The health of citizens plays a fundamental role in economic development. This is the core reason why most nations, both the developed and the developing ones are allocating sufficient funds to the health sector. Besides the curative measures that health professionals administer to the increasing number of health consumers, there is also the need to embrace, implement and reinforce disease prevention measures such as screening, healthy environments, tracking disease developments, preventing disease and injury occurrence, and others. There are three levels of disease prevention, and this are not limited to primary, secondary and tertiary levels. This paper diseases the disease prevention levels and in each, a case scenario is provided.
The goal of primary prevention is to prevent disease or injury before it happens. Primary prevention “Seeks to prevent the onset of specific diseases via risk reduction; by altering behaviors or exposures that can lead to disease, or by enhancing resistance to the effects of exposure to a disease agent” (The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, n.d.). The perfect example of primary prevention is the immunization that is given to young children (between birth and five years) in order to prevent them from being attacked by infectious diseases.
Mother brings in a one-month old baby to doctor’s office for Hepatitis B vaccination. Consecutively, she later brought the baby back to the hospital at the age of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12-15 months, and then when the child is 4-6 years for the vaccinations. The mother contemplates that it is important to follow schedule and to vaccinate child to prevent infectious diseases.
According to our textbook, “Secondary prevention ranges from providing screening activities and treating early stages of disease to limiting disability” (Edelman, Kudzma, and Mandle, 2014). The goal of secondary prevention is to reduce the impact of a disease or injury after it has already happened.
A 36-year old male, Mr. S, was drinking heavily on daily basis. One day, he did not have a drink and this made him to develop a seizure. He was taken into nearby hospital where he went through detoxification. His lab work showed that his liver enzymes were elevated and his liver had enlarged. Mr. S is instructed to stop drinking and if he continues to drink he will need liver transplant in the near future. In addition, he was as well informed that he would not be a candidate for a new liver if he failed to quit his behavior of taking alcohol. Mr. S took this advice seriously and he quitted drinking. After 6 months, he was tested again and the laboratory results showed that his liver enzymes had returned back to normal. Currently, Mr. S is back to his original health and abstains from alcohol.
Tertiary prevention “aims to soften the impact of an ongoing illness or injury that has lasting effects. This is done by helping people manage long-term, often-complex health problems and injuries” (Institute for Work & Health, n.d.).
Hannah is a 40-year old female who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Hannah has been suffering from multiple sclerosis for 10 years. This disease is progressively getting worse. Hannah is unable to walk anymore and she is unable to swallow. She is fed through a feeding tube. Hannah is fully dependant on others for moving, feeding, and all activities of daily living. She has been rehabilitated in order to help her preserve some functions, even though the disease is progressing at a fast rate. Hannah’s disease is also being managed with medications. However, she remains in the rehabilitation center since she is unable to care for herself.
Institute for Work & Health (n.d.). What researchers mean by… primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. Retrieved from https://www.iwh.on.ca/wrmb/primary-secondary-and-tertiary-prevention.
The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada. (n.d.). Chapter 4: Basic Concepts in Prevention, Surveillance, and Health Promotion. Retrieved from http://phprimer.afmc.ca/Part1-TheoryThinkingAboutHealth/Chapter4BasicConceptsInPreventionSurveillanceAndHealthPromotion/Thestagesofprevention