When facing all the problems of developing countries, it is not possible to omit the issue of preventive care. The treatment of disease is extremely important, but the prevention of disease is simply essential. It is vital to do as much as possible to provide families with all the supplies that help them maintain good health. In this way we prevent future problems that may involve not only individuals but also whole communities. We can stop future diseases and even deaths.
Preventive healthcare, understood as all the actions taken for disease prevention, stands in opposition to disease treatment. The health of the human organism is affected by different factors, including genetic predispositions, environmental factors, disease agents and lifestyle. Modifications in these things can help prevent disease.
It is estimated that many deaths around the world can be eliminated with proper preventive healthcare. In developed countries preventive healthcare is often simply a matter of preventive screenings and a healthy lifestyle. In contrast, developing countries struggle with such problems as malnutrition, pollution, unsafe sanitation and poverty. That is why preventive healthcare is so important, especially when we face growing numbers of deaths caused by chronic diseases that could have been prevented.
Actions taken in terms of disease prevention can be divided into three groups: primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.
Primary prevention includes stamping out the disease by eliminating disease agents or strengthening the immune system. This can be done by immunization and healthy lifestyle, for example, avoiding smoking. All these actions can be described as non-clinical life choices. The things we do in order to prevent diseases (healthy diet, exercise) are of a general nature. However, there are also things we do specifically to protect us from particular diseases, for instance, sexually transmitted diseases.
This kind of specificity is also involved in recognizing a disease gene or a person’s or population’s increased predisposition to a particular disease. Likewise, measures such as water purification, sewage treatment and developing personal hygiene routines, have a specific nature.
Primary prevention is of great importance. This type of prevention includes education about how a pregnant woman’s health can influence the fetal and newborn life of a baby.
Secondary prevention deals with detecting and addressing an existing disease. Screenings are done for breast and colon cancer. In other words, prevention stops the change of asymptomatic disease into symptomatic disease. The essential issue in secondary prevention is early diagnosis and quick response in the form of a treatment.
Last but not least, tertiary prevention is concerned with reducing negative effects of symptomatic disease by means of rehabilitation and treatment. While secondary prevention deals with preventing disability, tertiary prevention includes maximizing the remaining functions of an already disabled person. This kind of prevention focuses on dealing with pain and damage, preventing the disease and its complications from further development, and restoring a measure of health to a patient affected by the disease.
Of course access to healthcare and preventive services is not equally available, and in some regions of the world it is very restricted. Our aim is to broaden this access so that every family can access the healthcare services they need.
How can we help?
There’s a wide range of things we can do in terms of preventative care. Firstly, we should fight malnutrition. Malnourished children are unable to fight many diseases. Many diseases can be avoided with a healthy and properly nourished body.
Secondly, it is extremely important to provide families with safe drinking water. Many infections are caused by bacteria and parasites living in the polluted water. Access to clean water is essential for the prevention of disease and death of children.
Another issue is concerned with immunization. Immunization is vital when it comes to preventive healthcare. We try to supply vaccines to as many children as possible. Vaccinated children lead to healthy individuals and whole communities. Numerous diseases stand no chance against vaccinated organisms.
AORF also tries to support families with basic hygiene and wellness supplies such as toiletries, diapers, over-the-counter children’s medications and oral-health products. Keeping proper hygiene helps to avoid many infections and bacterial attacks, and results in disease prevention.
Education about hygiene and preventive behaviors is of great importance. People should be aware of actions they can take in order to protect themselves from diseases. With help from our sponsors we will be able to provide families with necessary supplies and education that may help to enhance or save many lives.