If you’ve ever taken a public health course at ONU you’ve memorized this definition of public health before: Public health is an interdisciplinary, evidence-based field that seeks to promote health, prevent disease and achieve equity in populations.
Sometimes, public health isn’t really thought about, but in the past year, public health has been very important as the world has been responding to the COVID pandemic. Even now, there is a massive public health movement globally to administer vaccines to the whole population. ONU is even a part of this effort as our Healthwise Mobile Clinic is one of four mobile mass vaccine clinics in the state of Ohio.
This year, ONU, in the middle of a pandemic, has decided to close the public health program on campus. This is very saddening due to the huge role public health has played in the last year. However, Public Health deals with more than the response to different pandemics. Anything that deals with the health of populations is public health. Major accomplishments in public health include, seat belts in motor vehicles to save lives, more family planning accessibility, safer workplaces, and safer food. Without the role public health played in these efforts, who knows where we would be in the world now.
Public Health is here to not only keep you safe and healthy but also everyone around you. That’s why we went into a lockdown last year and why there are stricter laws and regulations on food and manufacturing industries. It’s difficult to know all the places that public health has a role and that’s why there is Public Health Week every year.
Public Health Week starts today and runs through April 11th and occurs every year in the first full week of April. This week I will be posting a total of five articles that seek to inform our campus body about several health topics that affect them, and those around them. Topics that will be addressed throughout the week include, exercise, obesity, mental health, and sexual health. Through this week, I hope that you learn why public health is important, and that even if there is no program on campus anymore to teach students about public health, we can still learn about it and affect public health.