WChicken keeper I take solace in knowing that raising children during the pandemic felt impossible, and that it was very difficult for two teenagers. In the early 20th century, infectious organisms found in contaminated food or contaminated water wreaked havoc on children. In some places up to 30 percent They died before their first birthday. In those days, little was often given to children suffering from dehydration and diarrhea. Milk Filled with dangerous bacteria or so called Calming syrup Covered with morphine and alcohol.
Since then, childhood deaths have become more common Rare. Partly as a result, the The average human lifespan has doubled.On average, it gives us the equivalent of a full extra lifetime. The field of public health is mainly responsible for this exceptional achievement.
Medicine revolves around the care of individual patients; Public health, on the other hand, works to protect and improve the health of the entire population, whether in small communities or large countries. This includes researching how to prevent harm, developing policies to address health disparities and, of course, combating disease outbreaks.
George Whipple, A Co-founder Harvard School of Public Health announced in 1914 in Atlantic “One of the great events of the dawn of the twentieth century was the triumph of mankind over its petty enemies. Even he might be shocked by the public health achievements of the last century.
However, as the corona virus epidemic subsides, the public health field has come under heavy criticism. Some of them are. Calling to limit the field strength. Even many of public health’s staunchest supporters have been dismayed by how the profession has handled the epidemic.
While learning from past mistakes is important, such talk can have dire consequences. Our public health workforce is already overburdened. Massive abuse. At the same time, a growing body of law and litigation is diminishing public health’s ability to address current and future health threats. “Politicians call health professionals”Wrong about almost everything” during the epidemic. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who funded his re-election bid#FireFauci” Advertisements, introduced a Mathematics Anthony Fauci recently resigned from his position at the National Institutes of Health and split the agency in three.
Public health was not perfect at the time of the epidemic. is it. It never happened. But it has led to unprecedented global progress in access to clean water, childhood lead poisoning prevention, tobacco cessation programs, vaccine development and promotion, and more. Public health saves lives, and is an important part of maintaining and improving our collective health.
Retaliating on the ground in the wake of a devastating pandemic may feel satisfying to some, but curtailing public health programs, credibility, and funding benefits no one. what is it will do Doing so would jeopardize a century of progress.
No Understand why The backlash is very strong. There were mistakes on many levels. CDC A failed attempt For SARS-CoV-2 in early 2020, delaying our ability to track the virus from day one. Much of the communication was from public-health officials about masks and vaccinations. Not clear And useless. Too often we fail to use our best public-health knowledge in schools to keep children from learning, reducing transmission, which causes them to be closed longer than necessary. In the bars and restaurants, meanwhile, life continued as normal. The damage done to the student generation will not be fully known for years to come.
But at the same time, while critics like to talk about what went wrong with public health during the pandemic, they don’t stop to identify everything that’s right and in really challenging situations. For example, when asked to reflect on the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, many note confusion over eligibility or the countless hours spent clicking “refresh” on appointments. The fact is, in just six months, half of the American population has received the vaccine. As a health care provider, I can say the results have been amazing: we’ve seen fewer patients coming in with serious illnesses very quickly. The impressive success of the coordinated vaccine rollout by federal, state, and local public health agencies has averted millions of deaths from COVID-19 to date and serves as a blueprint for how to mobilize future mass vaccination campaigns.
Rapid antigen testing sounds commonplace now, but think how widespread and accessible it is, and how fast it is. For the first time, people can easily diagnose respiratory infections at home without a doctor, which helps prevent transmission and avoid unnecessary office visits. At the start of the outbreak, we were pushing for time-consuming, expensive and very limited PCR tests. Within months, home tests were approved, and now hundreds of millions have been produced, shipped, and used across the country. This has helped improve the timely availability of antiviral drugs such as paxlovide, which has saved many lives. And the lessons we learn from using rapid tests in this pandemic will help strengthen preparedness and response to future diseases. In addition, rapid at-home tests for other respiratory pathogens, e.g Influenza And respiratory syncytial virus, are On the near horizon.
The tendency to focus on the decline of public health rather than its achievements is not new. Americans have long underestimated public health: we should never suspect that the food we eat or the drugs we are prescribed will inadvertently make us sick and send us to the hospital. This connection between what we value and what benefits us becomes clearer when we compare public health to the field of medicine.
Whenever an outbreak occurs, public health officials deal with forks—They were forced from their jobs or make fun of him Death threats– Health care providers (like myself) recognize the challenges we face on the covid front and clap with pots and pans.
This is an ancient American pattern. Public health focuses on the health of communities; Medicine, on individuals. Almost all of the more than $4 trillion spent on health care each year supports individual patient care 4 percent Funding for public health. This is incredibly ineffective and helps explain why the US has one Low life expectancy And the highest Rates Maternal and child mortality among high-income countries.
Armed with a growing number of medical and diagnostic tools, medicine has become much better at treating infections. But it can still do very little to stop a novel pandemic, and as of March 2020, its ability to save lives from Covid is no better than it was during the 1918 flu pandemic. America needs a strong public health field to do what medicine cannot: protect people from emerging pathogens, environmental toxins, and gun violence. Medicine can cure sick people, but only public health can keep them healthy in the first place.
Progress in population health is linear, and it is easy to assume that the world’s population will eventually become healthier. But we are facing deeper challenges that could reverse the successes on the field.
In the year As Nobel-Laureate immunologist McFarlane Burnett predicted in 1972, “This is the most predictable prediction of future infectious diseases. It will be very boringHe said. The optimism of the World Health Organization in 1980 seems to be correct The declared disappearance of smallpox.
But the victory over the microbes was short-lived. In 1981, the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report He listed the first five cases of what would eventually be known as HIV/AIDS, a global epidemic that has since killed. 40 million People around the world. Recently, the Measles, PolioAnd other diseases most of us know only through playing. Oregon Road They bring new dangers and challenges. Syphilis cases are at their peak in the US. The highest level in 70 years.
Public health outrage following the pandemic could further weaken the field, accelerating this backslide. Dozens of states have implemented it Limitations Politicians on public health forces to limit what they see as the spread of the epidemic. This means more gatekeeping and restrictions on the role of politicians in public-health authorities, flawed and A problematic setup In the middle of trouble.
The problem does not come from politicians alone. A judge recently overturned the FDA’s approval of mifepristone first time A judicial appointee has overturned the national authority on drug safety, which would have created tests for all drugs, vaccines, foods and other products regulated by the FDA. Since the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906—the ancestor of our FDA—there has been virtually no regulation of patent medicines or other “treatments” sold for various ailments. Many contain toxic chemicals and addictive substances or are dangerously misbranded.
And soon another judge He gave an order. It would require private-health insurers to provide free preventive care. (Earlier this month, the Justice Department reached an interim agreement to protect preventive services while the legal case continues.) Such decisions threaten mammogram screening, HIV prevention and other basic health care for nearly 150 million Americans. The US already is. The ultimate in preventable death Among the 16 high-income countries, and the loss of defense services would worsen an already dire situation.
If we aspire to a better response to future epidemics and health threats, all of us—opponents and advocates alike—must push for a stronger, bolder, and better-resourced public health field. Condemning the failed policies of the US pandemic response, critics frequently point to Sweden as an example of success during the Covid pandemic. They do not show that the public health care system is weak. One of the strongest and best resources in the world.
Non 1903 C.-EA Winslow– Who created the level? Definition of public health and founded the Yale School of Public Health.He wrote in Atlantic “Immunity against certain diseases, like the sun, without thought, is received by a generation that has not heard of their occurrence; and this condition has its dangerous side, because it often leads to the neglect of the precautions necessary to preserve the benefits obtained.”
A similar sentiment can be applied to how public health is widely appreciated—or underappreciated.–Today.
You don’t need to know everything that public health can do for you in the background; It is used to ignore. of The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS ReliefDespite potentially saving tens of millions of lives worldwide, one of the largest global public health initiatives since the eradication of smallpox celebrated its 20th anniversary without public recognition.
But Americans need to make sure public health works, even if it goes unnoticed. How do you know that the cauliflower in the supermarket is not crawling together Cyclospora Nor will the water from your faucet keep your children from seeing their first birthday. We’re lucky we didn’t have to think about it; But that doesn’t mean we can take it for granted.