- Primordial Prevention: A new concept gaining importance I prevention of chronic diseases. This involves prevention of the emergence or development of risk factors in countries or population groups where they have not yet appeared. For e.g. Childhood onset diseases of adults, particularly life style disorders. Prevention involves discouraging children to develop harmful habits and encouraging to sound eating habits, ensilaging in exercise etc through personal education or mass media.
- Primary Prevention: This can be defined as action taken prior to the onset of disease, which removes the possibility that disease can occur. Primary prevention is accomplished by
- Measures designed to promote general health and well being-quality of life of people
- Specific protective measures
Primary prevention includes the concept of positive health, a concept that encourages achievement and maintenance of acceptable level of health that will enable every individual to lead a socially and economically productive life. It is concerned to an individual’s attitude towards life and health and the efforts towards positive health and responsible measures for self, family and community.
The concept of primary prevention includes elimination or modification of risk factors of chronic diseases like CHD, diabetes etc.
WHO recommended approaches for chronic diseases includes-population strategy and high risk strategy.
Population or mass strategy: Directed towards the entire population without accounting for individual risk levels. It is directed towards socio-economic behavioural and life style changes among the population.
High risk strategy: Aims to bring preventive care to individuals at special risk. It involves detection of individuals at high risk by the optimum use of clinical methods.
Primary prevention is a desirable goal. Mere raise in the standard of living can help in reducing number of communicable diseases. Improving water supply and sanitation go a long way in preventing not only water borne diseases but also common infections.
To get maximum benefit for the population all three approaches-primordial, population and high risk strategy have to be implemented together as they complement each other.
Hence, primary prevention is a holistic approach, that promotes health, protects against disease agents and environmental hazards.
- Secondary Prevention:
Secondary prevention can be defined as “action which halts the progress of disease and prevents complications”. It includes early diagnosis and adequate treatment. Secondary prevention attempts
- To arrest the disease process
- Restore health by seeking out unrecognized disease and treating it before irreversible changes are evident.
- Reverse communicability of infectious diseases
Secondary prevention might protect others in the community from acquiring the infections. Hence it offers secondary prevention for those infected and primary prevention for potential contact.
Secondary prevention is the domain of clinical medicine. Most of the government health programmes are at the secondary prevention level.
- The patient has already been subjected to mental anguish, physical pain and
- The community has already lost productivity
Secondary prevention is an imperfect tool in the control of disease transmission. It is more expensive and less effective than primary prevention.
- Tertiary Prevention:
Even when the disease process has progressed, it is possible to prevent called tertiary prevention. It can be defined as ‘all measures available to reduce or limit impairments and disabilities and minimize suffering caused by existing departures from good health and to promote the patients adjustments to irremediable conditions.
Even if the treatment is provided late after the natural history of the disease, it is still possible to prevent the after effects and disability. When defect or disability are more or less stabilized, rehabilitation can play a preventable role. Rehabilitation includes
- Medical components based on team work
Tertiary prevention extends the concept of prevention into fields of rehabilitation.