Public health encompasses different components, from preventing diseases, improving nutrition and food safety, promoting environmentally balanced and safe communities, to implementing community-based health and wellness programs. Some interventions are directed toward changing lifestyle behaviors through education and awareness-raising campaigns while others are focused on shaping policy. Despite its varied aspects, public health essentially focuses on the health of entire populations or community groups instead of individuals.
Evaluating Treatment Programs
Pharmacotherapy is also one component of public health. Some communities may have a need for a particular type of mass drug treatment program due to the high prevalence rate of certain diseases, such as malaria or tuberculosis, for example. In these cases, public health programs are directed toward facilitating community access to certain types of drug or treatment programs to curb the incidence rates of these specific diseases.
Some public health professionals are not directly involved in administering medicine or treatment to patients. However, they are required to know the practical applications of pharmacotherapy as it relates to certain health issues with wide-reaching impacts, such as tobacco use, cardiovascular conditions, and substance abuse. As professionals, they need to have a holistic knowledge of public health issues and related concepts before being able to create and implement policies and programs.
Upholding Patient Safety
Pharmacovigilance is also an essential component of public health programs. Also known as PV, this discipline involves the process of assessing the risks as well as benefits of using a certain pharmaceutical product and disseminating that information to the community. This is to enable individuals to make informed decisions when prescribed with certain drug or treatment recommendations for a certain condition.
PV upholds patient safety by developing regulatory restrictions for certain medicines or treatment programs. For many public health professionals, an online pharmacovigilance training provides the basic foundation for implementing PV activities. Like other aspects of public health, PV combines laboratory or scientific work, research, community education, and regulatory review and policy development.
There is always a need for public health professionals, given the diversity of health issues and concerns faced by communities across the globe. Depending on their expertise, public health professionals serve in various capacities. They can be involved in research and policy-making, community-based education and prevention programs, monitoring of pharmaceutical products for certain client groups, and other broad health initiatives. Health teams are often composed of doctors, nurses, health educators, environmental professionals, researchers, and other industry experts.
The rise of technological innovations presented unique challenges and opportunities for the public health sector. On the networking and communications aspect, social media platforms have broadened the sector’s outreach and networking capabilities. The same goes for education and training, where the availability of online programs have opened doors for public health professionals and allowed them to earn their certification in health management or any public health-related discipline at their convenient time. As a multi-disciplined profession, those who work in public health will benefit from acquiring the right education and training fit for the complex and evolving requirements of this particular sector.