Public policy is commonly referred to as decisions, actions, and plans that are put in place with the intent of achieving some societal healthcare goals. The relevance of public policy often goes unnoticed, especially when people do not comprehend how they directly benefit from public health policy. The necessity of public policies and interventions can be comprehended through the focus on the various types and the circumstances under which they are applicable. It is in the interest of any citizen for there to be effective public policy and interventions.
Public health policies and interventions affect the daily lives of people because they are always aimed at protecting and improving the health of members of the public. Public health policies and preventions play a huge role in making sure that the products that people consume on a daily basis have no negative impact on their health. For instance, public health policy requires milk that is sold at the stores to go through checks and verifications to assure safety for consumption. Public health policies and preventions also play an important role in practically protecting members of society from diseases by promoting actions that enhance the prevention of diseases (Bernal, Cummins & Gasparrini, 2017). For instance, it is a result of public policy that one can be assured of existing in smoking-free zones because of the policies that limit where people are allowed to smoke. Public health policies and preventions also prevent diseases. For instance, public health policies promote immunization and vaccination.
The difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention highly depends on the timing and circumstances of applicability. Primary prevention is a level of health promotion and disease prevention that entails the prevention of diseases and injuries before they ever occur. Among practices that can fall under the category of primary intervention for the spread of a deadly disease such as tetanus is the education of members of the public on safety and health habits (Sieber et al., 2018). Another common example of primary prevention for tetanus is the immunization of masses. The use of legislation to ban the use of harmful objects is also an example of primary prevention. Primary prevention is best suited for a disease that is yet to be acquired, especially one that is deadly and has no cure or is hardly curable. However, it can generally be used for any disease as long as it is one is not yet infected by it.
Secondary preventions are always aimed at limiting the effect of diseases that have already occurred. This type of prevention is most appropriate immediately an individual is infected by a disease (Sieber et al., 2018). Therefore, it is always effective if the diagnosis with a disease takes place in the early stages of infection. Notably, much of the secondary prevention practices always take place in the early stages of a disease. Such interventions often take place before the onset of the signs and symptoms associated with the disease that is being responded to. Mammography is a perfect example of secondary prevention for a patient who has breast cancer. Mammography refers to the use of low-energy X-rays to screen human breast with the primary of detecting any anomalies that might suggest that one has cancer. Mammography focuses on attributes of human breasts, such as microcalcifications and masses. Screening for blood pressure is also another common secondary prevention. Secondary prevention is all about taking action before a disease escalates to dangerous heights.
Tertiary prevention refers to measures such as chemotherapy and rehabilitation that are aimed at enabling patients to cope with diseases and get better. This is the most advanced level of prevention and is aimed at preventing further pain and suffering for a disease that has already been diagnosed. Tertiary prevention is also applicable for terminal diseases as long as it reduces the amount of pain and makes existence bearable for the recipient (Bíró et al., 2018). An example of tertiary prevention programs is chronic disease management programs for patients having arthritis. Patients suffering from diseases such as arthritis can also attend support groups where they can get tips from other patients and share with them regarding how they are faring on. Secondary prevention is best suited for disease in its most advance stages and is undertaken as a necessity for the survival and well-being of the involved patients.
Evidently, public health policies and preventions are relevant in the life of any individual. They are meant to ensure that each member of the public has a chance of leading a healthy life. Primary, secondary, and tertiary preventions serve different roles in making sure that members of the public are protected and healthy. However, the applicability of the three sets of preventions depends on the nature of the circumstances. With success in primary prevention, there would be no need for people to be subjected to secondary and tertiary interventions. Based on the discussion herein, any investment that is made towards public health has chances of improving all aspects of human life.
Bernal, J. L., Cummins, S., & Gasparrini, A. (2017). Interrupted time series regression for the evaluation of public health interventions: a tutorial. International journal of epidemiology, 46(1), 348-355.
Bíró, K., Dombrádi, V., Jani, A., Boruzs, K., & Gray, M. (2018). Creating a common language: defining individualized, personalized and precision prevention in public health. Journal of Public Health, 40(4), e552-e559.
Sieber, C. C., Kiesswetter, E., Kwetkat, A., Heppner, H. J., Schoene, D., & Freiberger, E. (2018). Prevention: Public Healthcare, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Vaccination. In Learning Geriatric Medicine (pp. 237-262). Springer, Cham.