The field of public health responds to growing challenges all over the world. These challenges stem from factors include aging populations and poor life habits such as physical inactivity or obesity as well as vocational diseases, depression, and suicide. They are also associated with the resurgence of certain infectious diseases, environmental threats and growing risks of epidemics caused by unprecedented mobility, with SARS, HIV, West Nile virus and influenza being the best-known examples.
Faced with an urgent need to act, health authorities must engage in systematic screening for emerging threats and must offer solutions with a focus on prevention. Effective action in public health clearly helps reduce problems at the source, relieving pressure on the medical and hospital system. Everyone benefits. The general health of communities gets better, and curative medical resources are put to better use.
The SEVEN functions of public health:
Surveillance Promotion of health and well-being Prevention of illness, psycho-social problems, and trauma Health protection Regulation, legislation and public policy Research and innovation Skill development and upkeep