Essay on “Community Health”

The term community health is of recent origin and merely replaces the previous terms hygiene and public health or preventive and social medicine.

According to World Health Organisation Expert Committee on community health nursing the community health is defined as a system of delivery of comprehensive health care to the people by a team of medical persons to improve the health of community.

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Community health or community medicine programmes include preventive and social medicine along with curative and health promotion services in an attempt to promote a state of positive health in the community.

In fact, the health of whole of the community depends on personal habits of various individuals who constitute the community. So, dirty or unhygienic habits of individual persons can create problems for whole of the community.

For example a person may be perfectly healthy by adoping various means of livelihood like taking balanced diet, having clean personal habits and living in neat, clean and well-ventilated house etc.

But if the other people living in his neighborhoods dump garbage in open space where flies, mosquitoes and other disease producing germs will grow and spoil the neat and clean surroundings. This will ultimately lead to diseases in the healthy person living nearby. This is one example of unhygienic conditions. Similarly a large number of other examples can be given.

The Community Health Services which are provided by the government through municipal committees or municipal corporations in cities and by panchayats in villages should cover all the fields of preventive and curative aspects like control of communicable diseases, maternal and child health services, school health services, environmental sanitation, nutrition, providing clean drinking water, good sewage disposal system, open spaces in the form of gardens, parks and play grounds. It should also include health education, family planning, social security and medical statistics.

All the above mentioned conditions are necessary for providing and maintaining good health to the whole of the community. So for the general welfare of the community we have to fight with the problems of population, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and ill health.

Health for All:

In September 1978 an international conference on primary health care was held at Alma-Ata, U.S.S.R. which issued a declaration stating that primary health care is the key to attaining “Health for all by the year 2000”. The member states of W.H.O. agreed and were quick to respond to the call.

‘Health for all’ does not mean that in the year 2000 doctors and nurses will provide medical care to everybody in the world for all their existing ailments nor does it mean that in the year 2000 there won’t be any disease, sick or disabled person. But health for all by the year 2000 means that:

1. Health care will be provided at home, school and in factories.

2. People will use better measures for preventing unavoidable illness and disability.

3. Essential healthcare will be provided to all individuals, families and communities in an acceptable and affordable way.

4. There will be equal distribution of all the available health resources among the population.


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