Health protection seeks to prevent or reduce the harm caused by diseases passed from person to person, local outbreaks and responding directly to incidents from environmental hazards such as air quality. The work of health protection professionals and organisations is varied and includes the following topics:
- Annual vaccination programmes against the impact of seasonal flu
- Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B and C, screening for breast and bowel cancer
- Emergency planning to prepare and respond in the event of an incident which has an impact on community or population health
We all have a role to play in health protection as a substantial role of health protection involves working to prevent and control the spread of infection among the population. This can occur in the community and in health and social care settings. Communicable diseases are diseases that you can “catch” from someone or something else. They are spread from person to person or from an animal to person. The spread often happens via airborne viruses or bacteria, but also through blood or other bodily fluid or contact with contaminated objects in the environment. Some people may use the words contagious or infectious when talking about communicable diseases.
- Ensuring that we are all up to date with our immunisation and vaccinations is key to the prevention of outbreaks and the re-emergence of diseases that we have all forgotten about.
- Ensuring we look after our own personal hygiene by washing our hands and covering our mouth and nose when we cough or sneeze.
- Reducing our use of antibiotics, most coughs and colds are viruses and antibiotics don’t work on viruses
- Don’t share you personal items such as tooth brushes or razors
We all have a role to play when an emergency such as a flood, a terrorist attack or an outbreak occurs. You will manage better if you are prepared and have a CLEAR plan. It does not require any special knowledge but there are simple things you can learn and do to keep you and your family safe. Find out more HERE