Primary prevention aims to avoid the development of a disease or disability in healthy individuals. Most population-based health promotion activities, such as encouraging less consumption of sugars to reduce caries risk, are primary preventive measures. Primary prevention occurs before any evidence of disease and aims to reduce or eliminate causal risk factors, prevent onset, and thus reduce incidence of the disease. Well-known examples include vaccinations to prevent infectious diseases and encouraging healthy eating and physical activity to prevent obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic diseases and conditions.
• Inclusion of disease prevention programmes at primary and specialized health care levels, such as access to preventive services (ex. counselling)
• Nutritional and food supplementation
• Dental hygiene education and oral health services.
Secondary prevention occurs at a latent stage of disease—after a disease has begun but before the person has become symptomatic. The goals, which ultimately reduce the prevalence of the disease, are early identification through screening as well as providing interventions to prevent the disease from becoming manifest. Screening tools and tests (e.g., checking body mass index, mammography, PCR for COVID) are examples of secondary prevention
The focus of secondary prevention is:
• early disease detection, making it possible to prevent the worsening of the disease and the emergence of symptoms
• minimize complications and limit disabilities before the disease becomes severe.
• detection of disease in asymptomatic patients with screening or diagnostic testing and preventing the spread of communicable diseases.
Tertiary prevention strategies seek to treat and rehabilitate those with the clinical disease. The goal of tertiary prevention is to reduce the negative impact of an already-established disease by restoring function and reducing disease-related complications. Tertiary prevention also aims to improve the quality of life for people with disease. Examples, cardiac or stroke rehabilitation programs, chronic disease management programs (e.g. for diabetes, arthritis, depression, etc.)
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