Historical health promotion dealt with protecting the community from infectious diseases, providing safe water and reducing environmental threats which was normally done by the Government or organizations like World health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Emphasis were on mass vaccination against preventable diseases like small pox , polio and measles.
The contemporary health promotion became an expansion of the historical health promotion to counter risks form behavior and lifestyle that led to chronic diseases and this resulted in major gain in life expectancy. The scope of health promotion has changed from concerns with infectious and environmentally related diseases to concerns about nutrition, injury prevention substance abuse, violence and other chronic diseases. With technology advancement, lack of exercise, reliance on frozen dinners or fast food as opposed to making fresh healthy meals has resulted in obesity.
The society is confronted with spread of HIV and hepatitis C from drug abuse and risky sexual behaviors. Also the gain in life expectancy has resulted in large population of the elderly with chronic health problems like arthritis, diabetes and coronary artery diseases. The focus of treatment for these elderly population are directed towards rehabilitations especially after hospitalization following knee and hip surgeries.