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Preventive Medicine is the speciality of medical practice which focuses on the health of people, communities and defined populations. The aim of Preventive Medicine is to protect, promote and maintain health and well being and to prevent disease, disability and death. Preventive medicine involves prevention of disease and promotion of health.

A doctors role is no longer confined to diagnosing and treating those who come to the hospital. He is also responsible for those who need his service to ensure that people do not go to the hospital. Health of the people is not only the concern of health care providers. It is the responsibility of the community also to identify and solve their own health problems through their active participation.

Preventive medicine or preventive care refers to measures taken to prevent diseases, rather than curing them or treating their symptoms.

Simple examples of preventive medicine are hand washing, breastfeeding and immunizations. A person with a family history of cancers should begin screening at an earlier age.

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Leading causes of preventable deaths are as follows:-

  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Malnutrition
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Poor diet
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Alcohol
  • Indoor air pollution from solid fuels
  • Unsafe water and poor sanitation

Leading preventive intervention measures that will reduce deaths in children are as under:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Insecticide-treated materials
  • Complementary feeding
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Antibiotics for premature rupture of membranes
  • Measles vaccine

Leading causes of preventable deaths are as under:

  • Tobacco smoking
  • Poor diet and physical inactivity
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Infectious diseases
  • Toxicants
  • Traffic accidents
  • Firearm incidents
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Drug abuse

Preventive measures to control certain diseases:

a) Heart Disease:

– Treating high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol
– Quit smoking
– Lose weight
– More exercise
– Stress management
– Meditation
– Yoga
– Some plants that prevent heart disease tomatoes, brans, vegetable oils, grapes

b) Cancer:

– 35% of cancer deaths are related to dietary factors, including tobacco and alcohol
– To propagate the importance of servings of fruits and vegetables every day for better health
– Dietary fats affect cancer risk.
– Fat increases hormone production and can, therefore, raise breast cancer risks.
– Fat also stimulates the production of bile acids which have been linked to colon cancer.

– Some foods that may reduce cancer risk:

a) Fiber helps body eliminate carcinogens which move food quickly through intestines
b) Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, sprouts) lower the risk of hormone-related cancers, boost bodys ability to fight off cancer
c) Tomatoes prevent carcinogens from forming, shield cells from carcinogens
d) Soyabeans potential to reduce risk of developing breast, prostate and colon cancer
e) Garlic will help reduce tumour growth, prevent stomach and prostate cancer

– Foods for longevity

a) Sprouts
b) Spinach
c) Grapes and berries
d) Garlic
e) Cantaloupe
f) Green tea protection from cancer and strokes, lowers blood pressure

“Lifestyle is a choice”. If you choose to live healthfully from now on, it can not only add years to your life, but also life to your years.