Health programs aim to improve the quality of people’s lives through promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing disease. These programs can be as small as a school health program or as large as a public health agency. Health promotion programs reduce the costs that individuals, families, employers, insurance companies and medical facilities would have to pay for a health problem. Health education and prevention programs are essential to the success of these efforts.
Health education involves teaching students about their bodies and how they work. Typically, health education teaches students about the body’s structure and function, growth and development, nutritional health, personal health, safety and protection against injury and disease. Health education can also include a component that helps students build emotional and social skills to deal with life’s problems.
In schools health programs focus on the health and well-being of teachers, students and staff. School-based health programs often involve interdisciplinary teams and an interdisciplinary/interagency school health coordinating council. These groups assess needs and set goals for school health activities. They can also provide training for staff members, write proposals for funding and develop methods and materials for implementing coordinated school health programs.
The health of a person or a group of people can be defined as the state of being physically, mentally and emotionally well. It is a combination of social, economic and cultural factors that affect a person’s ability to live a full and productive life. Health programs seek to promote healthy lifestyles, prevent disease and injury, detect, treat and control infectious diseases, and ensure that the population has access to safe water, food and housing.
Public health is the branch of medicine concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. It is a holistic approach to healthcare that integrates research, community involvement and policy to achieve its objectives. Public health programmes address the prevention and control of diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera and HIV, as well as improving mental health and primary care, increasing nutrition among mothers and children and strengthening disease surveillance systems.
CDC’s mission is to save and improve lives by reducing the burden of disease and injuries due to poor health habits, environmental conditions and lack of access to affordable, quality healthcare. CDC works in the US and around the world to help prevent disease, injury and disability by promoting healthy behaviors, conducting research, and responding to epidemics and other public health emergencies.
CDC works to eliminate Guinea worm, river blindness, trachoma and lymphatic filariasis through public health interventions and raises awareness of these diseases to global stakeholders. It also supports broader policies that address the root causes of these diseases such as poverty, gender inequality, malnutrition and lack of accessibility to healthcare in rural areas. This is accomplished through a partnership approach that integrates the health sector with other sectors such as water, agriculture and transport. It is an approach that is increasingly being replicated in other countries. It is a model for sustainable, long-term health gains and has the potential to transform lives.