Health is a condition of mental, physical and emotional well-being where infirmity and illness are absent. Mental health is associated with the person’s attitude towards life; it is the basis of his or her motivation and commitment to achieve well being. On the other hand, physical health refers to the body’s ability to sustain life and perform its functions. Emotional health is a vital component that affects an individual’s well-being. It is related to the capacity of our nervous system to nurture and sustain positive affections towards others. The term ‘well being’ implies the possession of sufficient knowledge about the self, one’s physical, emotional and cognitive capabilities, as well as the surroundings.
The concept of population health has been developed after the First World War to assist the efforts of governmental health agencies in combating communicable diseases. Population health encompasses the concepts of: population, individual behavior, social determinants, and environmental threats. These three concepts play major roles in the promotion of individual behavior, social determinants, and environmental safety. Each of these concepts is interrelated and each impacts on the health status of a population.
Social determinants refers to the differences in the health status of individuals within a community, which may be based on sociodemographic factors, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, cultural norms, and health habits and behaviors. Individual behavior impacts on health care disparities because it influences both the level of exposure to disease, and response to treatment. Both individual behavior and socioeconomic status are influenced by social factors.