Medical treatment is not only expensive but may sometimes be damaging and/or life-changing. Besides, managing epidemics has never been an easy task for any community or government. For this reason, it is often more beneficial to prevent illnesses than wait to fall ill in order to seek treatment. You don’t have to be a professional in the industry to in your community. Below are some of the best preventative measures that can protect the community from diseases.
Top ways of promoting preventative health
1. Promote change in risk behaviors
Drug and alcohol abuse increase the chances of contracting diseases such as cancer, heart disease, asthma and respiratory infections. These habits expose the users (or abusers) to dangerously-high levels of toxins, which end up lowering the body’s immunity. In addition, smoking introduces dangerous chemicals into the environment – through secondhand smoke – thus exposing the non-smokers in the community to the same risks. The most effective preventative measures to deal with alcohol and drug abuse related problems include:
- Sensitization programs to reduce initiation to such habits.
- Programs that encourage cessation.
- Introducing alternatives such as electronic cigarettes to help reduce the levels of secondhand smoke in the environment.
2. Balanced diet
A balanced diet is necessary for preventing illnesses and ensuring the wellbeing of the community. On one hand, it provides the body with sufficient nutrition and energy to maintain body tissues, cells, and organs thus enabling optimal growth and development. On the other hand, a well-balanced diet provides the mix ofand boost immunity to diseases.
3. Promote exercising / physical activity
Routine exercises are essential in maintaining a healthy weight, thus helping to prevent the variety of lifestyle diseases including diabetes and heart disease.In addition, exercising improves the functioning of the various body systems and brain. Physical activity is effective and beneficial in ensuring a long and healthier life.
4. Promote personal hygiene
is a good way to fight the spread of communicable diseases. Some of the basic hygienic practices include hand washing and proper handling of food. On the other hand, hygiene helps to eliminate disease-carrying vectors such as lice and worms. Proper dental hygiene is necessary to prevent conditions such as dental caries, tooth and gum diseases (gingivitis, periodontitis, etc.), as well as pharyngeal and oral cancers.
Immunization is essential in controlling the range of vaccine-preventable diseases. Therefore, you should educate the community on the importance of getting these shots, and the numerous diseases that vaccination can prevent. Proper education increases the demand for immunization and subsequently, improves the vaccination coverage. In addition, you could use provider- and system-based interventions to enhance access to vaccination services.
6. Self-Management Education
The wide variety of terminal illnesses and chronic medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and HIV can adversely affect the quality of life within the community. If not properly managed, these conditions could easily lead to both financial and emotional drain for the patients and caregivers. Besides, lack of adequate care exposes patients to opportunistic infections, which could easily be spread to caregivers and other members of the community. Apart from training the caregivers, it is also important for patients to understand how to care and manage their conditions on their own.
7. Informed Decision Making
Some of the highly contagious diseases, especially sexually transmitted diseases, are spread due to poor choices. For instance, engaging in unprotected sex or having multiple sexual partners is likely to increase the spread of STIs such as Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV among others. Educating the community enables people to make more informed decisions on the ways and devices that could be used to prevent infections.