Unlike most medical disciplines, dealing with one human being and his health conditions at a time, public health studies the health state of the whole population. Its main objective lies in observing the health conditions of a particular society to figure out the most convenient and reliable ways of healthcare. Another significant difference between public health and medical services concerns the fact that the first is aimed at disease prevention rather than curing them. That is why public health campaigns promote a healthy lifestyle and are concerned with creating a healthy environment for people all around the globe. Public health must be a matter of governmental concern because the well-being of society depends on people’s health and lifespan. Hence, it is essential to implement public health promotion programs at all levels, from schools to the community in general.
Public Health Promotion Programs in Schools
Governmental public health policies should influence people of all ages and social statuses. The most effective way of preventing severe health conditions and promoting a healthy lifestyle among children and adolescents concerns the implementation of public health programs in schools. Schools are the key factor in establishing a healthy routine for children because students develop healthy habits and share their experiences with their families.
Health education has already become a compulsory discipline in the school curriculum in many countries. However, the measures for promoting public health programs concerning school education should be complex and supported by the government. Besides, the key strategies that evolve successful and effective implementation of school-based health programs include monitoring and evaluating data on the impact of school health programs on children, sustainable funding, and long-term financial plans. As for the human factor, it is necessary to train and educate the teaching personnel in terms of public health so that they will provide students with concrete and up-to-date information on the topic. The engagement of parents, students, and teachers in school health-promoting programs through organizing students’ health clubs and participation in their activities or establishing parent-teacher associations is also vital. In this case, healthcare programs become a matter of concern for a wide range of people.
However, there exist several policy issues that prevent the successful implementation of school-based healthcare programs. They include insufficient argumentation in favor of the healthcare problems and, consequently, the lack of political and legal support, lower budgets, and lack of coordination among related ministries. The severity of these issues may be lowered by raising awareness of the benefits of the implementation of school-based healthcare programs among the officials.
Workplace Injury Prevention as a Part of the Workplace Wellness Program
Although most workspaces today seem quite safe, there are still people who occasionally suffer from workplace injuries. It is the companies’ responsibility to take care of their employees’ health conditions and prevent situations that pose a threat to their well-being. The key strategies aimed at preventing workplace injury cases regard regular and appropriate safety training for the employees, regular ergonomic evaluation of the workspace, and consider changes if ergonomic norms are violated. Besides, companies may develop non-penalty procedures that encourage workers to report near accident cases, take immediate health-protective measures, or award workers and workgroups for safe and effective performance at their workspace.
Workplace injury prevention measures are a significant part of healthcare because they guarantee workers’ safety during the work process and the reduction of emergency health issues on the worksite due to employees’ conscience and employers’ preventative measures. Apart from that, the lower the number of workplace injuries in a particular company is, the higher its workers’ productivity is because people are not afraid of being injured because of poor work conditions and can relate their time and attention to the work process.
Community Politics it is Possible to Encounter While Implementing Public Health Programs.
Implementing and further realizing public health strategies is time- and effort-consuming. When addressing workplace health programs, it is necessary to take into account such factors as the company’s size, the number of employees, the number of work locations, budget, organizational culture, and health- and safety-related politics. When establishing health-promoting programs, community leaders may face, first, a lack of financial support from the government if the officials do not see the necessity of healthcare programs in a particular group of people. The challenges of promoting public health programs also evolve people’s skepticism towards them, especially when the initiative comes from the company they work in. The lack of understanding and financial support is caused by the wrong image of public health created in the media. Thus, many people relate public health only to sports and proper nutrition, though it evolves far more than that. Public health is a complex of social, economic, ecological, pedagogical, and hygienic measures that help people reduce the risks of possible health damage. That is why the communities should possess relevant and up-to-date data on public health programs to explain to their members their importance.
Key Changes in the Workplace Health Programs over the Years
Healthy Workforce 2010 and Beyond reports that the health promotion programming levels among the companies with more than 750 employees are relatively stable compared to the 1999 and 2004 levels. At the same time, there is a significant decrease in workplace health-promoting programs among the worksites with fewer than 750 employees. The employers relate such a decrease to the lack of employees’ interest in wellness policies, the lack of resources needed to implement healthcare programs, and the lack of management support. Among less significant factors are companies’ conflicts with workers’ demands, lack of participation by high-risk employees, and lack of access to relevant information on healthcare programs.
As for the public health programs promoted by large companies, the most common types are employee assistance programs, back injury prevention programs, stress and weight management programs, nutrition, and healthcare consumerism programs. All the policies listed above help reduce the nation’s health costs, as they prevent any work-connected and cause damage to people’s health and encourage people to monitor their health conditions.
Public health programs are an important part of the healthcare system. Their establishment and further implementation increase people’s awareness of health problems they may consciously or unconsciously encounter during their lives and, more vital, prevent their emergence. That is why it is necessary to promote public health programs among people of all age groups and social statuses to diminish possible health damage in all spheres of life.
Healthy workforce 2010 and beyond. Web.
World Health Organization. (n.d.). Global school health initiative. Web.