Health Policy and Politics

John Snow is a physician that greatly contributed to the field environmental health through his evaluation of drinking water sources in relation with cholera.

In the late 1840s and early 1950s, cholera epidemics took place. Snow conducted a study that made him realize that cholera is transmitted by means of contaminated water. He created an essay entitled “on the Mode of Communication of Cholera” wherein he pointed out that public health surveillance activities like assuring clean water especially for drinking are essential in the well-being of people.

However, his essay did not immediately lead to changes when it comes to enhancing environmental health. It was only at the second edition of the paper that reforms started to happen, as he elaborated on the epidemiological study of choler in the case of the Broad Street region of London.

This paved the way for Snow to recognized as the doctor who “broke” the Broad street pump handle due to his impatience in waiting for change to take place. As such, John Snow was regarded with high esteem by many epidemiologists because of his efforts and hard work in relating drinking water sources to the mortality of people from cholera (Kovarik).

Rachel Carson became an instrumental personality in the history of environmentalism because of her concern about the effects of pesticides on birds. Carson was a writer, scientist, ecologist, and an avid bird watcher.

She was able to substantially contribute to environmental health through her book entitled “Silent Spring” that asked people to end discriminate pesticide and it also make its readers view nature in a different perspective.

She was able to make an effective and poignant book because of her ability to combine scientific objectiveness with gentle literary descriptiveness. Furthermore, Carson was also able to influence scientists, lawyers, managers, and other stakeholders to advocate environmental protection (Williams and Langley 4).

2. Environmental health can be aimed at addressing natural catastrophes and/or terrorism or at addressing more gradual process such as global warming or polluted waters. Suggest appropriate policy responses for these different types of issues.

Natural catastrophes are situations that usually take place without the control of people. As such, there should be a policy that would prepare the public for natural disasters that might happen in their areas. In doing so, the government should work together with the community by educating them about the different natural catastrophes and the corresponding things to do in time of such crisis.

Rescuers should also have the proper training in order for them to properly and competently respond in time disastrous events (Tzoumis and Robins).

Security threats that are created by people whose primary purpose is to create fear among others should also be properly addressed. Acts of terrorism could take many forms and this includes undermining the health of people.

There should be a policy for continuous research in order to get ready for any probable attack from these terrorist groups. Research is important and this is seen with the lack of preparedness of people in addressing the biological weapons of terrorists like anthrax (Tzoumis and Robins).

Furthermore, when it comes to environmental issues that are brought about by the abuse and negligence of people to their environment, it is necessary that a strong policy should be implemented. The collaboration of the government with NGOs and the community should be done in order to get positive results. First, information dissemination should be implemented to make the public aware of the dos and don’ts of interaction with their environment.

This kind of step is greatly exemplified by the efforts of Al Gore to inform the public about global warming. People should also pressure their governments in following different measures in protecting the environment like the Kyoto Protocol (Tzoumis and Robins).

The common people should also do their part by being more responsible of taking care of the environment, even through their own little ways like recycling, not using products that are harmful to the ozone layer, and many others. It only goes to show that environmental protection will only be fruitful if all people will work together.

Morone, Litman and Robins (200) suggest that the first stage in the policy process is the identification of a problem and coming up discussions. At this stage one has to understand the problem and suggest long-term solutions.

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