Maintaining the health of students and the people in a community is the responsibility of the individuals, the community, the government and health organization. Ways of maintaining good public health include;
- Proper observance of personal hygiene. Keep yourself and your environment clean.
- Proper refuse disposal e.g. burning in incinerators, burying in sanitary landfills, etc.
- Proper sewage disposal e.g. use of pit toilets and water-closet toilets.
- Protection of water supply by boiling, filtration, addition of chlorine, storage in clean containers, etc.
- Protection of food by keeping them in clean containers, boiling or cooking properly before eating, washing of fruits, vegetables and hands before eating, etc.
- Health organizations such as United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), International Red Cross Society, etc. help to maintain the health of people in a country through their corporate activities.
EVALUATION (POST YOUR ANSWERS IN THE BOX BELOW FOR DISCUSSION)
- Define the term ‘vector’
- Enumerate four vectors, the pathogens they carry and the diseases caused by these pathogens
- State three ways by which vectors can be controlled
Ways of Maintaining Good Health in the Community
- Refuse Disposal:Refuse is solid waste materials discharged through human activities from homes and industries into the environment. When these are dumped recklessly, they create bad odour and provide breeding ground for vectors and pathogens.
Refuse disposal can be done through:
(i) Provision of dust bin in strategic locations.
(ii) Burning refuse in incinerators.
(iii) Dumping them in isolated areas far from human inhabitation.
(iv) Burying in a sanitary land fill.
- Sewage Disposal:These are liquid waste materials discharged from laundries, kitchens, toilets, bathrooms etc.
Sewage disposal can be done through:
(i) Use of pit toilets where faeces and urine are passed into deep pits.
(ii) Use of septic tanks where water is used to flush faeces and urine into a big tank dug in the ground.
(iii) Community treatment process where sewage from various homes are collected and treated before being discharged into oceans and rivers.
- Protection of water:Water should be protected to check with incidents of water-borne diseases like cholera, salmonellosis, etc.
This can be done by:
Adding alum to water.
(i) Chlorination: Adding of chlorine water.
(ii) Storing water in clean containers.
(iii) Filtering of water on settling/coding.
- Protection of food:Both raw and cooked food should be kept properly to avoid the outbreak of food poisoning. This can be achieved by:
(i) Refrigeration: Keeping food in refrigerators.
(ii) Proper cooking/boiling of food.
(iii) Washing of hands before and after eating.
(iv) There should be inspection of food meant for public consumption.
(v) Preservation of food by canning.
(vi) Avoid expression of food to flies and other micro-organisms.
(vii) Keep the environment where food is prepared clean.
- Control of diseases:Individuals can control disease by:
(i) Living in a clean environment.
(ii) Eating good and balanced diet.
(iii) Wearing good and clean clothes.
(iv) Cleaning latrines and urinals with disinfectants.
(v) Exercising regularly.
(vi) Avoiding drug abuse.
(vii) Immunization and vaccination.
- Health Organizations:These are corporate (international and local) bodies concerned with the maintenance of good health of the people. International health organizations include:
(i) WHO – World Health Organization.
(ii) UNICEF – United Nations International Children Emergency Fund.
(iii) NMA – Nigeria Medical Association.
(iv) Red Cross Society.
Roles of Health Organizations
World Health Organization (WHO)
This is a specialized division of the United Nations established in 1948 with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Its major aim is to improve the health of the people in all the countries of the world.
Functions of the World Health Organization (WHO)
- It helps to set and recommend safe standard for drugs.
- It helps in maternal and children health care.
- It assists national health organizations in the control of diseases and vectors of diseases.
- It publishes medical journals.
- It helps to provide drugs and vaccines in case of emergency.
- It co-ordinates research programmes in all fields of health and makes the result known to all member nations.
United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
The UNICEF, another special agency of the United Nations was set up to improve the health and welfare of the children all over the world.
Functions of the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
- To provide for the emergency needs of children in devastated areas.
- To improve the nutrition of under nourished children.
- To supply vaccines or equipment to prevent or control diseases that specifically affects children such as whooping cough, diphtheria, poliomyelitis etc.
- To provide children’s clothing and other needs.
International Red Cross Society
This is concerned with the alleviation of human suffering and the promotion of public health. It was established in the year 1863 in Geneva, Switzerland composed of 25 Swiss citizens who later grew to all around the world.
Functions of the International Red Cross Society
- In times of war
- They take proper care of the injured
- They also provide welfare for the prisoners of war
- They provide transport for the evacuation of refugees
- In Time of Peace.
- They provide the general first-aid to patients.
- They maintain maternal and child welfare clinics.
- They provide help to victims of natural disasters such as earthquake, floods, fire etc.
Nigeria Medical Association (NMA)
This is a national body concerned with the maintenance of good health within Nigeria.
Functions of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA)
- Advising the government on how to improve the health status of the people.
- Alerting the nation where there is an outbreak of diseases.
- Carrying out research into ways of preventing and controlling diseases.
- Monitoring the recruitment of well-trained doctors in hospitals.
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