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Health-Related Prevention conversation with actors
Aesthetic and well manicured compounds
Prevention related to our environs, health facilities and HIV
For this paper we shall look at: need for cleanliness, hygiene in our homes, communities and health facilities. HIV/Hepatitis/Sexually Transmitted Infections will be mentioned in more depth in subsequent articles. These are themes that I hope will throw more light to the term prevention. The idea of this paper is to help organizations or persons involved in these two fields (health and HIV) to invest more time, logistics and regard to prevention. HIV organizations can come up with prevention checklists, these will help them keep in line with: mobilization, prevention, treatment, control, mitigation, addressing contexts (both disabling and enabling ones) and its eventual eradication.
Hand Washing, Hospitals and Prevention
Did you know that hygiene is an act of daily living. It is like breathing or eating. Do not stop washing your hands once they are dirty or do not stop brushing your teeth. All these acts keep infections away.
Hospitals, meeting places, libraries, hotels, homes, schools, factories or let us say, all spaces where human beings interact have some form of “infection control” technologies, reminders or prompters for continuing with hygienic standards.
Hand-washing facilities or continuous reminders to engage in hand-washing are in various forms and have become part of human culture. Most of these facilities are in turn the outcomes of say: good standards of living; stable political environment; piped water to name but a few. There are situations that come in the way of prevention measures. These range from: political, structural, cultural, environmental and social. Hand-washing alone can save 500,000 lives a day according to globalhandswashingday.org.
Prevention as mostly understood by the HIV Prevention Practitioners; conversations with actors
When it comes to prevention in the sense of health, medicine and HIV, there are words that come to mind and these include: to stop, to avoid further repercussions of something dangerous or offensive, to eradicate, to get rid of... these are some of the immediate action words that form in one's mind.
Prevention considers contexts when there is not disease or when the disease is present. Disease prevention covers measures not only to prevent the occurrence of disease, such as risk factor reduction, but also to arrest its progress and reduce its consequences once established.
Primary prevention is directed towards preventing the initial occurrence of a disorder. Secondary and tertiary prevention seeks to arrest or retard existing disease and its effects through early detection and appropriate treatment; or to reduce the occurrence of relapses and the establishment of chronic conditions through, for example, effective rehabilitation
Disease prevention is sometimes used as a complementary term alongside health promotion. Although there is frequent overlap between the content and strategies, disease prevention is defined separately. Disease prevention in this context is considered to be action which usually emanates from the health sector, dealing with individuals and populations identified as exhibiting identifiable risk factors, often associated with different risk behaviors.
Governance, attitude and responsibility all add up to good Prevention Practices
Good governance and leadership, planned urbanization, planned settlements, good use of natural resources, stable society and good standard of living are all contexts within which one can see a hand of prevention. Where there is good governance and leadership, society invests time, resources and effort in peace time activities. There is enjoyment of life and happiness. Where there is planned urbanization, drainage, waste management and people involved in waste removal help in maintaining clean environment. Where there is planned settlements, people access good housing and live in communities where measure are in place to safeguard against vulnerabilities. Good use of natural resources is a form of profit making, employment and it empowers society to benefit from raw materials in their areas. Stable societies are not belligerent and engage in activities that promote quality life. A good standard of living is an aspect that measures quality livelihood enjoyed by a quantity of people.
What is the big deal, if hospitals fail to keep sanitation standards?
Hospitals have adopted certain measures: Hand-washing; sterilization; Isolation; Intensive Care Units; disinfection using bleaches or modern machines that use ultraviolet light beams that penetrate the DNA of bacteria cells; engaging in public reporting to give a view of infection rates of given hospitals; and employing staff dedicated to infection control.
Hospital acquired infections are common and fatal. In USA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that preventing just 20% of infections nation wide could save $ 5.7 billion to 6.8 billion annually. Large intravenous catheters and certain surgical opening infections. Clostridium difficile an intestinal infection causing severe diarrhea is on the rise in many hospitals and health care facilities. Sanitizers are placed in accessible places for all. All are encouraged to engage in maintaining a level of sterility. But that is as far as microbial infections are concerned. There are vectors such mosquitoes or flies that need to be avoided too. These are eradicated at their breeding grounds or efforts are made to have facilities such as: nets, shuttering and insecticides.
This article is a result of an exploration of the depth of the actions and meaning of "prevention." In the next article we are to read about a young man Living with HIV in UK. Hopefully, this will help us grasp the gravity of prevention