Levels of Prevention (Good-to-Know Facts)

(Photo Credit: livinghealthylifestyles)
(Photo Credit:  livinghealthylifestyles)
(Photo Credit: livinghealthylifestyles)

Nothing is ever certain nowadays. Pollution is everywhere, and you never know when disease or illness will strike. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is defined as the “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity“. Being healthy requires constant effort to prevent diseases/illnesses. That is why prevention is always better than cure. Prevention is divided into three levels/categories. Being familiar with the levels of disease prevention is quite helpful for you to be aware of the things that you can do to protect yourself from getting sick, or if ever you are already sick, know what you can do to speed up your recovery process.

Let’s have a look on the three levels of prevention of diseases:

  • Primary prevention: Before a person gets ill, we use primary prevention. This focuses on promoting health and preventing illness, thus, reducing the incidence and prevalence of a disease. It involves activities and interventions that are done before there is evidence of n existing disease/illness. Examples of activities under this category include: health education classes that promotes health habits, improving hygiene and sanitation, promoting healthy lifestyle (smoking cessation, getting vaccination/immunization), doing regular exercise, etc.
  • Secondary prevention: The goal of secondary prevention is early detection and prompt treatment. When you know for yourself that you may be at risk for a certain condition (i.e it runs in your family), that’s when secondary prevention is applicable–before you notice that something is wrong, you get yourself checked so as to detect anything as early as possible. This not only helps you diagnose early but also helps in the success rate against combating a disease/illness. Activities under this category includes: screening procedures like mammography, breast self examination, routine blood sugar testing, PAP Smear, teaching people about the early signs of disease to watch out for, and what type of treatment to seek if ever they have symptoms.
  • Tertiary prevention: This level of prevention targets those who already have the symptoms of the disease. Actions done are aimed at slowing the disease process/ and or prevent further pain and damage brought about by the illness/disease to the patient as well as prevent complications from occurring. It is somewhat a form of rehabilitative care provided to the patient to help the patient return back to his healthy state. Examples are: assisting and motivating a cardiac patient to lose weight, speech therapy for a patient who suffered stroke, teaching foot care to a patient with diabetes, etc.

We may never know when illness/disease will strike, but at least, knowing these things won’t hurt us but instead, help us be prepared to prevent and win against life-threatening conditions. 🙂

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