How Can You Help Keep Communities Healthy

Community wellness is an elaborate process. Many factors impact the health and well-being of the surrounding population. These include their lifestyle, the environment, accessibility to healthcare facilities, awareness, and infrastructure. Communities in poor conditions with little to no improvement in living standards are more prone to infectious diseases.

How Can You Help Keep Communities Healthy

Hence, if you wish to help the population embrace healthier living and a more refined lifestyle, you need to get to the crux of the problem and find a solution to these problems. 

People who actively pursue a healthy way of living are mentally, physically, and emotionally fit, and achieving this status should be your ultimate goal. But how do you make this happen and assist communities in breaking free from their current standards? Here's what you need to know:

1. Join the public health sector

Public health is all about community welfare. As a certified public health specialist, you will have the tools, knowledge, and skills to investigate the common problems the population is facing with no way out. Your career will also enable you to research epidemics, trace their causes, and explore the spread of infectious diseases. The data you find allows you to identify the roadblocks people face while accessing primary healthcare services. 

However, before making a name for yourself, you in this industry must get the right educational qualifications as a public health professional. While you don't need a bachelor's in public health, you must pursue a master's degree in the sector. Virtual education has made this task relatively more manageable. You can enroll in an MPH online program and become a leading expert in handling public health crises. Your newly acquired knowledge will help you research, organize data, educate the masses and help them get the primary healthcare they need.

2. Work on the infrastructure

You must talk about the infrastructural deterioration with your elected officials. When roads, houses, and sewage are not in optimal shape, it can impact community wellness. The road needs to have an adequate draining system. So when it rains, the water doesn't pool and runs off the surface, preventing insects like mosquitos from breeding. Airborne insects like mosquitos are vectors for many diseases like malaria and dengue. Once they establish themselves within a community, getting rid of them is difficult. Sewage pipelines should be maintained at regular intervals, which prevents them from breaking down and mixing with fresh water. 

Contaminated water is a petri dish for many bacteria and microorganisms and can cause painful diseases like Hepatitis A, cholera, and typhoid to thrive in a community. Sewer pipelines also carry highly toxic gas components such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and nitrous oxide. These not only smell bad but can suffocate a passerby if these gases leak out. This is why the neglected infrastructure needs addressing immediately, or it can put the population's lives at significant risk.

3. Guide people to retail clinics

Retail clinics are minimal checkup stations set inside grocery stores or department stores. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2019, around 26 million Americans didn't have health insurance. This makes it hard for these individuals to tap into hospitals since paying for out-of-pocket costs can lead to significant medical debts which they cannot settle. Therefore, you can help the community by encouraging them to look into retail clinics. 

These establishments have a shorter wait time than most primary care centers, which allows patients to tap into the services they need without the hassle of a queue—ailments like colds. Flu, allergies, cuts, burns, rashes, and sinus infections can get remedied at a retail clinic. The only downside is these healthcare spots are not equipped to deal with urgent care and chronic conditions. So the patient will still need to look into urgent care centers for those problems. 

But, if a person needs to get blood tests, be screened for covid, or get their vaccinations, a retail clinic can help. The pricing in these institutes is almost 80% lower than most hospitals. Places like Walgreens, CVS, and Krogers accommodate these clinics.

4. Set up recycling drives

Recycling is a great way to reduce pollution and keep the environment clean. The recycled goods can also get utilized to produce energy, which shifts the burden off nonrenewable sources. Everyday items that can get recycled include plastic bottles, aluminum cans. Glass bottles, and flattened cardboard. These items can get crushed and converted into new substances that are useful to the community. For example, plastic can get made into clothing. 

Educate the masses on what recycling is to put this habit into practice. You can even ask them to preserve food wastes like banana peels and use them to create compost that can get used as a fertilizer. Recycling requires sorting the garbage into three separate bins. One goes for plastic, one for metal, and paper or cardboard. Food and beverages go into regular bins and keep them away from recycling bins. Once the community gets into sorting their trash, set up recycling stations throughout the neighborhoods, including schools. 

As a result, there will be fewer landfill sites, which controls environmental and water pollution. This, in turn, allows natural vegetation and marine life to thrive, giving the community exposure to fresh food, clean air, and water.

5. Look into healthier meals

Food is crucial for healthy well-being. A proper meal gives you all the nutrition you need for your body to function. When you start skipping meals or consuming empty calories, your body gets robbed of the energy it needs to carry out metabolic activities. Keeping these facts in mind, you must guide the community on eating healthier meals and choosing to skip out on indulging in fast and greasy food options. 

An infant from one to three years old needs about 35-50 calories a day, while a toddler needs about 1000-1400 calories every day. As a child age and approaches their teenage years, they will need more.

On the other hand, adult women need about 2,000 calories, and men need 2,500 calories. A well-planned diet has all the necessary food groups like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats according to the person's needs. 

Encourage the community to start eating more leafy greens, less starchy items like potatoes and rice, and use unsaturated fats to prepare their meals. Children should be introduced to fruits, natural juices, pasta, and veggies. They also need milk and vitamin supplements in their diet, which is essential for their growth. The same rule applies to pregnant women and the elderly, whose bodies become frail with time.

Conclusion

To encourage healthy living within communities, you need to play an active role in guiding, instructing, and helping the local population. You can start by joining the public health sector and pushing yourself to the front of healthcare advocacy. Rebuilding the infrastructure should also be on your agenda since exposure to gases and contaminated water can lead to a massive break-out in infectious diseases. 

Communities that cannot afford insurance may have a hard time paying for essential healthcare services, but by guiding them to retail clinics, you can help them get treated for many healthcare ailments such as flu and burns. Lastly, recycling drives are an excellent initiative to make the environment more sustainable and green. Don't forget to advise the community to eat nourishing meals and skip out on filling up empty calories.



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