The Meanings of Health and its Promotion

The Constitution of the World Health Organization, which came into military unit on April 7, 1948, defined health “ as a state of complete physical, genial and sociable well-being. ” The writers of the Constitution were intelligibly mindful of the tendency of seeing health as a submit dependent on the presence or absence of diseases : so they added to that definition that an individual, if he is to be considered healthy, should not suffer from any disease ( …. “ and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity ” ) ( 1 ). In that manner, the definition of the World Health Organization simply added a necessity to the former place that allowed to declare person goodly if no disease could be found : the step forward that could have been taken in the conceptualization of health as a property of universe which can co-exist with the presence of a disease or stultification was therefore not taken. today, three types of definition of health seem to be possible and are used. The first is that health is the absence of any disease or deterioration. The second is that health is a state that allows the individual to adequately cope with all demands of day by day liveliness ( implying besides the absence of disease and disability ). The third base definition states that health is a state of proportion, an equilibrium that an individual has established within himself and between himself and his social and physical environment. The consequences of adopting one or another of these definitions are considerable. If health is defined as the absence of disease, the checkup profession is the one that can declare an individual goodly. With the progress of medicine, individuals who are declared healthy nowadays may be found to be diseased tomorrow because more advance methods of investigations might find signs of a disease that was not diagnosable earlier. How an individual feels about his or her state is not relevant in this substitution class of health. How the wall people judge the behavior and appearance of an individual is alone relevant if their observations are congruous with the criteria of abnormality that the medical profession has produced. The measurement of the state of health of a population is besides childlike and will involve no more than counting the individuals who, on examination, show defined signs of illness and comparing their numbers with those who do not. There are obvious difficulties with the first and the second of the definitions mentioned above and with their consequences. There are individuals who have abnormalities that can be counted as symptoms of a disease but do not feel ill. There are others whose torso tissues do not demonstrate changes but who feel ailment and do not function well. There are people who hear voices and might consequently be candidates for psychiatric interrogation and possibly treatment – but live well in their community and do not ask for nor welcome medical caution. There is a significant number of people who have peptic ulcers and other diseases, experience no problems, do not know that they have a disease and do not seek discussion for it. Some of these individuals will besides escape the second type of definition of health because they function american samoa well as expected in their age and sex group of the general population.

The third definition mentioned above makes health depend on whether a person has established a state of symmetry within oneself and with the environment. This means that those with a disease or impairment will be considered as being healthy to a degree defined by their ability to establish an inner chemical equilibrium that makes them get the most they can from their biography despite the bearing of the disease. Health would therefore be a dimension of human universe that remains in universe careless of the presence of diseases, slightly like the flip that remains in put even when covered with clouds. The advantage of this definition is that diseases do not replace individuals ’ health : they may affect their counterweight more or less hard but, at all times, the patients who suffer from a disease ( and their doctors ) remain aware of the need to work simultaneously on two tasks – one, to remove or alleviate the disease and the second to establish a state of libra, as best they can, within oneself and in relative with their environment. In fighting stigmatization that accompanies many chronic and some acute diseases – such as mental disorders or leprosy – this definition is besides utilitarian because it makes us talk and think about our patients as people who are defined by unlike dimensions ( including health ) and who, at a distributor point, suffer from a disease – and frankincense make us say “ a person with schizophrenia ” rather than “ a schizophrenic, ” or a ” person who has diabetes ” preferably than a “ diabetic ” and a “ person with leprosy ” rather than a “ leper. ”

There is another crucial consequence of working with this definition of health. To establish whether person is in good health in accord with this definition, the repair must explore how individuals who have a disease find about it, how the disease influences their lives, how they propose to fight their disease or live with it. Laboratory findings and the presence of symptoms are thus authoritative and necessary ingredients in thinking about the state of health and the presence of a disease but are not sufficient to reach a decisiveness about person ’ s health : it is necessary to view the disease in the context of the person who has it in order to make a judgment about his or her degree of health. There is fiddling doubt about the fact that going about the treatment of diseases in this room would improve the practice of medicine and make it a more realistic a well as a more humanist attempt.

The promotion of health is besides affected by the differences in the definition of health. The simplest definition of health – equated with the absence of disease – would lead to a definition of the promotion of health as an effort to remove diseases and diminish the numbers of individuals who suffer from them. The participation of functioning in the definition of health would be reflected in defining the promotion of health as a process by which the capacity of individuals to cope will be enhanced and strengthened, for case by regular and obligatory physical exercise. Both of these definitions would lead to recommendations to improve the treatment of diseases, and to remove risks factors that might lead to them – such as sedentary animation style, smoking, bad eating habits and insufficient lotion of hygienic measures such as washing one ’ randomness hands before meals. The third definition of health, by its very nature, could not stop at efforts to remove diseases and to diminish gamble factors that might lead to disease. It would have to involve the individuals whose health is to be promoted in an active way : it would have to address the scales of values of individuals and communities to ensure that health is placed higher on those scales. High value placed on health ( not only on the absence of disease ) would make people undertake whatever is necessary to enhance health : enter in preventive action and seeking discussion would become a normal expression of the need to behave in harmony with one ’ sulfur own and one ’ randomness community values. Changing the space of health on the scale of values, however, is not possible if left to the health sector alone : values are shaped throughout life under the influence of parents, friends, schools, the media, laws, and one ’ s own life course and have. therefore, changing values – for exemplar to give health a higher value, to promote health – has to be a task for all of those involved in shaping values and placing them on a scale preferably than for the health system alone. The huge challenges that face societies aiming to improve the health of their citizens will not be appropriately answer if we do not change the substitution class of health and disease and blueprint strategies for future work using these raw paradigm. Their formulation and acceptance is a task that is before all of us and is pressing .

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