Describe the origins 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. He obtained the names and the addresses of the first 83 victims who had died by the end of the first week. He went to their homes and learned from relatives that the vast majority of them had obtained their water from the Broad St.

Describe the origins 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.

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 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. 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. 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.

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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.

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.

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.

Only one report had enough significance to force concern about these conditions into action to improve them. Because of his work on this report his thinking about the reasons for the plight of the poor began to change and like many health professionals trying to tackle inequalities in health today, he became convinced that their suffering was due to the dreadful conditions in which many of them lived.

The act also instigated the setting up of a General Board of Health to oversee these reforms. Snow believed in the germ theory of disease as opposed to the prevailing miasma theory. Although miasma theory correctly teaches that disease is a result of poor sanitation, it was based upon the prevailing theory of spontaneous generation.Describe the origins of public health in the UK from the 19th Century to the present day Words May 3rd, 13 Pages In this assignment I am going to describe the origins of public health in the UK from the 19th century to the present day.

P2 Describe the origins of public health policy in the UK from the 19th Century to the present day. P2 Describe the origins of public health policy in the UK from the 19th Century to the present day.

Mar 24,  · P1 – Describe the key aspects of public health strategies In this essay I am going to be describing key aspects of public health strategies and what influences our health.

Public health is a science art of preventing disease. ← P2 – Describe the origins of public health policy in the UK from the 19th century to the present day.

Describe the origins of public health

Origins of Public Health. In some ways, public health is a modern concept, although it has roots in antiquity. The health of the public was undermined by epidemic infectious diseases like cholera, which ravaged industrialising countries in the 19th century.

Health Promotion. Term used to describe positive strategy for improving health. In the third sense, "Public Health " is used to describe public health activities that are completely user-driven.

An example is the collection and sharing of information about environmental radiation levels after the March tsunami in Japan. In all cases.

A Brief History of Public Health