Identify some roles that public health plays in our society.

Some of the roles that public health plays in our society are helping to prevent the spread of illnesses and providing access to vaccines and medicines. Other roles of public health include making sure that accurate information is readily available and ensuring provision of healthy food and water.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

First things first: in order to answer this question, we need to define public health. According to Oxford Languages, this is "the branch of medicine dealing with public health, including hygiene, epidemiology and disease prevention." In other words, it's about keeping the general public as healthy as possible. Various strategies—such...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

First things first: in order to answer this question, we need to define public health. According to Oxford Languages, this is "the branch of medicine dealing with public health, including hygiene, epidemiology and disease prevention." In other words, it's about keeping the general public as healthy as possible. Various strategies—such as the use of chlorine to disinfect public water supplies and offering free COVID-19 vaccinations—are put in place to promote public health. An easy way to understand public health is that it takes care of the health of the entire population rather than the health of an individual or small group.

Speaking in broad strokes, the most important role of public health is to ensure the longevity of people in our society. It is about preventing and treating health issues so that people in our society can make greater contributions to the lives of those around them. Public health also protects the societal structure of the family unit by ensuring that everyone remains as healthy as possible.

As far as possible, the role of public health is to ensure that everyone has access to the things they need to maintain good health: nutritious food, safe drinking water, hygienic living conditions, medicines, vaccines, and, sometimes most importantly, accurate information.

If run properly, a public health system plays a preventative role, detecting new health issues and illnesses as quickly as possible and responding so as to prevent the spread and development of the new disease or threat.

Another important role of public health is to educate people and create awareness around health issues. Through its activities and campaigns, a public health care system should help to bridge socioeconomic gaps that exist in society and ensure equal care and information for everybody.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on