North Carolina Public Health Association is celebrating National Public Health Week April 3rd – 9th with the theme “Healthiest Nation 2030: Creating the Healthiest Nation in One Generation.”National Public Health Week is a time to promote the benefits of healthy communities, highlight the importance of public health and our shared responsibility to increase positive health outcomes and decrease health disparities.
National Public Health Week is a time to promote the benefits of healthy communities, highlight the importance of public health and our shared responsibility to increase positive health outcomes and decrease health disparities.
Most of us do not often stop and think about the hard working people in public health who make this all possible. We are asking all of you to take a moment and think about the ways public health has touched your life. Public health is something that many people take for granted because when it is working, it is not seen, yet it touches our lives every day.
Many residents of Scotland County are not even aware of this silent force in their lives. Public health affects us all, making sure that food served in our restaurants is safe to eat, we have access to clean drinking water, making sure our children are vaccinated against dangerous diseases with low-cost or free immunizations, and generally contributing to the quality of life in our county.
Did you know in 1900, the average life span was less than 50 years of age? Today we can expect to live to about 78 years old. In 1900 the leading causes of death were pneumonia, tuberculosis, and diarrhea/enteritis, diseases that we rarely fear these days because of clean water and vaccinations. Thank you, public health.
Our goal as public health professionals is literally to put ourselves out of business. It would bring us no greater happiness than to wipe out tuberculosis, flu, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, childhood/adult obesity, decrease infant mortality and teen pregnancy. Public health aims to prevent illnesses and injuries before they occur, saving millions if not billions in tax payer’s dollars and thousands of lives every year. And we aim to help all people, no matter if they are rich or poor, young or old, seek out our services or simply go to the local diner for dinner.
Throughout the month of April, the health department will be providing information and education about Public Health and would like everyone to stop and think about ways you can become part of public health. Think of how you can make your health a priority by eating healthier, moving more, quitting smoking, getting help with addictions, reducing stress, creating safer environments and practicing safe sex. Take a few minutes to talk to your children, grandchildren, teens, older adults and your friends about the importance of making health a priority. You can find out more information about all of these topics at www.nphw.org.
We all have a role to play in public health. Scotland County Health Department staff have been working with and serving the public health needs of Scotland County residents for over 74 years, providing clinical, environmental, health education, WIC and many other programs that are critical to the well-being of our community.
For more information or to schedule a formal presentation about public health or other programs, contact Kathie Cox or Kelley Richardson, Public Health Educators at Scotland County Health Dept. at 910/277-2470, Ext. 4478 or Ext. 4429.
Kathie Cox is a health educator and public information officer at the Scotland County Health Department. Reach her at 910-277-2470, ext. 4478.