By Livy-Elcon Emereonye
There is no alternative to good health, and public health seeks to meet the health needs of the public. According to Everett Koop, “Healthcare is vital to all of us some of the time, but public health is vital to all of us all of the time.” Regardless of space and time, class and status, it impacts everyone.
The field of public health entails prevention and education of the general public to help improve the overall health and reduce risks to a population, as opposed to the provision of individual medical treatment to one patient at a time. Public health can be distinguished from healthcare in that instead of treating diseases and injuries one patient at a time, it focuses on preventing disease and injury in communities and populations. People who work in public health do not necessarily diagnose or treat patients on an individual basis like clinicians do in a clinical setting.