancer. 

Similarly, methamphetamines can cause serious dental problems, while an opioid overdose can result in significant respiratory failure and death. Other drugs, such as inhalants, can destroy the neurons in the brain, negatively impacting the nervous system. 

Increased drug use by IV injections has also increased the incidence of HIV and liver diseases such as hepatitis C. 

Numerous policies based on clinical evidence must be introduced to limit the prevalence of addiction among the general population. There must be widespread public awareness programs to educate patients about the consequences of continuing addictive behaviours. 

Healthcare professionals play a critical role in patient education and can improve their knowledge base by pursuing masters in public health online programs to ensure better practice. 

Systemic changes and policies can also be worthwhile, such as those imposing taxes on alcohol or cigarettes. A much higher cost will discourage people from consuming large quantities of alcohol or other drugs, which would significantly reduce the harmful effects they may cause on their health. 

In addition, help should be given to those trying to get rid of an addiction or substance abuse; the government should facilitate them if they cannot afford to go to a rehab centre.

Mental health

Mental health significantly influences a person’s ability to live a long and happy life. Hence, ensuring good mental health is a significant public health issue that should be addressed. 

Poor mental health makes it hard for people to function in their daily lives, and interactions at work or with family can be seriously draining. Such individuals suffer from a significant burden of social, economic, and physical problems. 

As a public health issue, measures are needed to promote a healthy lifestyle and timely detection of any prevalent issue so that the disease is timely addressed. The massive impact of mental health on an individual’s social and physical well-being makes ensuring good mental health an integral element of public health goals. 

Public health representatives can help communities tackle this public health issue by creating awareness about this menace. 

Catering to a community’s mental needs requires a detailed and comprehensive approach. Mental health problems can be prevented by ensuring easy access to mental health services. 

Additionally, support programs can be introduced, which can help people who are struggling with mental health issues, and also support those who are recovering.

Obesity

Obesity has become a significant public health concern throughout the world. It has become increasingly prevalent due to a rise in urbanization, a sedentary lifestyle, and greater consumption of processed foods that are high in calories. Lack of attention towards childhood obesity has also made it a significant public health problem.

Diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary artery diseases are a few significant complications that may arise from obesity. Therefore, controlling obesity is of utmost importance to manage the life-threatening complications that arise from it.  

Measures must be taken, stressing the importance of introducing policies to manage obesity in people of all ages. Governments and public health officials can work together to aware the general masses about the hazardous effects of obesity and how it can create problems in their lives.

It is essential and recommended to eat a healthy diet to curb the problem of obesity and to live a long and healthy life.

Cardiovascular

Cardiovascular health issues are significant medical health conditions that prevail worldwide, putting a substantial financial burden on the individual and the family. 

Poor lifestyle habits, sedentary lifestyles, and poor diet choices have become significant risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases. 

Prevention of cardiovascular diseases and conditions such as stroke is possible if the risk factors causing it are alleviated. Additionally, addressing the variables responsible for the disease, such as a genetic predisposition earlier, can prevent the progression of the disease. 

Throughout the world, with the help of different medical-related programs, efforts are being made to curb the high incidence of cardiovascular diseases. These programs focus on educating the general population about cardiovascular diseases, how it affects them and what can be done to prevent them, and also by introducing policies which is beneficial for their health and environment. 

Though an individual approach is essential for controlling poor cardiovascular health, the government and other healthcare organisations’ involvement is also needed for managing disease progression. 

Health programs must be introduced to improve tertiary care settings to limit the spread of preventable diseases, one of which is cardiovascular disease. 

Surveillance strategies must also be designed to quantify the disease’s burden. Doing so will allow the better identification of the people at risk of developing the condition so that the people can be identified and timely interventions are made. 

Takeaway

Highlighting public health problems is critical so they can be promptly addressed and a viable solution can be made public. Healthcare agencies and government must be vigilant and join hands to cater to the needs of the people who are at risk. The inability to do so can contribute to a much more significant economic and social burden in society.


Zuella Montemayor did her degree in psychology at the University of Toronto. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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