Updated: May 12
Over the course of history, public health has had a positive influence on the human race, and as far back as 1848, public health was instrumental in introducing sanitation, hygiene and mental health. Over the past year, the world has experienced one of the most unprecedented diseases in recent history. COVID-19 changed all of our lives, and had a big influence on the way we work, do business and engage with each other as a human race, but with the introduction of the recent COVID-19 vaccine, our lives are well underway to becoming completely transformed for the better, but the vaccine is just one of many outstanding breakthroughs in public health that have transformed our lives forever. Here is a list of five phenomenal achievements in public healthcare.
1. Vaccines against COVID-19
When COVID-19 cases peaked around the world in March 2020, the public health sector was left in a state of shock, disarray and confusion. As the virus spread across the world like wildfire, panic rose and many governments were left unprepared and helpless and this caused panic and feelings of hopelessness in the public health sector. Scientists commenced on the COVID-19 vaccine in January 2020. In the United States, dedicated vaccine funding helped to quickly move vaccine candidates through the pre-clinical and clinical assessments and trials quickly and effectively. The vaccine was mass produced before the clinical studies were complete to save time. The vaccine, which has been developed and distributed by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. 2. Maternal and Infant Health Ending preventable maternal death is one of the top of the global agenda in public health, and for the past few years, the public health sector has achieved this. Addressing inequalities that affect health outcomes, especially sexual and reproductive health, and rights, is fundamental to ensuring all women have access to respectful and high-quality maternity care. The public health sector has achieved this in leaps and bounds over the past decade. 3. Recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard
Public health has played a significant role in identifying tobacco use as a hazard to health and identifying the various diseases associated with tobacco use. Other diseases and conditions currently known to be caused by tobacco use include heart disease, atherosclerotic peripheral vascular disease, laryngeal cancer, oral cancer, esophageal cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, intrauterine growth retardation, and low birth weight. 4. Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a severe and conceivably life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By destroying your immune system, HIV interferes with your body's ability to battle infection and disease. HIV is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). The condition can also be spread by direct contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. Without medication, it may take years before HIV debilitates your immune system to the point that you have AIDS. There's currently no cure for HIV/AIDS, but medication can dramatically slow the progression of the disease. Public health has made it possible for these drugs to reduce AIDS deaths in many developed nations. 5. HIPAA
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which is otherwise known as HIPAA, was passed by Congress in 1996, making a patient’s medical information protected from being disclosed without the patient’s permission. Although HIPAA also outlines strict administrative and electronic guidelines, it has become well known for health information privacy. This aspect of the law has protected patients from insurance discrimination, making it easier for people to acquire and maintain their health insurance. All of these milestones in public health have changed the course of human history forever.