Health Promotion And Disease Prevention

Health promotion

Historically, the concepts of health promotion and disease prevention have been closely related. According to WHO, health promotion is a process of enabling people to increase control over their health and improve it. It refers to any activity destined to help people to change their lifestyle and move towards a state of optimal health. Health promotion can be facilitated through a combination of efforts aimed at raising awareness, changing behaviours, and creating environments that support good health practices, healthy public policies and community development (10). The nature and scope of health promotion is illustrated in Figure 1.1.

Successful health promotion demands a coordinated action by governments, the health sector and other social and economic sectors, nongovernmental and voluntary organizations, local authorities, industry and the media. A list of required health promotion strategies across sectors and settings is contained in the Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion in a Globalized World (11 ) (see Box 1.1). For neurological disorders, health promotion is particularly important. In the case of traumatic brain injuries, development of policies in countries to prevent road traffic accidents and legislation to wear helmets are examples of health promotion strategies.

Disease prevention

The concept of disease prevention is more specific and comprises primary, secondary and tertiary prevention (12). Primary prevention is defined as preventing the disease or stopping individuals from becoming at high risk. Universal and selective preventive interventions are included in primary prevention. Universal primary prevention targets the general public or a whole population group without an identified specific risk (e.g. iodine supplementation programmes to prevent neurological and other disorders caused by iodine deficiency). Selective primary prevention targets individuals or subgroups of the population whose risk of developing disease is significantly higher than average, as evidenced by biological, psychological or social risk factors (e.g. prevention of stroke through adequate management of hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia). Secondary prevention aims at decreasing the severity of disease or reducing risk level or halting progression of disease through early detection and treatment of diagnosable cases (e.g. ensuring drug compliance in the treatment of epilepsy). Tertiary prevention includes interventions that reduce premature death and disability, enhance rehabilitation and prevent relapses and recurrence of the illness. Rehabilitation may mitigate the effects of disease and thereby prevent it from resulting in impaired social and occupational functioning; it is an important public health intervention that has long been neglected by decision-makers. Moreover, rehabilitation is an essential aspect of any public health strategy for chronic diseases, including a number of neurological disorders and conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and the consequences of stroke or traumatic brain injury. Box 1.2 describes some examples illustrating the role of primary, secondary and tertiary preventive strategies for the neurological disorders discussed in this document.

Figure 1.1 Nature and scope of health promotion

Figure 1.1 Nature and scope of health promotion

Delicious Diabetic Recipes

Delicious Diabetic Recipes

This brilliant guide will teach you how to cook all those delicious recipes for people who have diabetes.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment