Preventative health care consists of measures taken for disease prevention, as opposed to disease treatment. Disease prevention relies on proactive actions that are categorised as;
- Primary Prevention; seeks to prevent the onset of disease via risk reduction, including education, immunisation, and controlling potential hazards. Implementing healthy food choices and eliminating sugary drinks from school canteens would be one example of primary prevention.
- Secondary Prevention; includes actions that detect and treat pre-clinical pathological changes and strive to halt disease progression. Screening procedures are often the first step, leading to early intervention for example mammography to detect early stage breast cancer.
- Tertiary Prevention; seeks to improve the quality and longevity of life for people with a developed disease. Tertiary prevention includes modifying risk factors, for example reducing an asthmatics exposure to allergens.
The risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and certain infectious diseases, can be reduced and even eliminated through preventable behaviours and exposures. With these diseases on the rise worldwide, it is now more important than ever to entrench health prompting behaviours in individuals’ daily routines and lifestyles.
Health promotion programs support individuals to adopt healthier lifestyle behaviours and avoid environmental exposures posing risks to ill-health.
"Look after your body… it’s the only one you’ve got!”