Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many morepublic health issues that our communities face on a daily basis. To stop or control them, we need healthcare workers and proper public health promotion to guide and help in the prevention of such health problems. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the most common public health issues we see today in America and discuss potential solutions.
- Stroke and heart disease
In the United States, heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death. Heart disease claims the lives of approximately 610,000 people each year. High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, unhealthy eating habits and smoking all contribute to the rise inheart disease deaths. Not only that, over 130,000 people die each year as a result of strokes. Many strokes can impair mobility which is also a leading cause of disability.
The general public is aware that poor nutrition, inactivity, and obesity are linked to a variety of health issues. In America, 43% of the adult population and 19% of U.S. kids are considered obese. The CDC is attacking this complicated public health issue from the ground up, starting with schools, which should provide a high-quality lunch program and guarantee that students have access to nutritious foods and beverages. Multiple organizationsare programs for schools and workplaces that focus on promoting healthy habits, and incorporating physical activity into their lives.
- Tobacco-Related Diseases
Tobacco usage and the tobacco-related diseases are another common public health issue that needs to be addressed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Nearly 40 million U.S. adults still smoke cigarettes, and about 4.7 million middle and high school students use at least one tobacco product, including e-cigarettes.” The worst part about this situation is that over 500,000 people die each year from using it. The diseases and deaths caused from tobacco are 100% preventable. Tobacco users are more likely to succeed in stopping if they receive assistance from their doctor and have a support group to help them.
HIV and AIDS was label as an epidemic in 1981. Even though the cases have been reduced significantly, it has continued to be a major topic over the past forty years. HIV still has no cure and has claimed the lives of 36.3 million people globally to date. In the United States, over 1.1 million people are currently living with HIV. Luckily, over the last decade a new treatment option, antiretroviral therapy (ART), was introduced. ART does not cure HIV, but it suppresses viral outbreaks in the body, and allows the immune system to get stronger and recover so it can fight off future outbreaks.
The Need for More Public Health Care Workers
It may be easyto come up with ideas on how to create ahappier and healthier society, but these are complex problems and we need professionals to implement these ideas. That’s why the best solution to address these issues is found in the public healthcare work force. There are different fields you can get into but each of them play a role in positive population health promotion.
- Community Health Educators
Community health educators work along side specific populations, providing them education on local health care services and disease prevention.
- Environmental Health Scientists
These scientists use their knowledge of natural sciences to provide solutions to the problems that are affecting the environment and people’s health. They research areas of study such as the effects of climate change, pollution and water quality.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, epidemiologists now have one of the most importantcareers in the world. They investigate public health threats, identify their causes, look at risk factors, and provide solutions for them. This includes understanding different types of virus mutations and how they spread.
- HealthCare Administrators
Health care administrators work in management roles at hospitals, care centers and physician offices. Their ultimate goal is tocreate a health care environment that provides the highest quality care to patients.
- Public Health Advisors
Public health advisors offer assistance and guidance to public health organizations. They work together to improve local community health problems.
It’s apparent, that public health issues won’t disappear overnight. There are too many of them to tackle at one time. However, we shouldn’t lose hope. If we can boost the number of public health workers, we will have many more people in the workforce dedicated to solving these problems daily. And as more people become aware of these problems, there is a chance we can reduce or eradicate them all together.