miércoles, 4 de febrero de 2009

Rates in Public Health (week 2)

Public Health
“Is the science and art of (1) preventing disease, (2) prolonging life, and (3) promoting health and efficiency through organized community effort for A- sanitation of the environment
B- control of communicable diseases
C- education of individuals in personal hygiene
D- organization of medical and nursing services for early diagnosis and preventive treatment of disease, and
E- development of the social machinery to insure everyone a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health,
Organizing these benefits as to enable every citizen to realice his birthright of health and longevity”
(Winslow, 1920)

Measurements in Public Health
Rates – proportions
A number gives you minimal information
In order to make sense, you divide cases / population
Once you multiply this proportion by a given, fixed amount, you can compare rates
Over time
With other societies

Some Important Rates
Infant Mortality Rate
Number of children dying under a year / total births
Also: neonatal and post-neonatal mortality
Maternal Mortality Rates
Life expectancy at birth
Actuarial analysis
Population annual growth rate
Rates of prevalence of diseases
Rates of vaccination, hospital births

Infant Mortality Rate
Probably the single most important health indicator together with life expectancy
Correlates closely with per capita GDP, levels of health expenditures
Provides, in one single statistic, the general status of any given society or country

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