What is prevention?

We explain what prevention is and some examples of this term. In addition, its different meanings in areas such as health.

  1. What is prevention?

Prevention refers to preventing, or anticipating a fact and preventing it from happening . Its origin is the Latin term praeventĭo , which comes from “prae”: previous, previous, and “eventious”: event or event.

Generally, there is talk of preventing a negative or undesirable event , we can give some examples of the context in which the term is used: “ Traffic accidents can be prevented by raising public awareness about the responsible handling of vehicles ”, “ To prevent the flooding of the street must be free of leaf and garbage drains ”, or“ The campaigns for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases seem to be giving good results ”.

This term can be used in various themes and in each of them acquires a more specific meaning, some are:

  1. Other meanings of prevention

There are campaigns to prevent certain types of diseases in the population.

It is one of the contexts in which the term is most used, and refers to the action of preventing diseases . It is carried out mainly through health campaigns promoted by governments or by non-governmental associations and is part of the field of Public Health , which is a discipline aimed at protecting the health of the population .

Such prevention campaigns can be directed towards a particular public , such as sexuality education campaigns for adolescents , or towards the general population, for example through campaigns to promote good hygiene habits .

In turn, there is talk of primary prevention in the case of preventing before the onset of a disease through the campaigns mentioned above. When talking about secondary prevention , reference is made to screening or screening programs , through which certain medical or laboratory studies are carried out in a population in order to detect a disease. These studies are usually carried out with epidemiological objectives, to know the prevalence and incidence of a disease.

Then, those of the tertiary type are carried out once the health is restored after an illness, to prevent their recurrence; and those of the quaternary type aim to avoid unnecessary interventions in the population or excessive treatment times.

Generally aimed at avoiding or minimizing the consequences of natural phenomena such as earthquakes , tornadoes, floods, among others. Governments also tend to play an essential role in this area and are usually carried out through catastrophe prevention and prediction systems.

With regard to pollution , basically it is about preventing industries from improving the treatment of their waste, of raising awareness among people about properly handling their own waste or avoiding excess disposable material, such as plastic bags.

It is valid to highlight the subtle difference between prevention and promotion, since many times these terms are closely related and their objectives overlap. In the case of health, promotion mostly focuses on promoting or encouraging certain behaviors or uses; as in the case of the promotion of the use of condoms as a better method to prevent sexually transmitted infections, or the fulfillment of vaccination schedules in children. Unlike the prevention that aims more to the population know how to avoid risk behaviors to prevent diseases.

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