The Importance Of Public Health

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The Lalonde Report in May, 1974 on ‘A New Perspective on the Health of Canadians’ (Rutty & Sullivan, 2010) was influential in identifying factors driving public health other than the health care system, promoted alternate pathways to health improvement, and emphasized the importance of environment and lifestyle in addition to human biology and health care. The concepts from the report helped to reorient public health towards health promotion along with protecting health and preventing disease by environmental control and enhancing immunity via vaccinations (Rutty & Sullivan, 2010). The Lalonde report prepared the ground for the Health for All (HFA) charter of the late 1970s and since then, a social determinants approach has gained acceptance as the appropriate framework for developing and delivering public health policy (Graham, 2004). Also, the 1978 Alma Ata Declaration identified primary health care as the key to attaining “Health for All” and that governments across the world are responsible for the health of their people and the need to provide adequate health care (World Health Organization, 1978). These historical milestones influenced the definition, scope, and practice of public health. Therefore, public health can be regarded as “the organized efforts of society to keep people healthy and prevent injury, illness, and premature death (Last, 2001)”. Public Health is a combination of programs, services and policies that promote, protect and preserve health through
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