BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Global Health: Public Health Awareness and Disease Prevention



Let’s start by deliberating on a few critical questions… How important is health awareness and education to you? How much do you know about your health and the risks of becoming diseased? How acquainted are you with the health issues in the world today? Why is it necessary to know about these health issues and how to prevent them?

The United Nations, through the Virtual Knowledge Center to End Violence Against Women, defines public awareness as the public’s level of understanding about the consequence and implications of women’s safety. Applying this definition to this topic, public health awareness generally means the public’s level of understanding about the importance, causes and implications of health. Public health awareness is important because good health and well being are produced when the government, health organizations or institutions and individuals  partner to educate and promote health in communities. The public also has to believe that health awareness and disease prevention are important issues in the community. Public health awareness involves health education and knowledge sharing through campaigns, media and promotions. It does not mean dictating or commanding, but rather explaining issues and disseminating information, thereby empowering and allowing people to make their own decisions.

Increased rate of public awareness occurs when a substantial proportion of the public know and agree that an issue, notably health, is of great importance to all citizens. On the contrary, low rate of public awareness occurs when majority of the public do not think an issue is of significance. Public health awareness involves two levels which include general public health awareness and a personal or self awareness. General public health awareness is a situation  where the public has a basic knowledge of good hygiene and healthy habits as well as know where and how to seek help and obtain resources to maintain either optimum health, prevent diseases or obtain treatment for diseases.  On the other hand, personal or self-awareness involves an understanding of how the environment and the health of the public affects  an individual so as to prevent diseases. Disease prevention focuses on strategies targeted towards reducing the risk of developing acute or chronic diseases. Health promotion and disease prevention programs are ways of raising public awareness. These programs are often aimed to address the social determinants of health, which influence risk behaviors such as tobacco use, poor eating habits, and physical inactivity.

Major ways to promote health and increase public health awareness in order to prevent diseases include:

  1. Communication: This involves sharing information and raising awareness about healthy behaviors through public service announcements, health fairs, mass media campaigns, and newsletters.
  2. Education: Educating people to inform, empower and inspire them to make behavior change and take actions through increased knowledge. This can be achieved through formal and informal courses, trainings, workshops and support groups.
  3. Policy making: Governments, organizations and public agencies can make health enhancing policies that regulate and mandate activities that encourage healthy decision-making and behaviours.
  4. Enabling environment: This involves creating, enhancing and changing structures in environment to increase the likelihood and easiness of making healthy choices.


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