Public health services

Public Health is defined as “the art and science of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts of society” (Acheson, 1988; WHO). Activities to strengthen public health capacities and service aim to provide conditions under which people can maintain to be healthy, improve their health and wellbeing, or prevent the deteriorationof their health. Public health focuses on the entire spectrum of health and wellbeing, not only the eradication of particular diseases. Many activities are targeted at populations such as health campaigns. Public health services also include the provision of personal services, to individual persons such as vaccinations, behavioural counselling, or health advice.

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Expert meeting lays foundation for scaled-up action on strengthening public health services in Europe

Countries across the WHO European Region need strong, comprehensive public health services. This was recognized in 2016 by World Health Assembly resolution WHA69.1 as a means of supporting the achievement of universal health coverage in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Public health operations

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Video: Public health in the 21st century