Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

Public Health: What is It & Why is It Important?

  Jan 16, 2024
Reviewed by Ravinder Kaur

Public Health

Key Takeaways

  • As a healthcare professional, you can either start your undergraduate degree or a master’s in this field after getting your bachelor’s in another healthcare field.
  • The meal plans offered at schools should be created with the intent of providing adequate nutrition to growing young minds.
  • According to the OECD Health Data 2010, the per capita health expenditure in the United States is more than $7,000.

According to the CDC, Public health is “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting wellness through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, private communities, and individuals.”

The wellness experts research the causes of chronic diseases, work on prevention methods, and educate communities about healthier lifestyle choices. 

These professionals include epidemiologists, researchers, physicians and nurses, community planners, social workers, and occupational well-being and safety workers.

The work done by experts involves educating the masses about the prevention of diseases, in contrast to clinical physicians and nurses who focus on the treatment of illnesses. 

How Can I Work as a Public Health Professional?

As a healthcare professional, you can either start your undergraduate degree or a master’s in this field after getting your bachelor’s in another healthcare field. If you have a full-time job but would like to pursue an advanced degree, an MPH online program will be perfect for you. 

Many clinical professionals, such as freshly graduated physicians and nurses, switch to the industry. Online MPH programs allow them the flexibility to study for their masters during their intern year. 

We will now discuss its importance for the benefit of the community.

Track the Outbreak of Diseases

Disease outbreaks, such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic, are a significant burden on the healthcare systems of a society. These professionals across the globe worked tirelessly to determine the cause of the outbreak, critically analyzed the symptoms of the disease, and worked with medical researchers to identify the exact virus that caused a global outbreak. 

Similarly, any epidemic in a community, such as typhoid or measles outbreaks, requires the services of professionals. Collecting food and water samples for contamination testing and identifying the outbreak’s source can prevent it from happening again. 

The educators can also initiate a door-to-door campaign to provide information about the importance of vaccines to prevent the spread of infectious illnesses. 

Maintaining a Hygienic Environment


Communities with a good system have policies that guarantee access to clean air and water for each member. Guidelines are in place to regulate the air and noise pollution caused by vehicles, with bi-annual checkups of their safety standards. 

Technologies are created and implemented to provide clean water to homes, hospitals, and schools. Regular checkups of water quality are done to ensure the fitness of the equipment used in water filtration plants. 


Interesting Fact
This graph shows the total health expenditure per capita, US$ PPP, in different countries of the world.

These doctors and professionals also assess the hazards caused by inhaling secondhand smoke from smokers in public places. Moreover, they develop and implement policies regarding things like smoking so that non-smokers, particularly children, are safe from the social and physical perils of smoking. 

Public well-being systems are activated in implementing policies to reverse the effects of global warming. Zero-carbon emissions and no-plastic waste policies require extensive research to create guidelines that individuals and corporations can put into practice to achieve their targets. 

Ensuring Access to Adequate Nutrition

Meal plans offered at schools are created with the intent of providing adequate nutrition to growing young minds. In developing countries, educators educate parents and administer vitamin A drops to newborns in a vulnerable population. 

Nutritionists work on campaigns for new mothers to educate them about their dietary requirements, as a healthy mother is a foundation for healthy families. 

Aiding and Prolonging Life

The systems identify the prevalence of non-communicable illnesses like stroke, heart disease, and cancer. They can identify population groups at risk of developing these conditions due to multiple factors such as workplace exposure and alcohol consumption. 

Awareness campaigns are launched to educate people about preventive measures to avoid diseases in the first place, such as the role of a healthy diet and physical exercise in preventing heart attacks. Policies are also in place to ensure physicians conduct regular screening camps to identify individuals at risk for getting non-communicable conditions. 

The systems also monitor the exposure of workers to high-risk environments, which can damage their condition. Regular checkups of coal miners, factory workers, and poultry workers are done to assess if the extent of their work is adversely affecting their condition. Guidelines are in place to protect healthcare workers from high radiation levels, particularly radiologists and biotechnologists. 

The professionals do all this work with one target: to prolong the life of members. A healthy society free from the burden of routine is one which can contribute to its growth and stability. 


“Prevention is better than cure” — this phrase has been attributed to the Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus. This phrase has served as the essence of the work done by healthcare professionals. 

It researches and creates awareness about the impact of diseases on a community. It can also influence government policies to take measures to prevent illness in a country, such as wearing masks and getting tested before arriving in another country during COVID-19.

The impact of public health extends to assisting the government in disaster management. Campaigns on disaster management and educating people about the measures to take to save themselves during a disaster. 

The presence of a system focuses on the overall well-being of the society. It ensures that every member has access to clean water, air, and food to live a life, regardless of gender or race. Every human being has the right to live a healthy life, and public fitness protects this right.