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Public Health Essay

5089 words - 21 pages

ID: UB28902SPU37458





Introduction 2
The Historical Context 2
Recent developments in Epidemiology 2
Definition, scope and use of epidemiology 4
Distribution 5
Determinants 5
Health- related states or events 6
Specified populations 6
Application 7
Scope 7
Epidemiology versus Public Health 7
Causation of diseases 8
Achievements in Epidemiology 9
Small pox 9
Methyl Mercury Poisoning 10
Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease 11
Iodine Deficiency ...view middle of the document...

This approach was initially applied to the control of communicable diseases and it proved to be useful way of linking environmental conditions or agents to specific diseases. The second half of the twentieth century saw these methods being applied to chronic non-communicable disease such as heart diseases and cancer especially in the middle and high income countries.
Recent developments in Epidemiology
Recent developments in epidemiology indicates that in its modern form, epidemiology is a relative new discipline and uses quantitative methods to study diseases in human populations to inform prevention and control of efforts. The beginning in the 1950s saw Richard Doll and Andrew Hill study the relationship between tobacco use and lung cancer. Their work was preceded by experimental studies on the carcinogenicity of tobacco tars and clinical observations linking tobacco use and other possible factors to lung cancer.

The above is a long term cohort study conducted on the British doctors which successfully linked the association between smoking and lung cancer was established.

This cohort study above was able to show the progressive decreases in death rates among non-smokers over subsequent decades. In the study male doctors born between 1900 and 1930 who smoked cigarette died on average10 years younger than lifelong non-smoker as shown in the graph above.
Smoking is a clear-cut case, but for most diseases several factors contribute to the causation. Some factors are essential in the development of a disease.
However, the understanding of epidemiological methods is needed for the analysis of these relationships. For instance in low middle-income countries where HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and Malaria are common causes of death, communicable disease epidemiology is of vital importance. This branch of epidemiology has now become important in all countries with the emergency of new communicable diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and pandemic influenza. Epidemiology has evolved considerably over past 50 years and major challenges now is to explore and act upon the social determinant of health and disease, most of which lie outside the health sector. My take on this is that there is need to take a multi-sectoral approach to handle issues related to social determinant. The reason is that most stakeholders tend to have cooperate advantage over health in the understanding social issues than. The understanding is that social behaviors contribute greatly to outbreak of major epidemics, and therefore finding ways to handle these require consented effort to create synergy. The partners’ contributions might be in form of mobility, other logistics such as fuel and non professional staff to assist during the outbreak of epidemic while leaving the technical aspect to be handled by epidemiologists.
Definition, scope and use of epidemiology
The word ‘Epidemiology’ is derived from Greek...

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