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Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine

Environmental Health

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine

Environment provides energy and materials like safe nutritious food, drinking water and air to sustain life. Direct and indirect impact of environment on public health and wellbeing is examined in Environmental health and attempts are made to recognise and prevent the negative effects. Environmental health is focused on environmental benefits on public health, since environment is a major determinant of human wellbeing.

Environmental Health

Environmental health is concerned to determine all interactions and aspects of environment on human health. It is a branch of public health that includes environmental public health protection concerned with protecting the natural environment for the benefit of human health and the ecosystem. Environmental health involves around prevention and control of diseases and disabilities caused due to the interactions with environment. The need of safe and healthy environment to support good human health is necessary due to the constant interaction with the environment. These interactions affect quality of healthy life, lifespan and health disparities.
Environmental health refers to various effects of physical, social or psychosocial, chemical and biological factors in the environment on human health. These effects may be direct pathological effects of radiation, chemicals and biological agents or indirect effects on health and wellbeing by physical, psychological, psychosocial, social and cultural environment, urban development and medium of transportation. In short, environmental health addresses all the behavioural impacts related to external biological, chemical and physical factors. Environmental health needs to address all factors that increase the likelihood of exposure to diseases since poor quality of natural environment has put health status at risk. It is important to interpret health issues related to environment and analyse environmental risk factors such as soil, water and air pollution, radiation or chemical exposures and climate change that contribute to different diseases and injuries.

Environmental Health Career

Preventive medicine involves medical practices designed to avert and avoid disease while focusing on the health of individuals in a community or population. Environmental healthencompasses the assessment and targets prevention of disease, control of potential environmental factors affecting health and creation of health supportive environment. Information on comprehensive and unique approach of prevention and management of environmental health related to physical, psychosocial, chemical, biological, medical, genetic and other environmental factors is available. Monitoring and controlling activities or services of environmental health policies implement promotion and improvement of environmental parameters by encouraging the use of healthy behaviours and environmentally friendly technologies. Environmental health experts, professionals or officers, environmental health practitioners or sanitarians, environmental health specialists, public health inspectors, researchers and policy-makers play important roles in environmental health practice along with suggesting and developing new policies.
The scope of environmental health and preventive medicine includes the practice of environmental health and preventive medicine by registered health specialists in private and public sector or organizations to manage, educate, enforce, consult and provide emergency response for the purpose of prevention and control of environmental health hazards and diseases; promotion and protection of the environment and public health; housing; food protection; appropriate land use; pollution control; preventive medical facilities; radiation control; hazardous material management; underground water storage and vector control; onsite septic systems; hygiene and sanitation; quality of drinking water and emergency preparedness.
Proven strategies have been developed for prevention of diseases and deaths through healthy environments after global assessment of the disease burden and environmental risks. These are based on evidences collected on the health impacts of emerging risks such as ecosystem damage, loss of biodiversity, climate change, water scarcity and other global impacts. Continuing research is necessary for better understanding the complex process of creating healthy environments and effects of environmental hazards on human health.

Online Course in Environmental Health

James Lind Institute (JLI) provides an online program – Advanced PG Diploma in Environmental Health Management to understand the application of preventive medicine in Environmental Health.
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