Tuesday, June 29, 2021

5 Essential Functions of Public Health Professionals

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Cells, Human, Medical, Biology, Health, Anatomy

A doctor treats sick people by identifying the symptoms and running diagnostic scans, but what lies behind such treatment methodologies? The common perception is that it is a doctor's qualification and experience. However, it still entails research and detailed efforts of people working in the public health sector. People often confuse healthcare and public health as they think it is all the same. Besides health is a common concern, a healthcare system focuses on facilitating the primary caregivers and patients in any health institution like hospitals.

On the other hand, public health protects the health of all populations. These populations can range in size from as little as a local community in your neighborhood. And as large as an entire region of the world. 

The world realized the value of public health and its workers during the COVID-19 testing period. They reflected on the horrific deaths caused by a novel coronavirus. We would not have lived without the assistance of public health personnel and healthcare specialists. Furthermore, public health professionals prevent health-related problems from happening or recurring by implementing their knowledge, expertise, skills, and education. From conducting research studies to educating people about their health and hygiene, public health plays a vital role in sustaining the healthcare standards of the general population. 

Due to transition within the healthcare systems and the emergence of health challenges, the demand for public health professionals is on the rise. In addition, public health professionals are playing a substantial role in improving the health standards and facilitating the underprivileged segment of a population through their policies. Following are some of the essential functions that public health professionals are playing. 

1. Creating awareness

After the outbreak of COVID-19, the demand for public health workers increased. Schools and universities witnessed a 20% rise in applications for bachelor's and masters in public health online and on-campus. Lack of awareness is one of the primary causes of the spread of dangerous diseases and viruses. People do not have a good grasp of various conditions or how to prevent them. Public health professionals play a significant role in creating awareness about the diseases and teaching preventative measures. They also educate people about the severity of diseases and their identifying or unusual symptoms they should look for to seek urgent medical assistance. Many African countries have strengthened their healthcare workforce by collaborating with healthcare professionals. It is because they understand the crucial role that awareness plays in curbing the spread of awareness. 

2. Monitoring health conditions in communities 

Community health is one of the integral parts of public health. A society can only strive if every community has access to healthcare facilities or stable living conditions. Public health professionals often assess the drinking water quality and the living conditions of a community to calculate the risk and prevalence of the disease. They look after the hygiene and collect data to alert the state or local government to take necessary actions to improve the situation. Underprivileged communities often have many prevalent diseases like flu, measles, and diarrhea resulting from poor living conditions. Public health professionals can assist policymakers in improving access to healthcare facilities in such areas. 

3. Health delivery system

Healthcare extends beyond any race or ethnicity, and it should be equal for every individual regardless of socioeconomic status. People living in rural areas suffer from chronic diseases more frequently than those living in urban areas. One of the primary reasons for chronic diseases in rural areas is inadequate health delivery systems and resources. Streamlining the healthcare services and ensuring their prompt delivery in underprivileged areas is an essential role of public health professionals. A proper healthcare infrastructure can alleviate different complexities arising due to inadequate or non-functioning healthcare systems. 

4. Strengthening immunity

Preventing the spread of disease extends beyond the awareness and health delivery system. Diseases like polio, influenza and even the current pandemic of COVID-19 require a cure. The world is no longer seeing polio cases because of the immunity boosters like vaccines preparing our bodies to fight these diseases. Public health professionals collect data, identify the statistics, and opt for immunization measures to prevent the disease from recurring and doing further damage. Ensuring the equal distribution of vaccines for older generations and children builds the immunity to control the spread of diseases. 

5. Risk communication 

Preventing disease is only possible if people and the local governing bodies are ready for what's next. Public health professionals identify the potential threats like obesity, lead poisoning, pandemics, air pollution, or other pathogens responsible for causing serious illnesses. Timely identification is what leads to the prevention of disease. It makes it possible to nip the evil in the bud in its early stages. Effective risk communication is one of the most crucial skills of public health professionals to alert the people and concerned authorities. 


Public health is all about promoting awareness, preventing the spread of diseases, and protecting population health. Public health professionals look to conduct research, gathering the data for epidemiology purposes to monitor the situation of diseases to design strategies for coping with the worse effects of diseases. In addition, these professionals devise policies for reducing risks by promoting immunization. Public health promotion focuses on the strategies to diminish the complexities and taking necessary steps for future occurrences. Thus, public health ensures the population's general health and undermines the improvement of living conditions essential for a healthy life. 


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