The Importance Of Health In Public Health

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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.0 BACKGROUND
The number of older people is increasing tremendously throughout the world and Sub-Saharan Africa and Ghana is no exception. Improvements in hygiene and water supply and control of infectious diseases during the past century have greatly reduced the risk of premature death (Mapule, 2002 p.1). This shows that, adults are surviving longer generally because during the past-half century, epidemics of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and respiratory diseases have been controlled. The continuing gains in the survival of infants and young children indicate that the adult population is on steady increase. Grigsby, (cited in Bongaarts and Zimmer, 2002 p.145), also contended that, “mortality and fertility declines that move populations through their demographic transitions inevitably result in increases over time in the proportion of a population who are old”. Helpage International, a Non Governmental Organisation, whose core mandate is to help older people to claim their rights (2011), also opines that major advances in public health in the last century have led to greater longevity and lower fertility rates in most countries. Adding to that, significant progress in health during the last century has benefited older people, many of whom live longer and healthier lives. This implies that, women give birth to fewer offspring, and people live longer and healthier life style due to improvement in public health, hence contributing to the

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