Food safety refer to all those aspects that may make food unfit and for consumption since it is injurious to one’s health if consumed, while quality are the attributes that influence the value of a food product to a consumer. Some of the negative attributes related to epidemiology include spoilage and contamination. Over the last 25 years; there have been advances on food control programs which are aimed at dealing with foodborne hazards. This has involves improvements in the surveillance systems as well as food inspection. Globally, there have been agreements which have led to development of food regulations and standards. At national level, food control infrastructure has been continually strengthened and by addressing food related issues.
Although all these have been done, food control authorities still face some challenges. For instance, new and emerging foodborne hazards and illness are a burden to many people in the developing. Also, Science -based food control systems’ developments with a focus on consumer protection still faces insurmountable debate and opposition. In addition, rapid urbanization and changes in lifestyles are some of the factors that that affect quality food consumption currently and hence responsible for many epidemiological cases. Food safety and quality have drawn much consumer awareness hence calling for more information. With this information, I believe it will be possible to deal with the foodborne disease incidences which are the rise.
Consumers need always be confident in the quality and integrity of the food they are supplied with. Most of the foodborne disease outbreaks are caused by contaminated food which contains Escherichia coli, chemical contaminants and also salmonella. As a result of the increasing trend of these diseases, I believe both traditional and modern food production; processing and marketing systems have failed to put necessary safeguards for the public health. To ensure there if food safety, the agricultural sector needs to use already existing technology to enhance proper practices. Also, public health officers must ensure proper hygiene is observed in all the stages of the food chain. Again, any chemical used in cultivation, storage, preserving or cooking food must carefully used. Finally, raw materials and water for producing food must be contamination free (Assuring food safety and quality, n.d).
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Sexually Transmitted Infections are some of the most devastating diseases that people suffer from. There mode of transmission, that is, by sexual contact with an infected person further makes the sufferers feel more stigmatized. They are referred to as infections since they normally don’t cause symptoms. STIs are of many kinds and quite common to an extent it projected that at least half of us will be infected at one time in our lives. The different kinds of STIs are caused by different infectious agents who therefore determine which STI an individual will suffer from in the event of infection.
The STIs can be prevented in different ways depending on the STI that the infected person has. The most important way is to practice safe sex whether it is oral, anal or oral sex and at all times so as to reduce the chances of being infected with STIs sexually. However, some STIs defy the protective measures such as herpes which can still be transmitted even if a condom or dental dam is uses. In case one has been exposed to unsafe sex and feels at risk, it is advisable to go for medical testing to receive necessary treatments, some of which can protect the victim from the infection entering into incubation period.
Education on issues related to STIs such as the mode of transmission, treatment symptoms, prevention methods as well as available counseling on how to handle and care of the infected and affected individuals is highly encouraged in dealing with the STIs in the society. In case of rape, it is important that the culprit is arrested, tested and prosecuted to ensure there is no risking other people’s life by exposing them to infection or exposing themselves to STIs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases & Infections, (n.d.)). .
Examples of STIs are Chlamydia, HIV/AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea and herpes simplex. Below is a discussion of Genital Warts HPV as a specific example of STIs:
Genital Warts HPV
It is caused by some certain types of Human papillomavirus (HPV). Out of about 100 types of HPV, about 30 affect the genitals specifically while others cause growth of warts on different parts of the body such as the hands and even on the head.
Some strains of HPV do not because warts hence they will remain asymptomatic. The incubation period for symptomatic cases is 1 to 3 months.
The genital HPV is passed from the infected to the health person trough the genital skin to skin contact or through exchange of genital fluids during anal or vaginal sex. Non penetrative sexual activity can also pass it on.
- The warts appear as white or flesh-colored, small smooth pumps or larger, cauliflower- like lumps on the penis, scrotum or around the anus.
- In women they appear on the around the vulva or inside the vagina and cervix
- Slight bleeding for the woman with warts on her cervix.
- Warts may itch though they are normally painless.
Complete treatment after infection with genital warts is not possible. However, the warts become less frequent with time, and finally the body clears them. The doctor may prescribe some drugs for the warts but they reappear later again.
Impact of Health Disparities
Health disparities refer to the differences found between groups of people and the effects of these disparities is its determination of how frequently a group is affected by a disease. Before poor health occurs, it is advisable to address the causes of a disease and this is what primary prevention is all about. On the other hand secondary prevention is dealing with a disease once it has started affecting an individual, for instance, lowering the elevated blood sugar level. The environment is one of the major causes of health disparities and hence alteration of environmental factors will contribute much to primary prevention to health disparity.
The poor are normally marginalized as they live poor health conditions. They are always vulnerable to attack by infectious diseases yet since they are already ignored, they cannot access proper treatment and even control of those infectious diseases. This can work best at community level so as to reduce the difficult of treating one person at a time. Also, the government which is the larger body of the communities can help to coordinate efforts by se of different agencies to deal with various aspects which can cause health disparities such as improvement of air quality which is asthma’s main risk factor.
Health disparities can also be addressed well by the medical care which is one of the comprehensive strategies. It helps to have the repeat occurrences and severity reduction. Also, by ensuring that the low-income individuals who have limited access to quality health care have their health needs attended to. Where medical health care may not be sufficient, control measures should be put in place to tame spread of already existing disparities. Using new knowledge, elimination of health disparities will be very easy through treatment and control of diseases ad control of their determinants.
Taking a career in the environmental health is one of factors that have really boosted my passion and sensitivity to individual and public health. My career has prepared me to adequately investigate both basic and complex causes of diseases. Some of the diseases are caused by factors pre-existing in the environment such as certain worms in the environment. Some infectious diseases are caused by human errors such as poor disposal of refuse which may lead to outbreak of cholera and typhoid. There is a risk of being exposed to certain chemicals in the environment either through inhaling such as sprays in horticultural firms. These cause a lot of health malfunctioning of the individuals working there.
My Career in Public Health
Through my career, I am able to work hand in hand with other health practitioners to ensure that health disparities do not prevent any individuals, community or group of people from rightfully accessing health care and information. This also includes championing the role played by the community in living in health conditions, consuming health food and setting up facilities that will enable the low income earners to access healthcare. Most importantly, as a public health officer, I take my own initiative to ensure drugs are not sold and consumed anyhow for this has normally lead to resistance of the causative agents of infectious diseases
Public health is a wide area which requires the participation of both the local community to come together and decide how to deal with health issues affecting them. The government has a major role to play in coming up with policies that will ensure a safe environment, medical care provision and possible preventive measures are in place