Community Health: Meaning, Importance and Scope of Community Health


Community Health: Meaning, Importance and cope of Community Health

A community emerged as a group of people with varied traits who are connected by social ties, share common views, and are engaged in joint action in geographical locations or settings. Community health is the intersection of healthcare, economics, and social interaction.

According to the Centre of Disease Control (2019), "Working at the community level promotes healthy living, helps prevents chronic diseases as well as brings the greatest health advantages to the greatest number of people in need."

By the end of this article, you should be able to:

Define community health

Importance of community health

Explain the scope of community health

Explain the role of the health educator in community health

Discuss the impact of community health

Explain how to improve community health

Regardless to your interactions with your co-livings you have an impact on your community. It may be good or bad both. We all are in a community together, there are no other way and so the health. Community health is the convergence of health care services, economics and social responsibilities. People residing in a particular reason more or less share similar kind of health risks and social and economic conditions.

Community health is a medical practice which focuses on people's well-being in a particular geographical area. This essential public health sector covers programs to help neighborhood members in protecting and improving their health, deter the transmission of infectious diseases, and plan for natural disasters.

For example a community may be exposed to pollutants from a nearby factory or waste dumping site or ground water contaminants. Public wellness programs expand access to preventive health services, include people in decision-making on treatment, and seek reduced hospital costs.

Community health is usually confused with population health. However, interrelated but have sufficient differences.

Where community health refers the collective efforts of individual or organizations for the better health of a geographically or culturally defined group of people while, population health uses outcome driven approaches for the health benefits of specific group of people typically defined by attribution.


What is Community Health?

Community health is a medical specialty that centers on the physical and mental well-being of individuals in a particular geographical area. This vital segment of public health includes initiatives to assist community members in maintaining and improving their health, forestall the spread of infectious diseases, and prepare for natural disasters.

Individuals’ health outcomes are affected by a healthy community; Living in a community that is not healthy makes it difficult for an individual to be healthy. This is because; community is an ecosystem or environment where individuals live.


Community Health Components

Health care workers working in urban areas identify how the populations are impacted by factors related to social and economic status; like poverty, nutrition, water source, and war, crime, and transport services. They also decide how the health and education services of the community relate to the lives of people and what changes are needed. Vital components of community health include: Identification of significant public health issues, such as social and environmental influences impacting healthy living, within the same geographic region.

Developing an intervention strategy to resolve urban infrastructure shortages, such as setting up community health centers, mobile clinics, and services for outreach.

In order to promote life changes, inform people about the importance of medical treatment and safe lifestyles. Ensuring the availability of essential medical services like screenings, therapy, and counseling.

In case emergencies cost reduction of expensive treatments and hospitalizations.  Advocating to state and federal officials for better treatment for at-risk communities.  Works alongside other neighborhood groups to discuss the emotional, physical, cultural, and social features of the city, including housing, nutrition, and transportation.


Importance of Community Health

Large population residing in rural areas does not have access to proper care and treatments in the hour of their need. Elderly people, pregnant women, neonatal, persons with chronic illness residing in a distant location from a hospital are always at high risk.

Community health system is a big hope here.

1. Establishing public health centers and programs: In public health efforts such as the war against the drug crisis and the halting of the HIV epidemic and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, community health services have become vital tools. The holistic model of health treatment helps physicians to manage and avoid a variety of disorders simultaneously.

2. Minimizing costs to health care: Social health is an important part in health policy reforms aimed at lowering public spending on healthcare. Public health services work within a model of patient-centered treatment, including patients in decisions regarding care. This model helps physicians to direct patients away from expensive visits to the emergency department to discourage relapses.

3. Addressing disparities in access to health care: Rural and small cities where per capital income is less, unavailability of hospitals and shortage of doctors occur, healthcare inequalities may be extremely pronounced. Such populations are at high risk of exposure to extreme poverty, drug abuse, and several other risks to human health and life.

If a regional health system that takes into account the particular features of the community is set in order to meet unmet needs, the general level of service of the community can be dramatically increased.


Scope of Community Health

Community Health: Meaning, Importance and cope of Community Health

Community health covers a wide range of healthcare interventions, such as health promotion, sickness prevention, and treatment. It also involves management and administration of care.

Community Health Workers (CHWs) are often frontline professionals with expertise and knowledge of the unique characteristics and development of the community. They are most times members of the community themselves and play a crucial role ensuring a functioning of community care.


Roles of Health Educators in Community Health

Community Health: Meaning, Importance and cope of Community Health

The health educator functions in the community to:

Assess the needs of the people and communities they serve

Develop programs and events to educate people concerning health topics

Educate individuals on ways to address or manage existing health conditions

Evaluate the effectiveness of programs and educational materials

Assist people to find health services or information

Offer training programs for other health professionals or community health workers

supervise workers who implement health education programs

Learn about their audience and improve programs and services by collecting and analyzing data

Advocate for improved health resources and policies that promote health.


Impact of Community Health

The effect of community health is incredibly vast and extensive. The effect of community health cuts across educational achievements, safety and crime, people's ability to work and be financially healthy, life expectancy, happiness, leisure activities, civic duties, social functions, and more.

 Community health can be used to reduce inequality and health gaps among residents.

 Neglecting community health can cause an increase in crime rate and safety issues.

 If a community's overall well-being is suffering, chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and heart failure can increase as well as other health challenges.

 Controlling infectious diseases may also be very tasking, putting vulnerable populations like the elderly and children at higher risk.

 Emergencies are more challenging to control if it occurs in the community; for example, in the case of a natural disaster and infections, more resources will be needed to control spread in a community.


Improving Community Health

Cooperation between health educators (public health workers), local government, volunteers, and average citizens is essential in improving community health and ensuring beneficial outcome.

Health education becomes essential in maintaining community health, particularly teaching individuals the consequences of tobacco smoking, correcting poor nutrition through nutrition education and increased physical activity, and raising general awareness on healthy lifestyles.

School health is additionally centered on all health education because schools are major part of the community where formation ought to begin early to have a decent and health community.


Conclusion on Community Health: Meaning, Importance and cope of Community Health

Community health is central to the promotion of healthy lifestyles among completely different classes of individuals within society. It's a collective responsibility that should be supported by governments at all levels so that healthy population could contribute to the growth and development of the general society. Thus, health educators need to collaborate with stakeholders in the health sector to enhance community health and promote the wellbeing of people within society.

Improved and mutual awareness of the significance of community health can lead to fostering greater accomplishment for the residents of healthy communities that are marked by improved health and quality of life. The community health represents the community's needs and highlights the best of public health research and developments, and implications to accomplish the common objective of improving health.

In this article, we have studied the meaning of community health, the scope of community health, importance, the role of health educators in community health, the impact of community health, and how to improve community health.

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