Environment greatly influences public health. Health environment enhances public health. Therefore there is a need to enhance good environment. Policy makers, public and other stake holders need to corporate to ensure good environment that will ensure public health. This paper discusses this issues and analysis articles on environmental issues and public health interaction.
Chronic diseases have become a public health problem. One of these chronic diseases is cancer. Cancer and other chronic diseases have been associated with external/ environmental factors. Additionally, tobacco, nutrition, alcohol use, chemical exposures, and physical activities also play a big role in causing these diseases with minor inherited mutations contribution. Chronic diseases have a local significance.
They are the leading cause of disability and death in US. Around 1000 millions of Americans are estimated to live with chronic illness each year. It is estimated that 70% to 80% deaths are caused by chronic diseases where cost associated with these diseases equals to $ 750 billion per year. This figures show vividly this should be a local concern that needs to be addressed.
National Environmental Health Tracking Network (NEHTN), National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Local Health Department will be the best audience for the report. (Susan 2009).
Themes discussed from the articles
Impact of public policies on environment as well as public health
Policy makers make policies that greatly affect the environment which consequently affect public health. They also set up public health policies. Thus they are very important people to should work with other stakeholders in ensuring public health and good environment for living. (Daneen 2009).
Training on environmental and public health
Another theme is about imparting knowledge and skill of ensuring good environment and public health. Offering training to some people who can then be involved in leading the others in environment control as well encouraging public health is very important. The need to enhance skills suitable for teams building and innovative partnership should be emphasized during training. (Brian 2009).
Learning from past (tragedy to actions)
Need for learning from experiences and making proactive measures to counter any threat to the environment and public health is also emphasized. This themes emphasis on the need of the government, politics and law to ensure enactment of policies that will ensure that future threats such as storms, terrorist attacks, earth quakes, bioterrorism attack are effectively managed to mitigate negative impact of this on public health and where possible prevent their occurrences. Public health infrastructures to deal with public health threats should also be enhanced and developed. It is noted that these structures are low beyond the needs as far as dealing with the threats to public health is concerned eg the case of bioterrorism attacks in October and November in 2001 was enough evidence. This theme emphasis identifying environmental problem posing public health problem and deal with them accordingly. The cited examples are chronic diseases caused by environmental pollutants, anthrax attacks and terrorism. Substances such as tobacco, nutrition, alcohol use, physical activity and exposure to chemicals are also mentioned as some of threats to public health.
Involvement of all (collective responsibility)
Call for more integrated approach that will involve networking of various stake holders in dealing with environmental and public health problem is emphasized. To ensure this, National Environmental Health Tracking Network is identified as part of potential solution. This will ensure the working of the public members along with government and other agencies in ensuring healthy environment and healthy public by employing preventive and control measures against environmental degradations that poses danger to public health. Therefore, collective effort of policy makers, public, and medical practitioners is called for. (Susan 2009).
There are a number of inferences that can be made from these articles. First, polluted environment enhances poor public health. A variety of chronic diseases such as cancer are associated with environmental factors such exposure to harmful chemicals eg carbide. High concentrations of air pollutants are associated with respiratory problems. It was noted that during 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, reduction of traffic congestion which is associated with carbon emissions, led to 41% decrease in emergency cases of children suffering from asthma.
Second, policy makers have a big role in ensuring health environment and health public. Eg The Federal Coal mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 led to formulation of policies requiring annual inspection of all mines while underground mines should be inspected four times in a year. It also led to setting of health standards which ensured safety of the miners. Under such policies, miners are protected from any environmental dangers associated with coal mining. (Susan 2009; Daneen 2009).
First step will involve assessment of the impact of the previous floods. This will help in having enough knowledge of the risk involved in the calamity and the losses it is likely to cause. After determining the threat, I will have to involve certain chains of command such as administration to the area. The next step is to plan for evacuation routes especially for those who may be critically affected by the flood.
Second, I will ensure proper training for the work force. This workforce will help people as they move to the identified safe areas. The communication among these workers will be well planned. Each worker will be assigned a certain number of households. A medical specialist will be assigned to a certain group of the citizens. Every worker will also have to put on a t-shirt and cap written the agency’s name.
The next step is to involve the media to ensure that information about the rescue plan to the people is well reached out to the affected public. This will involve advertisement through radio, televisions and in daily magazines. In this advertisement, the public will be informed about the evacuation routes, the dressing code of our staff and what is expected of them to ensure successful evacuation in case of the flood. Information about the health risks and necessary steps to avoid these risks will be made known to the public.
Communication plan will also encompass informing other organization such as the Red Cross and World Health Organization, of our plans and the assistance we may require from them. This organization will be informed of the need to provide necessary help in process of evacuating people from the danger of flood. The last step in my communication plan is to rehearse evacuation activity with the work force as we prepare the real exercise.
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Brian, H (2009). Environmental Public Health Leadership Revisited. .American
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