Free Community prevention program Dissertation Example
Community Prevention Program
The susceptibility of the U.S. to exotic vector-borne diseases has been on the rise ever since the first reported case of the West-Nile Virus (WNV) in 1999. Technological, environmental, and sociologic factors are primarily responsible for the spread of vector-borne disease in the country and across the globe. These drivers include changing land use, expanded trade and travel, the growth of human populations, climate change, and urbanization (Petersen et al., 2016). The U.S. State of California has recorded increased levels of the WNV, St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV), Zika virus, plague activity, among other tick-borne and flea-borne diseases (CDPH, 2018). As shown in the report, eradicating vector-borne diseases in the state requires a revamped health risk assessment and intervention program that focuses on health promotion and disease prevention rather than the response to disease outbreaks.
Health Concerns in California
In 2017, California recorded an increase in the activity of the West Nile Virus (WNV) relative to 2016. The elevation was particularly noticeable in Southern California (CDPH, 2018). As noted by the CDPH, the number of human reported cases reaching was 553 with the severe neuroinvasive form comprising 73% of the cases. The state recorded 44 fatalities. Besides the WNV activity, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) observed St. Louis Encephalitis Virus (SLEV) in sentinel chickens and mosquitoes in 14 counties. The virus claimed the lives of 4 people. The identified SLEV activity was the first of its kind in the northern counties of the Central Valley since 1969. On the positive side, the state recorded a decline in the reported cases of Zika Virus from 486 cases in 2016 to 360 in 2017. Notably, 2016 was the peak year of the virus in the Americas. While the reported cases of the virus dropped significantly in 2017 relative to 2016, the Aedes mosquito variant of the virus (chikungunya and dengue) expanded their range in the state as compared to the preceding year. In the quest to contain the spread of such infestations along the US-Mexico border, the Department engaged with partners from the counties that border Mexico to foster surveillance and response to possible diseases caused by Aedes mosquitoes along the borders.
The Department also surveyed plague activity in 28 counties. The survey revealed plague activity in 10 counties. Even though the study did not identify any human cases associated with the plague, the Department rolled out intervention measures to minimize plague risk because of epizootics in the Tahoe Basin (CDPH, 2018). The survey also revealed 92 cases of typhus fever, a flea-borne disease in the Orange counties and Los Angeles. Besides, California also witnessed Hantavirus infection in 2017. Out of the 5 cases reported, one was fatal. The findings of follow-up investigations revealed that living facilities and workplaces presented the highest risk of exposure to the virus. The state also witnessed 156 human cases of Lyme disease, a tick-borne disease in 2017. The department tasked with the responsibility of managing vector-borne diseases (VBDS) embarked on a mission of expanding the surveillance of nymphal ticks by expanding the capacity of laboratories, monitoring of the distribution of Ixodes pacificus, and the social media outreach on the prevention of tick bites. The Department also continued to offer extensive training and consultation to the employees of the National Park Service and the Forest Service to reduce the exposure of visitors and park staff to vector-borne diseases.
Current Environmental Risk Assessment Methods
The current environmental risk assessment method applied to public health issues is a four-step risk assessment process that consists of identifying the health risk, assessing community exposure to the risk, evaluating the response of the affected and at-risk individuals to the intervention, and characterizing the risk (CEPA, 2018). Hazard identification involves reviewing available research to determine any potential adverse health effects that the hazard can cause. Exposure assessment entails determining the amount, pattern, and duration of exposure to the disease. Dose-response assessment involves estimating the amount of the disease-causing pathogen that would cause varying levels of health effects that are likely to cause illnesses. Finally, risk characterization involves assessing the risk to determine the likelihood that the chemical or infestation would cause diseases to the general population.
The Modifier Intervention Program
The dependence of occupational studies on healthy workers and young adults rather than older adults, children, persons with disabilities and pre-existing condition, among other sensitive groups, necessitates the expansion of research studies to include the vulnerable groups. The intervention program should also consider using controlled studies to be sure about the duration and amount of exposure to the public hazard and other factors that could affect the effects and outcomes of the intervention. This will involve using a substantial number of human volunteers in the studies to determine the immediate and long-term health effects of the disaster and generalize the findings to the population. The program should also focus on social and educational communication activities that promote healthy lifestyles, behaviors, conditions, and environment. Besides, it is necessary to reorient health services to create models that encourage health promotion and disease prevention rather than waiting for the vector-borne diseases to spread before intervening to contain them. In the quest to achieve this, the revised program recommends additional investments in risk communication to ascertain that the entire community understands the risks associated with the diseases.
Category Program Cost (Dollars in millions)
Promoting health through the life-course 3
Health Systems 20
Preparedness, response, and surveillance 5
Corporate services 2
WNV eradication 2
SLEV eradication 2
Zika virus eradication 2
Combatting Aedes infestation 6
Eradicating plague activity 1
Eradicating flea-borne diseases 2
Eradicating Hantavirus 3
Eradicating tick-borne diseases 2
Table 1: Program Budget
Multi-sectoral partnerships for disease prevention and health promotion
Social and educational communication activities that promote healthy lifestyles, behavior, and environment
Reoriented health services and care models that encourage health promotion and disease prevention
Risk communication that creates awareness Limited funds to implement all activities of the program
Dependence on non-comprehensive research studies to aid judgment
Strong connections and social networks
Collective interest in improving health
Smaller scope and scale of current programs that provide room for improvement
Community confidence and willingness to confront vector-borne diseases Unfavorable social norms that encourage risky behaviors
Incomplete perceptions of health in the community
The inability of some communities to have immediate access to emergency health care settings
Table 2: SWOT Analysis of the Program
The U.S. State of California has recorded increasing levels of vector-borne diseases such as WNV, SLEV, Zika virus, plague activity, among other flea-borne and tick-borne diseases. Even though VBDS has tried to fight the spread of vector-borne diseases, the successful eradication of VBDs requires the implementation of a health risk assessment and intervention program that rests on the premise of health promotion and disease prevention. The new program will capitalize on multi-sectoral partnerships, social and educational communication activities, reoriented health services and care models, as well as risk communication to eradicate VBDs.
California Department of Public Health (CDPH). (2018). Vector-Borne Disease Section Annual Report 2017. Retrieved from: HYPERLINK “https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/VBDSAnnualReports.aspx” https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/VBDSAnnualReports.aspx
California Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA). (2018). A Guide to Health Risk Assessment. Retrieved from: HYPERLINK “https://oehha.ca.gov/media/downloads/risk-assessment/document/hrsguide2001.pdf” https://oehha.ca.gov/media/downloads/risk-assessment/document/hrsguide2001.pdf
Petersen, L., Nasci, R., Beard, C. B., & Massung, R. (2016, September). Emerging Vector-Borne Diseases in the United States: What is Next, and Are We Prepared. In Global Health Impacts of Vector-Borne Diseases: Workshop Summary (Vol. 79, pp. 907-910). National Academies Press.
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