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Characteristics of public health summary measures

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Characteristics of Public Health Summary Measures
Introduction
Individual’s health is of importance and for one to be health; there is need for complete physical and mental check ups to monitor the diseases that may affect one. Though even after greatly contributing to health and assessing it, still there are measures like morbidity, mortality and disability which are there to challenge or measure the public health (Thacker, et al. 2006). These summary measures have the cost and more so they hinder the quality of life for individuals. This paper will seek to discuss the characteristic that I believe public health summary measures should posses. Additionally, it will indicate how these characteristics contribute to and improve our understanding of diseases burden in the population.
One of the characteristics that I believe a public health summary measures should possess is absolute or relative change. This should be in term of health status for a given period of time. For example, if the mortality rate is 10 percent in a given location for a certain month, then in the next month it increases to 12 percent, this indicates an absolute increase infant mortality (Zack, 1993). Measures should be taken to ensure that there is a reduction in relative change in infant mortality which is a useful measure of the public health. This will reduce the cost of living since the fund that would be used to cater for infant mortality will be used in other economic growth activities and increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The second characteristic is validity, which is a measure that indicates the health status of individual like a report of health indicating as excellent, good, and poor among others means of rating. This means a record for this validity should be kept where it reflect a change in the health status of individuals (Murray, 1994). This characteristic will be of importance since when one visit a health care then his or her status will be known and intensive care will be undertaken depending on the report.
The third characteristic is that population should be sensitive to major health changes for example in the case where alcohol and tobacco taxation is increased. This means reduction in the consumption of alcohol and tobacco in the location, will be a measure to improve health of individuals by addressing mental health, chronic diseases among others (McKenna and Michaud, 2005). This characteristic improves our understanding of disease burden in the population since those who consume will not be able to raise the amount to buy and again measures should be taken to restrict one in the consumption of those substances that leads to poor health of individuals.
Lastly, reliability should be considered where measures are taken to curb mortality, morbidity and disability in repeatedly manner which gives a chance for reliability and stability. Doing the same thing occasionally, will make the one in charge of health to be conversant with it thus being reliable to the population in which he or she is serving for. This means in the field of health care, perfection will be the result thus improving the life quality of individuals.
In conclusion, the characteristics like reliability, validity and health care change in the public health are importance in the population since if followed they will improve the quality of life of individuals.
Reference
McKenna, M and Michaud C. (2005). Assessing the burden of disease in the United States using disability-adjusted life years. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Murray, C. (1994). Quantifying the burden of disease: the technical basis of disability-adjusted life years. New York. Macmillan.
Thacker, S et al. (2006). Measuring the Public Health. Public Health Reports, 121: 14-22.
Zack, M. (1993). Worsening trends in adult health-related quality of life and self-rated health—United States. New York: New York Press.

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