Public health can be referred as community health.It involves the science and practice of community hygiene; which includes preventive medicine, health education, sanitation and environmentalsafety.Tomaintaincommunities' health, the public health system works toputoff epidemics and thespreadof the disease,fosterandstrengthenhealthy behaviors and mental health, prevent injuries, protect against environmental hazards,assurequality and accessibility of health services and respond to disasters andassistcommunities in recovery (Turnock B., 1997).Public health system is alargenetwork ofpersonnel, systems and organizations working at the local, state and national levels and its primary emphasis on preventing disease and disability, and it focus on the health of the entire population.
The public healthstructureis the corefoundationthat supports the delivery, planning and evaluation of public health practices and activities. There are threekeycomponents of the public health infrastructure are; public health workforce, information anddatasystems andorganizationcapacities of health departments and laboratories (Demetrius J.P., 2004). Skilled public healthworkforcewill ensure that eachcommunityis servedby a well trained, culturally competent public healthteam, representing the optimalcombinationof professional disciplines. Arobustinformation anddatasystemwill ensure that each health department will be ableto electronicallyaccessanddistributepublic health information and emergency health alerts, assist in thedetectionof emerging public health problems and monitor the health of communities.Effective health department will ensure that each health department and laboratory meetsprimaryperformance and accountability standards thatacknowledgetheir population base including geography, census and risk factors with specific needs identified through state public health improvement plans (Demetrius J.P., 2004).
Kenya is a developing country which does not have astablepublic health infrastructure. There are a number of factors which affects Kenya's public health infrastructure such as rural-urban and regional imbalances,personnelshortage and lack ofinvestmentjust to mention a few. Toenhancethe public health infrastructure in Kenya, there are number of issues which should be addressed.
Vaccination of anydiseasewhich can be immunized should be carried out now and then to avoid unnecessaryspreadof these diseases.Vaccination caneradicatedsome of the diseases in Kenya such as poliomyelitis, measles and diphtheria.When the infectious diseasesare eliminatedwe will have a healthier nation which is able to contribute to the well being of the country's economy.
Motor-vehicle safety is very necessary in everyone's life. To improve motor-vehicle safety Kenyan government should only allow imports of vehicles which are safer for human beings tooperate.There should be engineering effort to make the Kenyan highways safer todriveon them.Another crucialfactorto enhance the motor-vehicle safety is efforts to changepersonalbehavior. Thesepersonalbehaviors include; increased use of safety belt, unnecessary over speeding, wearing a motorcycle helmet and driving whiledrunk.These efforts willcontributedtosubstantialreductions in motor-vehicle-related deaths.
Safer and healthier foods are vital to our well being of our bodies and prevention of some diseases. Food programs to educate the public on nutritional deficiency diseases should be introduced in Kenya so that the public can understand the importance of eating a balanced diet food. Eating healthier food will help to eliminate nutritional deficiency diseases rickets, goiter and pellagra in Kenya. The food programmes should alsoenlightenthe public on theimportantof eating safer food in order to avoid food poisoning and microbial contamination.
Family planning is another factor which contributes to a better public health infrastructure.
Access to contraceptive and family planning services will help to control the ever rapidly increasing population of Kenya. When the size of the population is well controlled, the public healthsystemwill be able to cater for the minimalnumberofpopulationthan a largerpopulationwhich has no enough resources. These family planning and contraceptive services will affect the social and economic roles of women positively. Family planning will provide health benefits such as smaller family sizes and fewer infant, child and maternal deaths. Contraceptives will help to prevent pregnancy and transmission of HIV and other STDs.
Fluoridation of drinking water is very important because it takes care of our dental formula.
Fluoridation is the controlled addition of fluoride in public water so as to control tooth decay. All sources of public water in Kenya should be fluoridated to control tooth decay of both adults and children. Fluoridation safely and cheaply benefits both children and adults by efficiently preventing tooth decay, regardless of their social and economic status or access to care. Fluoridation also prevents tooth loss in adults.
Continued misuse of antibiotics in Kenya has led to drug-resistant strains ofmajormicrobes that cause infectious diseases including malaria, Gonorrhea and tuberculosis. Kenya should try to use advanced technologies and new drugs to treat these diseases. The government should make sure that all theineffectivedrugs are not used any more.
Environmental and ecological changes are factors which have affected Kenyan public health system tremendously. Some of the factors which cause these changes are; Deforestation, irrigation, and patterns in agricultural production and pesticide use. Torejuvenatethe environment thepublicshould be educated on the importance of afforestation and tree planting programmes should be introduced in the country.The public should be trained on agricultural practices to avoid thedegradationof the environment.
Kenyan public health infrastructure lacks enough trained personnel to cater for the whole population. The ministry of health should provide enough finances to cater for public healthtraining. Theministryshould also provide modern equipment to institutions training the public healthpersonnel. Well trainedpersonnelwill be able toinvestigateandidentifyany traces of danger to the community, May it be a disease outbreak or degradation of theenvironmentwhich could pose adangerto the community.