a major pillar of public health

a major pillar of public health
a major pillar of public health

[CONTENU PARTENAIRE] ” Prevention is better than cure “. We know the adage well and, moreover, prevention, enshrined in the law of August 9, 2004, is a public health challenge. According to the WHO, in non-communicable diseases, 16 million deaths per year could be avoided by preventive measures…

Health prevention is structured around three main categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. The first aims to prevent the onset of the disease by controlling the causes and risk factors. Secondary prevention, for its part, seeks to reduce the impact of an already present disease by detecting it early and treating it quickly. Finally, tertiary prevention focuses on reducing complications or disabilities due to progressive disease.

One of the major turning points in the field of primary prevention was the discovery of the vaccine. It was 1796 when Edward Jenner, a British physician, developed the first smallpox vaccine. A new era began in the control of infectious diseases.

Prevention through vaccination and… hygiene

Vaccination has enabled enormous progress in terms of prevention. For example, by becoming systematic, it led to the global eradication of smallpox in 1980 and greatly reduced the prevalence of diseases such as poliomyelitis, diphtheria and even tetanus. But if it plays an essential role in the prevention of infectious diseases, it must also be accompanied by essential hygiene measures. Covid 19 has reminded us: regular hand washing remains the first line of defense against the transmission of many pathogens. But in general, there is also, of course, diet and even sleep that need to be monitored…

Objective: achieve collective immunity

If everyone is affected by vaccination, certain groups of people may be particularly affected, such as children, pregnant women for their own protection and that of their unborn baby, or even seniors, who are encouraged to be vaccinated against the flu. pneumococcus or shingles, the immune system can be weakened with age. In France and many other countries, certain vaccines are made compulsory in order to achieve sufficient herd immunity to prevent the spread of diseases. In France, for example, since 2018, 11 vaccines have been required for children under two years old. Indeed, vaccination coverage must be high enough to protect the entire population, including those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put prevention through vaccination back on the global agenda. Faced with this unprecedented health crisis, international mobilization made it possible to develop, test and distribute vaccines against the virus in record time. Messenger RNA vaccines, a then-new technology for vaccines, demonstrated impressive effectiveness and rapid development, paving the way for new prevention strategies for other diseases. This technology, in fact, could make it possible to further transform the approach to prevention in the years to come.

This content was produced with OBSERVATORY DE LA SANTE. The BFMBUSINESS editorial staff did not participate in the production of this content.

In partnership with OBSERVATORY OF HEALTH

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