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Teaching material in mathematics, Montessori method. School background.

Public health aims are achieved through surveillance of cases and the promotion of healthy behaviors, communities and environments. Analyzing the determinants of health of a population and the threats it faces is the basis for public health.

Many diseases are preventable through simple, nonmedical methods. For example, research has shown that the simple act of handwashing with soap can prevent the spread of many contagious diseases. In other cases, treating a disease or controlling a pathogen can be vital to preventing its spread to others, either during an outbreak of infectious disease or through contamination of food or water supplies. Public health communications programs, vaccination programs and distribution of condoms are examples of common preventive public health measures.

Public health, together with primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, is part of a country’s overall health care system. Many interventions of public health interest are delivered outside of health facilities, such as food safety surveillance, distribution of condoms and needle-exchange programs for the prevention of transmissible diseases.

Public health plays an important role in disease prevention efforts in both the developing world and in developed countries through local health systems and non-governmental organizations.

Public health requires Geographic Information Systems (GIS) because risk, vulnerability and exposure involve geographic aspects.