Primordial prevention describes efforts to reduce the onset of the risk factors known to predispose people to certain diseases.
Primary prevention includes efforts to control the underlying cause or condition that results in disability. Examples include (a) maternal antiretroviral therapy to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and (b) fortification of the food supply to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida and iodine deficiency disorders.
Secondary prevention aims at preventing an existing illness or injury from progressing to long-term disability. Examples include newborn screening for metabolic disorders followed by dietary restrictions to prevent damage to the nervous system and effective emergency medical care for head injury.
Tertiary prevention refers to rehabilitation and special educational services to mitigate disability and improve functional and participatory or social outcomes once disability has occurred.
The 19th century sanitary revolution arose from Snow's discovery, reinforced by the work of others: William Farr, physician and vital statistician, the first Compiler of Abstracts in the newly created office of the English Registrar General; the bacteriologists, Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch; the pathologist-sanitarian Rudolph Virchow; the social reformers and early public health specialists, Edwin Chadwick, Lemuel Shattuck, John Simon, soon battalions of others. Human settlements were the seedbed for civilizations, but in the absence of adequate hygiene and sanitation, they were hotbeds of pestilence and disease too. The 19th century cities were dangerous places, rife with disease and premature death. More than a quarter of all babies born alive were dead within a year, half were dead before they were old enough to have children of their own. They died of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections: cholera, typhoid, infant diarrhea, diphtheria, croup, measles, pneumonia, tuberculosis.
Slide author: John Last, Canada