Community And Public Health : Infectious diseases Vs Chronic diseases

Part 1

Infectious diseases are those that are easily transferred from one person to the other through media such as getting into contact with an infected person. At times one get the infectious diseases through water or even through air. Some examples of infectious diseases include malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/Aids and polio.

On the other hand, chronic diseases refer to those that are recurring and therefore they last for a long period of time. Moreover, this type of disease cannot be transmitted from one person to the next. Some examples of the chronic diseases include diabetes, lung diseases, diabetes and cancer.

The impact of chronic diseases has been underestimated in a majority of the low and middle income earning countries. The diseases have not only had a great impact on the economy of the nation but also on the entire population in the mentioned countries. Available data shows that close to 60 percent of deaths that were recorded in the nation were as a result of chronic diseases. On the contrary, most of the nations do focus their attention on the infectious diseases that pose fewer threats as compared to the chronic diseases. Data on the years of life lost (YLL) and the Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY) shows that the burden caused by chronic diseases increased by 10 percent between 1990 and 20011.  Some of the deadliest chronic diseases that have been major killers in the nation include cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and cancer. Most of the deaths recoded worldwide as a result of the chronic diseases do occur in most of the developed nations2.

Part 2

Policies and strategies suggested by the public health department are important in the prevention of both types of diseases. Moreover, the public health advocated for the protection of individuals rights even as the country tries to control the spread of the diseases. One way through which that is achieved is by offering screening and counseling services at the medical facilities.  The services are offered to the patients only after they consent to take part in the process. The female patients are taken through screening for breast cancer while both the female and male smokers are screened after they agree to take part in the process. For those who suffer from high blood cholesterol as well as high blood pressure, they get the treatment through the laid down procedures that recognize their individual rights.

Apart from the above mentioned procedures, the public health is also responsible for offering prevention services as immunization for both the young and the old. Such services will eventually allow the children to fulfill their rights of living a healthy life free of diseases3. The interventions have been under a keen monitoring program of the US Preventive Services that was established in the year 1984. The task force was established with the aim of ensuring that the clinical interventions are effective.

Ethical issues

One of the ethical issues that is connected to the public health protection of societal rights is the issue of upholding professionalism within the medical facilities. For instance, a male medical practitioner that conducts a breast cancer screening for female patients is required to be professional in his duties. Incidents such as sexual molestation of the patients are not supposed to arise. Apart from that, medical practitioners are required to seek the consent of their patients before they take them through any medical procedures.


  1. Halpin HA, Morales-Suárez-Varela MM, Martin-Moreno JM. Chronic disease prevention and the New Public Health. Public Health Reviews 2010; 32:120-154.
  2. S. Department of States. Web. Http:// Accessed 17 February, 2015
  3. Halpin HA, Morales-Suárez-Varela MM, Martin-Moreno JM. Chronic disease prevention and the New Public Health. Public Health Reviews 2010; 32:120-154.

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