“The greatest medicine of all is to teach people how not to need it.”
When it comes to healthcare, most often people choose to take an action only when a certain ailment starts to adversely affect their daily lives.
After all, who in today’s scenario has time to waste on trifling goals like attaining good health?
However, regardless of all the arguments against preventive healthcare, there’s a reason why this is the buzzword of modern medicine. Let’s have a look at what preventive healthcare is all about.
What is preventive healthcare?
Preventive Healthcare refers to the measures taken for disease prevention, as opposed to disease treatment. These include diagnostic tests, physical examinations, immunizations, doctor consultation, & making healthier lifestyle choices.
With the recent technological advancements, the scope of preventive healthcare has significantly increased. Digital health records & an improved understanding of chronic diseases have made it easier to predict health risks & take personalized preventive measures. With the help of regular health screenings, it is now possible to detect conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, osteoporosis & deficiencies in early stages, making cure possible.
Types of Preventive Healthcare
A variety of activities – known as ‘interventions’ – are practiced to reduce the risk of diseases & improve the quality of life. These interventions can be divided into 3 main categories.
- Primary Prevention
It aims to prevent an injury or disease before it even occurs. For example:
- Immunization against infectious diseases
- Avoiding exposure to hazardous substances & situations
- Adopting healthier lifestyle
- Secondary Prevention
The aim here is to manage & reduce the impact of a disease or injury that has already occurred. Common steps involved are:
- Regular screening tests & exams for timely detection of diseases
- Implementing diet or exercise plan to prevent further complications
- Lifestyle or work modifications for better recovery
- Tertiary Prevention
The primary concern here is to better manage long-term illnesses to help people lead a better quality of life & increase life expectancy. For example:
- Chronic disease management programs
- Support groups & educational activities
- Vocational rehabilitation programs
Prevention is better than cure
This age old saying fits aptly with today’s healthcare needs. With increasing life expectancy, & ever growing demands for personal growth & achievement, people are pushing to conquer new frontiers of human capability. As such, it is best if we opt to choose preventive healthcare & stay our healthier selves.