Public Health Vs Community Health

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Hundred years ago (1920), public health was targeting the communicable diseases related to industrialization and urbanization. At that time, public health was understood as “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical health and efficiency through organized community efforts for the sanitation of the environment, the control of community infections, the education of the individuals, in principals of personal hygiene, the organization of medical and nursing services for the early diagnosis and preventive treatment of disease, and the development of social machinery which will ensure to every individual in the community a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health”(1) (P.34). Accordingly,…show more content…
They claimed that public health, community health, and population health are often used interchangeably. However, there are some differences between these terms. Public health is defined as the collective activities undertaken by formal structure of governments, as well as private voluntary organizations and individuals to provide the conditions in which people can be healthy. Community health refers to the health status as well as actions and conditions to promote, protect, and preserve the health of a group of people who share the same geographical area with specific boundaries, or have common characteristics. Examples of geographical area include neighborhood, city, country or state, where examples of common characteristic include race, ethnicity, occupation, or common bounds. Population health refers to health status as well as actions and conditions to promote, protect, and preserve the health of a group of people who are not organized and have no identity as a group or locality. Example of groups within population health may include women older than 30, adolescents, prisoners and blue collar workers are all example of populations. therefore, the primary difference between community and population terms is the degree of organization or identity of the people (19). Communities are characterized by the following…show more content…
Thus, epidemiology has a core role in evaluating the effectiveness of measures that prevent and treat diseases and health problems among different communities (21, 22). Examples of such work include the study of Reath and Carey (28) which evaluate the early detection of breast and cervical cancer in indigenous community. Also, the study of Exner, Dries (29) which focuses on the difference in response to drug treatment among black and white communities with heart failure give a good example of using community concept to evaluate treatments. Epidemiology largely deals with descriptions and comparisons of group of people that vary widely in their genetic- make up, behaviors and environments (22). For example, McBean, Li (30) conducted multi- ethnic epidemiological study to determine the differences in diabetes prevalence, incidence and mortality among the elderly of four racial/ethnic groups: whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians, where Feskanich, Ziegler (31) conducted their study to examine and compare the gender- based association between lung cancer risk and fruits and vegetables consumption. Some scholars conduct their epidemiological study to compare the incidence, prevalence of health problem among different communities (countries), such as the study of Yusuf, Hawken (32) which compare
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