Some Useful definitions of Health
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is an “uneven state of health with no illness or disease.” A number of definitions have also been used over time for various purposes. Some of the commonly used health concepts are physiological health, psychological health, social and individual health, physical health, and environmental health. The definition of “health” has also evolved with the use of different diagnostic tools.
It is now believed that health is largely influenced by the attitudes and lifestyle of the individual. It is also influenced by the environment in which he lives and works. In addition, good health requires a combination of healthy eating habits, a healthy lifestyle, and regular exercise. There is a need to develop and promote mental health, physical health, and the control of infectious agents so that the three domains of health can be better complemented by each other.
Today, people have become aware of the importance of public health and have started taking preventive measures through organizations like WHO. WHO was set up in May 1977 by the United Nations and its agencies were responsible for creating knowledge on health related issues around the globe. According to WHO, the key role of WHO is to provide access to adequate information on health, setting the standard of evidence on health and developing policies that ensure the quality of health maintenance. There are numerous journals and books published by WHO and its divisions, and they all deal with health promotion and control. The journal Popular Health Mechanics is an online platform from which people can exchange information on health topics and participate in forums.
As far as I am concerned, a definition of “disease” should include all the major types of disorders that are affecting the body and mind of humans. Some authors have provided a list of six such disorders, namely, leukemia, lymphoma, malignant tumors, AIDS, cancer, and diabetes. Based on these six disorders, there are several other classification of diseases that include Mental disorder, Complex Disease, Respiratory and Reproductive Health Disability, and Psychological health. All these categories or diseases are important in making the world health campaign and its prevention and control efforts. They have developed reference materials, manuals, glossaries, and databases on all these six disorders. These reference materials also comprise definitions of different terms used in these fields.
In addition, the World Health Organization has made some very useful changes in the wording of some definitions, making it more comprehensible for the layman. For example, the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) definition of Illness: “A disease characterized by inflammation of the tissues resulting in loss of function and pain, leading to a loss of production or life”. The ILCO definition of a disability also clarifies that the impairment limits the capability to carry out the activities of life and affects the ability to perform work. Similarly, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of Illness: “A disease caused by bacteria, virus, fungi, protozoa, cysts or other agents which affect the cells or tissues of human body without causing damage to essential organs or the body itself”.
The definition of disease is thus a general one and can be affected by various factors. On one hand, the definition of a disease should be influenced by the type of virus that causes it. The more general the disease is, the more probable it is that the cause can be very complex, involving multiple organs, cells, systems. On the other hand, the more specific the disease is, the less likely it is that its cause can be very simple, involving only the physical aspect of the body.