The Meanings of Health and its Promotion

The Constitution of the World Health Organization, which came into force on April 7, 1948, defined health “ as a express of complete forcible, mental and social well-being. ” The writers of the Constitution were clearly mindful of the tendency of seeing health as a express subject on the presence or absence of diseases : so they added to that definition that an person, 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 direction, the definition of the World Health Organization just added a requirement to the former position that allowed to declare person healthy 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 disability 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 stultification. The second is that health is a state that allows the individual to adequately cope with all demands of day by day life ( implying besides the absence of disease and damage ). The third base definition states that health is a department of state of balance, 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 aesculapian profession is the one that can declare an individual healthy. With the advancement of medicine, individuals who are declared healthy today may be found to be diseased tomorrow because more advanced methods of investigations might find signs of a disease that was not diagnosable earlier. How an individual feels about his or her department of state is not relevant in this paradigm of health. How the besiege people judge the behavior and appearance of an individual is only 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 simple and will involve no more than counting the individuals who, on interrogation, show define 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 body tissues do not demonstrate changes but who feel ill and do not function well. There are people who hear voices and might consequently be candidates for psychiatric examination and possibly treatment – but live well in their community and do not ask for nor get medical care. There is a significant count of people who have peptic ulcers and other diseases, experience no problems, do not know that they have a disease and do not seek treatment for it. Some of these individuals will besides escape the second base type of definition of health because they function a well as expected in their senesce and gender group of the cosmopolitan population.

The third definition mentioned above makes health depend on whether a person has established a department of state of balance within oneself and with the environment. This means that those with a disease or stultification will be considered as being healthy to a floor defined by their ability to establish an inner balance that makes them get the most they can from their life despite the presence of the disease. Health would therefore be a property of homo universe that remains in universe regardless of the presence of diseases, slightly like the sky that remains in place even when covered with clouds. The advantage of this definition is that diseases do not replace individuals ’ health : they may affect their libra more or less hard but, at all times, the patients who suffer from a disease ( and their doctors ) remain aware of the motivation to work simultaneously on two tasks – one, to remove or alleviate the disease and the irregular to establish a submit of balance, as best they can, within oneself and in relation with their environment. In fighting stigmatization that accompanies many chronic and some acute diseases – such as genial disorders or leprosy – this definition is besides useful because it makes us speak and think about our patients as people who are defined by different dimensions ( including health ) and who, at a point, suffer from a disease – and therefore make us say “ a person with schizophrenia ” rather than “ a schizoid, ” or a ” person who has diabetes ” preferably than a “ diabetic ” and a “ person with leprosy ” preferably than a “ leper. ”

There is another authoritative 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 feel about it, how the disease influences their lives, how they propose to fight their disease or bouncy with it. Laboratory findings and the presence of symptoms are thus important and necessary ingredients in thinking about the state of matter of health and the presence of a disease but are not sufficient to reach a decision 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 little doubt about the fact that going about the discussion of diseases in this manner would improve the practice of medicine and make it a more naturalistic a good as a more humane endeavor.

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 attempt to remove diseases and diminish the numbers of individuals who suffer from them. The interest 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 example by regular and obligatory physical use. 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 life expressive style, smoke, bad eating habits and insufficient application of hygienic measures such as washing one ’ mho hands before meals. The third definition of health, by its very nature, could not stop at efforts to remove diseases and to diminish risk 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 respect placed on health ( not only on the absence of disease ) would make people undertake whatever is necessary to enhance health : participate in preventive action and seeking treatment would become a normal expression of the need to behave in harmony with one ’ randomness own and one ’ mho community values. Changing the position 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 ’ mho own life sentence run and know. therefore, changing values – for example to give health a higher value, to promote health – has to be a tax for all of those involved in shaping values and placing them on a plate rather than for the health arrangement alone. The huge challenges that face societies aiming to improve the health of their citizens will not be appropriately suffice if we do not change the prototype of health and disease and design strategies for future work using these modern substitution class. Their conceptualization and acceptance is a job that is before all of us and is pressing .

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Category : Health

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