History of public health

A hand pump was located right on Broad Street, and Snow was immediately suspicious. Water samples did not reveal gross contamination, but Snow persisted and began to collect detailed information on where the victims had gotten their drinking water.

History of public health

University of West of England, Bristol The history of public health has been a flourishing field in the last three decades.

Yet despite a spate of excellent monographs about various epidemic diseases and many good collections about health and disease in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, as well as Europe and North America, the most recent textbook on the history of public health is four decades old.

History of public health

Public Health in Ancient Rome Public health was developed by the Romans as they believed that cleanliness would lead to good health. The Romans made links between causes of disease and methods of prevention.

The Romans believed that Prevention of illness was more important than cure of illness. Roman Philosophy was based along the lines of searching for a reason then establishing a preventative measure to minimise the risk attached.

As a practical people they used observations of the environment to determine what was causing ill History of public health. This form of empirical observation led the Romans to realise that death rates were higher in and around marshes and swamps.

The cure would then be based upon logic. As the Romans believed that Gods held the key to longevity of life they initially built Temples to the gods near large swamps to pacify them and reduce the deaths.

Alternatives to this were the drainage of swamps and they also ensured that the army and important people lived away from these areas.

Such empirical observations led the Romans to believe that ill health could be associated with, amongst other things, bad air, bad water, swamps, sewage, debris and lack of personal cleanliness.

In some places, Rome included, it is impossible to avoid all of these unless something is physically done to alter the environment. The Romans, being technologically adequate, resolved to provide clean water through aqueducts, to remove the bulk of sewage through the building of sewers and to develop a system of public toilets throughout their towns and city's.

Personal hygiene was encouraged through the building of large public baths The City of Bath being an obvious British example of these.

Public Health in Ancient Greek The Ancient Greek would not have been too unfamiliar with some of the health and fitness regimes that are used by people today. The word 'Regimen' was used by the Greeks to describe peoples lifestyles: The Greek philosophy of 'Regimen' covered what people ate, drank, the types and amount of exercise that they took and how much sleep they had.

These ideas were very thorough: Such is the quality of the remaining evidence that we can even see that doctors advice differed for those who were rich: Origins of Public Health In some ways, public health is a modern concept, although it has roots in antiquity.

From the beginnings of human civilization, it was recognized that polluted water and lack of proper waste disposal spread vector-borne diseases. Early religions attempted to regulate behavior that specifically related to health, from types of food eaten, to regulating certain indulgent behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or sexual relations.

The establishment of governments placed responsibility on leaders to develop public health policies and programs in order to gain some understanding of the causes of disease and thus ensure social stability prosperity, and maintain order.

Early public health interventions By Roman times, it was well understood that proper diversion of human waste was a necessary tenet of public health in urban areas. The Chinese developed the practice of variolation following a smallpox epidemic around BC.

An individual without the disease could gain some measure of immunity against it by inhaling the dried crusts that formed around lesions of infected individuals. Also, children were protected by inoculating a scratch on their forearms with the pus from a lesion. This practice was not documented in the West until the earlys, and was used on a very limited basis.

The practice of vaccination did not become prevalent until the s, following the work of Edward Jenner to treat smallpox. During the 14th century Black Death in Europe, it was believed that removing bodies of the dead would further prevent the spread of the bacterial infection.

This did little to stem the plague, however, which was most likely spread by rodent-borne fleas. Burning parts of cities resulted in much greater benefit, since it destroyed the rodent infestations.

The development of quarantine in the medieval period helped mitigate the effects of other infectious diseases.

History of public health

However, according to Michel Foucault, the plague model of governmentality was later controverted by the cholera model.

A Cholera pandemic devastated Europe between andand was first fought by the use of what Foucault called "social medicine", which focused on flux, circulation of air, location of cemeteries, etc.

All those concerns, born of the miasma theory of disease, were mixed with urbanistic concerns for the management of populations, which Foucault designated as the concept of "biopower". The German conceptualized this in the Polizeiwissenschaft "Science of police". In the 18th Century due to the migration of people from farms and villages in the country to towns during the industrial revolution for work in the newly formed factories and industriesthe population in British towns rose dramatically.

Ashton and Seymour describe the findings of Dr Duncan, Liverpool's first medical officer of health who wrote of one third of the population of Liverpool living in cellars of back to back houses with earth floors, no ventilation or sanitation and as many as sixteen people in one room.

Of course the infra-structure of these communities had not been built to withstand such a population explosion and in the early 19th century 'the problems of environmental degradation, disease and human misery reached massive proportions and were in evidence across large tracts of Britain' Webster, Eventually public hysteria grew due to the cholera epidemic of and the high mortality rates from other communicable diseases like dysentery and TB.

Ashtoncites an annual death rate in Liverpool about that time as 36 in 1, the highest in the country.Public health: Public health, the art and science of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical and mental health, sanitation, personal hygiene, control of infectious disease, and organization of health services.

Learn more about the history of and the organizational patterns and progress in public health. Before this time nothing had been done about public health for many years. Two important reasons for this inactivity were that: Most governments felt they should not interfere too much in people's.

History. During the past years, two factors have shaped the modern public health system: first, the growth of scientific knowledge about sources and means of controlling disease; second, the growth of public acceptance of disease control as both a possibility and a public responsibility.

From from the US National Library of Medicine's web pages on The History of the Public Health Service: "Medical discoveries and public health campaigns have almost eliminated deaths from the common diseases of childhood such as measles, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and whooping cough.

In the United States, the Association of Schools of Public Health represents Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited schools of public health.

Delta Omega is the honor society for graduate studies in public health. THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC HEALTH "With the relish of a good storyteller, Sedgwick would unravel a plot in which the villain was a bacterial organism; the victim, the unwitting public; the hero, sanitary hygiene brought to life through the application of scientific methods.".

Public health - Wikipedia