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Health Promotion Essay

Health promotion is defined as the process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health (World Health Organization, n.d.). It encompasses a combination of health education and related organizational, political, and economic changes aimed at improving health (Hooyman & Kiyak, 1999). In addition, health promotion focuses on helping individuals, families, and communities develop the competence and capabilities they require to gain control over day-to-day life events and circumstances, thereby achieving a sense of security. Therefore, the ultimate goal of the health promotion model is to promote a sense of well-being, not just the absence of disease. Distinguishing factors between contemporary views of health promotion versus the historical views Historical view- In this view, health promotion dealt with protecting the community with infectious diseases providing safe water and reducing environmental threats which was normally done by the government or organization such as WHO (World Health Organization) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). This emphasis of these organizations was mass vaccinations against preventable diseases such as small pox, polio and measles. A comprehensive public health approach, combining science with practical approaches to address cultural and socioeconomic factors important to the improvement of child outcome for at-risk women is essential to eliminate these preventable diseases. In the historical events, socioeconomic factors played a great role. Due to the poverty rate back then, there was an outbreak of tuberculosis, comitant infection with HIV, alcohol and substance abuse and inadequate ventilation at a men’s shelter in upscale New York. Despite the vigorous efforts to treat the patients with tuberculosis, non-compliance with medication made it impossible to achieve cure. The local authority had to get a court order to mandatorily hospitalize those patients. But in the early part of 1900s, the health promotion workforce had gained skills in understanding the impact of environment and he community’s health and was beginning t understand the relationship between bacteria and infectious diseases.

Contemporary health promotion

This became an expansion of the historical health promotion to counter risks from behavior and lifestyle that led to chronic diseases and is resulted in major gain in life expectancy. The scope of health promotion has changed from concerns from infectious and environmentally related diseases to concerns about nutrition, injury prevention, substance abuse, violence and other chronic diseases with technology advancement, lack of exercise, reliance on frozen or fast foods as opposed to making fresh, healthy meals has resulted in obesity. The society is confronted with spread of HIV and Hepatitis C from drug abuse and risky sexual behaviors. The gain in life expectancy has resulted in large population of the elderly with chronic health problems such as arthritis, diabetes and chronic artery diseases. The focus of treatment on these diseases is directed towards rehabilitations especially after hospitalization following new replacement and hip surgeries. Today, greater population of many countries is entering into old age as a result of medical and technological advances as well as improved standards of living. (Goklany, 2007).

How the differences was developed

As pointed out by Winslow and other health activists were responsible “Our achievement were almost wholly based on the organized application of the sciences of sanitary engineering and bacteriology. In 1926, Winslow delivered a speech that led to the development of the popular the ten “great achievements” by the health promotion team which is the bedrock of health promotion today.

These developments are:

Vaccine development

Recognition of tobacco use as health hazard; these came up in 1964 after the surgeon general’s report on risks associated with smoking. Ever since, smoking among adults have declined and more lives have been saved. Motor vehicle safety: improved engineering of vehicles and roads and the use of seatbelts, helmets, reduction of drinking and driving have also saved lives. Safer workplace: There has been a 40% decrease in fatal occupational injuries since 1980.

Control of infectious diseases.

Fewer deaths from hard diseases
Safer and healthier foods: diseases such as rickets, goiter and pellagra have been eliminated from the U.S. Healthier mothers and babies: Better hygiene, good nutrition, access of healthcare, antibiotics and technological advances have helped in reducing infant mortality by 90% and maternal mortality by 99%.

Family planning and contraceptive services:

Contraceptives have provided protection from HIV and STDS. Fluoridation of drinking water, nearly 150 million people have access to treated water; a safe way to prevent tooth decay. These have reduced tooth decay in children 40-70% and tooth loss in adults 40-60%.

Why it was developed

To give a good health education to individuals, families and community, to eradicate infectious diseases through technological advancement, to create awareness and maintain good lifestyle such as elimination of cigarette smoking, reduction of alcohol misuse, moderate exercise, periodic health screening and conducive environment. Life expectancy appeared to be more related to income inequalities than to average income or wealth. Healthy people marked a turning point in the approach and strategy for public health promotion in the U.S. The future of public health promotion in the 21st century emphasizes the necessity of a strong governmental public health infrastructure and community partnerships to ensure an optimally comprehensive and effective public health promotion system.


Grand Canyon University. (2011). NRS 429V, Lecture notes 2. Retrieved from https://lc-ugrad1.gcu.edu/learningplatform/ Edelman, Mandle, C. (2010). Health promotions throughout the life span 97th Ed). Mosby. Retrieved from http://pagebursts,elsevier.com/books/9780323056625. Winslow CEA. The Untilled Fields of public health. New York, NY. Retrieved from http://www.medcol.mw/mentalhealthmalawi/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/def.pdf.htm

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