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 deterioration of 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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Boosting the digitalization of health systems to help progress towards health for all

Accelerating the adoption of digital health means that millions more people will receive affordable, timely, quality health care in Europe. As part of enhancing public health action in the WHO European Region, WHO Regional Director for Europe Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab established a special initiative to facilitate the digitalization of health systems.

Coalition of Partners

To strengthen public health services in the European Region

Go to the CoP page

Public health operations

Self-assessment tool


Video: Public health in the 21st century