Health is characterized not only as the overall wellbeing of a population but also the prevention and treatment of diseases. There are various agencies working tirelessly within communities to decrease the incidence of illness and to maintain the overall health of the community. These agencies employ various approaches, strategies and methods to measure, monitor and control the incidence of disease. Lifestyle choices of people largely affect the needs of health and social care.
Communities are regulated by different health agencies to ensure healthy living of well-being of the residents. The roles of these organizations are described below:
Public health organizations monitor the health status of the community. These agencies utilize proper tools for the interpretation and dissemination of data to target audience. Periodic assessment of health status in the community is also made by them.It is also the job of these agencies to diagnose and investigate health issues and risks in the community. In order to do that, they screen diseases; and do epidemiologic research of outbreaks and pattern of diseases. These agencies also organize educational activities to promote better health of the community members.Public health agencies may also buildunions to employ available resources fully; constructing partnerships to solve health problems.Public health agencies also formulate strategies and police to address the issues facing the healthy living of the community members. It helps them to plan and provide solutions of health related problems. These agencies also monitor that the laws and legislations related to health are being complied. They also ensure that the public has access to health care services when required and the workforce providing health care services are skilled and competent. They also investigate the effectiveness, convenience, and quality of the health services to make sure the best services are provided. Finally, these agencies also undertake research for betterunderstandings and newer solutions to health issues. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Influenza is a serious public health problem in the United Kingdom. It causes epidemics that occur every winter and cause many hospitalizations and deaths each year.(Center for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases)
Influenza becomes most widespreadduring winter. However, it has two seasons every year because of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere having winter at different times.To address this issue, the World Health Organization recommends two differentvaccineformulas each year for two different hemispheres. It is still a puzzle why Influenza occurs seasonally rather than prevailing during winter. There are various theories to explain this. During winter people stay indoors and are in close contact therefore promoting transmission easier. Another reason might be the fact that cold weathercauses air to become dry leading to the dehydration of mucus, and therefore preventing the human body from dismissingvirus. The virus also sustains longer in cold weather, and aerosol transmission is highest during winter. An alternative premise to describe the seasonality in influenza is an influence ofvitamin Dlevels. This idea was suggested by Robert Edgar Hope-Simpson in 1965. He stated that the reason of influenza spread during winter may be linked to seasonal rise and fall of vitamin D, which is generated in the skin under the effect of solar UV radiation.
This might explain whyinfluenzaarisesgenerally in winter or during the rainy season, when people stay indoors, not in the sun, and their vitamin D levels decreases.
Epidemic and pandemic spread of Influenza:
Influenza is caused by a variety of species and strains. This is why while one species of virus dries out, others can cause epidemics and another can cause a pandemic in a given year.Usually, in the two flu seasons each year, there are three to five million cases of severe infection and up to 500,000 deaths in a global level, which is a yearly influenza epidemic. A pandemic can occur approximately three times per century, infecting a large percentage of the population and kill many people. New influenza viruses constantly evolve by mutation. However, some people will still be immune to them since they will still be rationally analogous to the older strains.The production of a new influenza virus with completely new antigens is can cause a pandemic because everyone will be vulnerable, and it will spread irrepressibly. (Wikipedia)
Almost around 235 million people around the world are affected byasthma.And it causes death to roughly 250,000 people die each year. Asthma is more common indevelopedthandeveloping countries.Asthma is considered to be one of the biggest five killers in the United Kingdom. (Roberts)
Asthma is twice as common in boys as girls,but adult females have a greater rate of asthma than men.It is also more common in young people.
5% of the United Kingdom’s people are affected by Asthma.In England, 261,400 people were diagnosed with asthma in 2005; and were prescribed 32.6 million asthma-related prescriptions. (Wikipedia)
Question 3: Effectiveness of different strategies & approaches to control the incidence of diseases in communities
The authorities accountable for preserving the health of communities: health care agencies, government organizations, voluntary institutions etc. are required to quantify, monitor and control the incidence of diseases that occur in a community. Incidence is a measure of a person’s possibility or risk of catching a disease within a stated time period and is expressed as a probability.
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In order to control the incidence of diseases the health agencies undertake various strategies and approaches. The process starts with monitoring. Disease monitoring is a complex matter and the methods applied to do this differ a little depending on the type of the disease and the geographic area. It is crucial to provide communities with the evidence required to develop policies and programs. By successfully monitoring, evaluating and identifying the causes of diseases the authorities can formulate policies to prevent and control the incidence of these diseases occurring. There are other strategies as well. For example: surveillance, screening, immunization, education, legislation, societal change, environmental change etc. Surveillance to identify the level of health and diseases will help authorities to take necessary measures to address the health issues as well as handle future health problems. After the monitoring and screening, if any particular disease is found within a community the authorities and agencies can work together to provide immunization. And also educate the public about the diseases and how to prevent them from occurring. Above all, building a community will help in bringing societal and environmental change towards achieving better health and wellbeing of individuals. These approaches are beneficial to the community as they can give authorities the chance to take preventive measures. Even if complete prevention is not achieved, these policies help minimizing the loss of life and degree of damage.
Question 4: Current methods and priorities to service provision for people with illness
In the provision of social care services the treatment, prevention, palliative care and remedial care of individuals with diseases are some of the important components. Prevention is mainly the responsibility of the resident health workers in the community, health instructors and other health care providers.
The next significant element of social care services includes the treatment of illnesses. it depends on the nature of the diseaseand is induced by means of physical consumption of drugs through the mouth, through injections, and surgical operations etc.
The feature of caring for the patient with diseases can be called as palliative care and remedial care. It entails caring for a person whose illnesscannot be cured and this method is undertaken toreduce the harshness of the ailment, and to provide comfort and support to the patient and his family members. For example, now-a-dayspeople’s lives are stressful and include unhealthy dietary patterns. For this reason, Health and Social Care organizations formulatesdifferent strategies to address these issues.
To treat people affected with a particular disease widespread in a community various approaches can be taken. Firstly, there should be a medical camp or hospital in the community to provide services to people with diseases 24/7, and to monitor their condition. In these care centers there should be good sanitation facilities and medicines to access when required.
With the prevalence of diseases, health care agencies are required to provide supporting services associated with those diseases in order to maintain the health and wellbeing of community members. Only identifying and monitoring the level of health doesn’t help the authorities to ensure healthy living of the population. But providing service depending on the needs of the population is essential.
The process includes planning which is basically how to deal with the disease. The authorities at this stage of the process investigate ways they can prevent, treat and provide services because of diseases that are widespread in the community. The process also includes coping with emergencies. The service providers will need to be ready to cope with any emergency situation that can occur like massive outbreak of a disease. The service provider will also need to provide the necessary facilities in order to support the service provision. They also need to ensure they have the necessary expertise in the related field with skilled workers. They can also train their workers to better their service quality and develop partnerships in order to achieve the best outcomes from limited resources.
Lifestyle of people is changing. And lifestyle choicesinfluence health and wellbeing. Therefore, with the change of lifestyle the future needs of health care also changes.
General consumption of alcohol in the United Kingdom has risen, and the number of people who drink alcohol heavily has also increased. (Academy of Medical Sciences (2004). ) Drinking pattern reveals that alcohol consumption is higher among young men. As a result,thedeaths caused by alcohol consumption have also increased.These facts prove that lifestyle choices like alcohol consumption will influence the need of future health care services.
In contradiction of alcohol consumption, the number of smoker has diminished over time from 45 per cent of people smoking in 1971 to 24 per cent in 2005. (Office for National Statistics, 2005)The drop in smoking practiceshas resulted in a decrease in smoking-related illness.
Use of Cars
Change in lifestyle choices like usage of car are related to major health issues. More househoolds have cars now walk less than. This has led to many health problems including obesity. ears the number of walking trips has fallen by 16 per cent, and
Changes in diet, popularity of fast food, junk food etc. is becoming the leading cause of many health problems. As people are becoming increasingly attracted to unhealthy diet, the future needs of health and social care is changing.
Standard of living can affect health and attaining healthier changes to lifestyle is the where the emphasisneeds to be put in order to secure a better future of people.
Mrs. Senna is a 34 years old woman suffering from obesity and high blood pressure. She is at the risk of having a heart attack. In this scenario let’s analyze the health and wellbeing priorities for Mrs. Senna in a particular health care setting.
Medication for high blood pressure
Since she is suffering from high blood pressure it is essential for her health and wellbeing to take medications in order to keep cholesterol levels under control. She has been given medication for this, and the care worker should ensure her daily intake of medication.
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Diet As she has obesity issues, it Is important to make a diet plan including food that reduces the risk of heart attack. Her diet plan should also include fruits and vegetables and shouldn’t contain food with high cholesterol.
To address the issue of obesity exercising would be required for Mrs. Senna’s wellbeing.
Question 8: Effectiveness of strategies, systems and policies and an activity to encourage behavioral change to maximize health
It is essential for health care organizations to formulate certain strategies, policies and system. These strategies help the organizations achieve their goals, give empowerment to the users, and provide safer and quality service. These strategies include management of service provision, excellence of care and provision, training, choice, feedbackprocedures, health and safety, partnerships, participation of friends and family etc.
To encourage behavioral change in order to maximize her health which will ultimately ensure her wellbeing, an activity can be employed. As she is suffering from obesity and high blood pressure, we can choose an activity which will address these problems and will also bring behavioral change. In Mrs. Senna’s situation, physical activity will be very helpful. There are various benefits of physical activity. A team sport like football or basketball that requires physical activity can be chosen as the activity. As part of her care planning, she will be required to play a team sport each day. This will bring various changes in her lifestyle.
Lowering blood Pressure
Physical activity helps to lower blood pressure. As Mrs. Senna has high blood pressure, physical activity like a team sport will help her lower it.
As she is suffering from obesity, playing a sport regularly will be helpful for her. Since she will be burning calories and lose weight in the process.
Physical Activity also makes our heart stronger. By playing a sport every day, she will be able to reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack.
When we undertake physical activity, exercise or play a sport our body releases mood enhancing hormones. By regularly playing a sport her mood will be elevated and she will feel better.
By playing a team sport, Mrs. Senna will come across and get to socialize with different individuals. This will also make a contribution in enhancing her mood.
By playing a sport she will be entertained.
All of these things will help her ensure better health, elevate her mood, and bring long-lasting characteristic changes.
One of the changes the authority can make to ensure Mrs. Senna’s health and wellbeing can be giving Mrs. Senna more empowerment in deciding what course of care plan is good for her. Instead of choosing a care plan for her, the authority can make sure Mrs. Senna is actively taking part in the decision process. The role of the organization should be providing support to enable her to identify and communicate the ways in which shecan bring positive changes in her life and environment to promote her health and social well-being, aspects of her life and environment she doesnt want to change that can promote her health and social well-being. Also support Mrs. Senna to identify the aspect of her life and environment she cannot change and how she can deal with such aspects to effectively minimize the damaging effects on her health and social wellbeing.
In short, giving Mrs. Senna more empowerment about and involving her directly into the decision making process can be a change that can be undertaken to improve her health and wellbeing.
Considering all the facts we can conclude that public health agencies have massive roles to play in ensuring the health of the general public. And the right strategies, policies and approaches can go a long way. Among all these initiatives and different factors of influence, the significance of proper awareness is absolutely essential to make sure that the effectiveness of the public health strategies and policies is well under success and serving people by the right and appropriate way ensuring the greater good.
Academy of Medical Sciences (2004). . Calling Time: The Nation’s drinking as a major health issue.
Center for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases. (n.d.). Retrieved from The Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM): http://cmmid.lshtm.ac.uk/research/theme-7-influenza/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nphpsp/essentialservices.html
Office for National Statistics. (2005). Cigarette Smoking: Slight Fall in Smoking. Retrieved from http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget_print.asp?ID=866.
Roberts, M. (n.d.). Unhealthy Britain: nation’s five big killers. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/health-21667065
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Epidemiology of asthma. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epidemiology_of_asthma
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Influenza. Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza#Epidemiology
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