Public Health Philosophy in Disaster Prevention

History of Public Health

In the past 150 years, the factors that shaped the public health system include the rise of scientific knowledge and controlling diseases. The second factor includes public health acknowledgment that they control diseases and it is a public responsibility. In the past centuries, little knowledge existed on the causes of the disease, illness was regarded by society with designation, and little interventions were taken. When knowledge about the causes of diseases, controlling the increased and became specific and more effective against the disease. Public agencies and organizations were formed to use the discoveries of interventions against diseases (Porter, 2020). When scientific knowledge increased, public health institutions expanded, taking the new tasks, including regulation, sanitation, personal healthcare, and health education.

Philosophy of Public Health

The philosophy of public health is a wide area that comprises different realms of epistemology, ontology, and ethics focused on making sense of public health knowledge. They are also directed at understanding whether the efforts put can change the distribution and determinants of disease when public health is guaranteed. Public health is cornered, ensuring a balance between populations, communities, and individuals’ interests. These interests arise from essential goals of public health complementarytary goals, including disease prevention, health promotion, and individuals’ well-being. In public health, synthesis, analysis, and scientific methods are vital in the public health philosophy. Public health depends on scientific discovery and knowledge accumulation which predicts the probabilities of events (Dawson, 2016). The molecular basis of biology and the societal dynamics are tested by qualitative and quantitative methodologies, representing the scientific disciplines.

Values of Public Health

The values of public health include equity, compassion, security, efficiency, freedom and autonomy, democracy, and health. Equity is a formal concept, but consensus needs to be reached before it can be applied. The concept of equity states that everybody should get a fair share, and everybody should have theirs. If there are poor people than the rest, then this can be considered inequality. Access to healthcare should be equal to everybody regardless of their ability to pay the health services. The second value includes altruism and compassion, which both are tied up with the notions of equity. Altruism is caring and selfless acts that are focused on putting others before yourself. Compassion is focused on pitying and feeling what others are feeling to understand what they are going through (Fleetwood, 2017). The third value is security which is concerned with universalism whereby no individual should be denied services because they are poor and cannot afford the services.

Efficiency is the notion that all the available resources should be utilized, but attention should be paid to decisions and actions. Technical efficiency ensures that particular output is maximized, which includes health at a particular cost. Efficiency states that actions that demand the least cost should be utilized. Patients have the autonomy and freedom of choice about their health provided that they are given all the information regarding the benefits of taking medications and the costs involved. When this information has been given, the patient can make their own decisions (Fleetwood, 2017). Democracy states that public health instruments should take into consideration of public views and consent.

Public Health Prevention

The aim of primary prevention services to prevent an injury or diseases before its occurrence. This is through exposure prevention to hazards that cause injury or diseases or unhealthy behaviors, leading to injuries and diseases. Examples of disaster prevention include warning people of an impending disaster, mitigation in primary prevention includes enforcement and legislation to control and ban the utilization of hazardous products (Chan & Wong, 2020). In response, primary prevention includes the accusation of equipment and construction of a structure that will help in responding effectively to disasters.

Secondary prevention services are aimed at reducing the impacts of injuries of diseases that have already occurred. This can be done by treating and detecting injuries and diseases to slow or stop their progression by encouraging strategies that prevent the recurrence of injury or disease. Example of secondary disaster prevention includes disease surveillance of the disaster to prevent injuries and disease in their earliest stages. Mitigation measures include hazard mapping and enforcement or adoption of land zoning and use (Chan & Wong, 2020). Response measures include treating the hazards or diseases to stop their harm to the body.

Tertiary prevention services are concerned with softening the impacts of illness or injury, which long-lasting effects or, in other words, involves rehabilitation services. This is helping those individuals with long-term health injuries and diseases to live a quality life and increase their life expectancy. Examples of tertiary prevention in the disaster include evacuating people from the exposure of hazard areas. Mitigation measures include the formulation of actions that will decrease natural phenomena and human action, leading to disaster (Chan & Wong, 2020). Responses measures include assessing the damages, assistance continuation, and restoration of health.

Three core values of public health

The three core functions of public health include assessment, policy development, and assurance. The assessment includes monitoring the community health status to identify their health problems. It also includes diagnosis and investigation of the health hazards and problems within a community. Health services are based on populations are evaluated on accessibility, effectiveness, and quality. On the other hand, policy development involves the formulation of plans and policies that support community and individual’s health efforts. Regulation and laws which protect and ensure health and safety are enforced. The third core value is assurance, whereby it connects people to the health services needed and assures people to healthcare providers when it is not available. It also assures the workforce who are competent in personal and public health care. It informs, empowers, and educates people on health issues (Washington, 2016). It utilizes community partnership in the identification of community problems and how to solve health problems.

Ten essential services of public health

The ten essential services of public health include monitoring the community’s health status to identify and solve the health problems. An example of this service includes continuous surveillance to detect diseases and injury trends within a community. The second service includes diagnosis and investigation of community health hazards and problems. An example includes collecting and analyzing data to identify the health conditions and diseases distributed in a community. The thirds services include education, empowering, and informing individuals about health issues. An example of this service includes educating people of sleeping positions with minimal risk of sudden infant deaths. The fourth service includes mobilizing community actions and partnerships to solve and identify their health issues (Strand et al., 2017). An example of this service includes using the local groups to help in combating HIV spread.

The fifth service includes developing plans and policies that support a community’s community and individual health efforts. An example of this service includes vaccination if school children combat vaccine-preventable diseases. The sixth service includes enforcing regulations and laws that ensure and protect the people’s health and safety. An example is ensuring that restaurant adheres to a specific standard to ensure disease prevention. The seventh service includes linking people to the health services needed. An example is the provision of programs such as special supplemental nutrition for women. The eighth service includes assuring personal and competent healthcare and the public workforce. An example includes medical professionals study continuously to ensure that they are up to date. The second last service is the evaluation of accessibility quality and effectiveness of health services. For example, economists of health can estimate the cost-effectiveness of a certain policy adopted. The last service includes research for innovative and new insights solutions of health issues (Strand et al., 2017). For example, they seek a better understanding of the human immune system, which has led to the development of vaccines saving millions of money.

Role of qualitative and quantitative methods

The use of quantitative and qualitative methods provides an understanding of the ways disaster affects the health of populations. Quantitative methods produce clear and more specific results of the public health conditions. For example, the use of self-report surveys assesses the strengths and needs of the population in a disaster. Qualitative methods provide insights into intervention and describe the situation (WHO, 2018). An example includes the use of observation t identifies behaviors that are risky to the health of the populations.

Ten Leading Causes of Death in the USA

These include heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, unintentional injuries, cerebrovascular disease and stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, influenza and pneumonia, diabetes, kidney disease, and suicides (CDC, 2021). Unintentional injuries are related to environmental disasters, including exposure to biological hazards, chemical hazards, and physical hazards.

The biological and genetic make-up of an individual play a role in determining the health of a population. These factors include age, sex, and caring genes such as BRCA1 or BRCA2 in increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer (Moghbeli, 2019). The other diseases associated with the genetic and biological make-up of an individual include diabetes and health diseases (Roglic, 2016). In diabetes, the behavioral factors contributing to its development include lack of exercise, poor eating habits, and living a sedentary lifestyle, and psychological factors that include constant stress.

After a disaster, a child experiences anxiety and sadness, which negatively affects the child’s health, which includes experiencing problems in sleeping, headaches, and fatigue. In adolescents, the psychological impacts of disaster include stress, anxiety, and mood disorders. These effects make them feel helpless and feelings of despair which increases their risk of suicide. In adults, psychological impacts include stress, emotional instability, and anxiety (Guilaran et al., 2018). Emotional instability may predispose an adult to unhealthy lifestyles, which increases heart diseases and suicide.

Social, Political and Economic Determinants of Health

Social, economic, and political determinants of health include unequal access to resources, income, employment, policies, and regulations formulated by the government. Unequal access to resources can deprive other people in disaster-prone areas be more affected due to lack of preventive resources—income generated by people determinants their power of purchasing equipment for preventing disaster occurrence. Enforcement of government policies that will lead to disaster preventing is crucial. Individuals’ low socioeconomic status makes them vulnerable to disasters (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016). They are exposed to frequent and more disasters due to financial inabilities to purchase equipment to prevent disasters.

Globalization Impacts

Globalization refers to significant and rapid human changes whereby people move from rural to urban areas. An increase in population in urban areas makes people have poor jobs and lack a balanced diet. When a disaster occurs, they are vulnerable and mostly will develop long-term effects of disaster due to financial constraints to access health (Ritchie & Jiang, 2019). On the other hand, globalization can help prevent disaster by using advanced equipment to prevent disasters and advanced technologies. Environmental conditions such as flooding can lead to the spread of vectors through water contamination and the overflow of sewage. This spread of diseases can lead to disease outbreaks in a large population.

Difficulties of Conducting Research

During a disaster, it is difficult to research due to insufficient readily available funds, the emotional distress of the target population, and they might be upset when you carry research on them. The institutional review board also requires all research on human subjects to be approved by the board, but there is little time for approval during a disaster. On the contrary, researching a disaster is also difficult because the target population is scattered everywhere, and you cannot get all the information from all the participants. The appropriate intervention that should be studied includes developing programs that educate people on impeding disaster (Grolnick et al., 2018). This warning enables people to be aware of disasters and will lead to their prevention.


Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Leading Causes of Deaths in the US. Web.

Chan, E. Y. Y., & Wong, C. S. (2020). Public health prevention hierarchy in a disaster context. In Public Health and Disasters (pp. 7-17). Springer, Singapore.

Dawson, A. (Ed.). (2016). The philosophy of public health (3rd Ed). Routledge.

Fleetwood, J. (2017). Public health, ethics, and autonomous vehicles. American journal of public health, 107(4), 532-537. Web.

Grolnick, W. S., Schonfeld, D. J., Schreiber, M., Cohen, J., Cole, V., Jaycox, L.,… & Zatzick, D. (2018). Improving adjustment and resilience in children following a disaster: Addressing research challenges. American Psychologist, 73(3), 215. Web.

Guilaran, J., de Terte, I., Kaniasty, K., & Stephens, C. (2018). Psychological outcomes in disaster responders: A systematic review and meta-analysis on the effect of social support. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 9(3), 344-358. Web.

Moghbeli, M. (2019). Genetic and molecular biology of breast cancer among Iranian patients. Journal of translational medicine, 17(1), 1-22. Web.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2016). A framework for educating health professionals to address the social determinants of health. National Academies Press.

Porter, D. (2020). The history of public health and the modern state (3rd Ed). BRILL.

Ritchie, B. W., & Jiang, Y. (2019). Tourism, globalization, and natural disasters. In Handbook of Globalisation and Tourism. Edward Elgar Publishing. Web.

Roglic, G. (2016). WHO Global report on diabetes: A summary. International Journal of Noncommunicable Diseases, 1(1), 3

Strand, M. A., Scott, D. M., Undem, T., Anderson, G., Clarens, A., & Liu, X. (2017). Pharmacist contributions to the ten essential services of public health in three National Association of Boards of Pharmacy regions. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 57(3), 395-401. Web.

Washington, W. N. (2016). Operationalizing the three core functions of public health through training and partnerships. In APHA 2016 Annual Meeting & Expo. American Public Health Association.

World Health Organization. (2018). What Have Quantitative and Qualitative Methods Been Developed to Measure Community Empowerment at a National Level? (Vol. 59). World Health Organization.

Cite this paper

Select a referencing style


AssignZen. (2023, May 24). Public Health Philosophy in Disaster Prevention.

Work Cited

"Public Health Philosophy in Disaster Prevention." AssignZen, 24 May 2023,

1. AssignZen. "Public Health Philosophy in Disaster Prevention." May 24, 2023.


AssignZen. "Public Health Philosophy in Disaster Prevention." May 24, 2023.


AssignZen. 2023. "Public Health Philosophy in Disaster Prevention." May 24, 2023.


AssignZen. (2023) 'Public Health Philosophy in Disaster Prevention'. 24 May.

Click to copy

This report on Public Health Philosophy in Disaster Prevention was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Removal Request

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on Asignzen, request the removal.