Ecological Approaches in Public Health

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Guest Editor
Stanislaw Tarkowski, MSc., DSc,
Professor emeritus, Nofer Institute of Occupational Health, Department of Environment Health Hazards, Lodz, Poland
Email: stantarko@gmail.com

Manuscript Topics
At the end of the 20th century public health witnessed a growing challenge of the dominance of biomedicine and the need to give greater emphasis to the ecological context in the study of human health and disease. The emerging new paradigm of public health is based on a holistic conception of health, integrated with shaping social and environmental conditions conducive for health. The social and physical surroundings in which people live affect their health. Individuals and populations are embedded within social, political and economic systems that shape behaviors and offer or constrain access to resources necessary to maintain health.

In 1969 John Hanlon, assistant US surgeon-general in 1960s, said that the emphasis which must be given to establish such a new basis for public health is, in essence, the application of the principles of ecology to the human circumstance. It is based upon a recognition that the health status of man is the outcome of the interplay between and the integration of two ecological universes; the internal environment of man, the biosocial organism, and the external multi environments in which he exists. The human ecologic approach calls for an interdisciplinary effort wherein the natural, physical, and social sciences, in company with engineering, combine to study the adaptive responses of man, and especially the effects of unsuccessful adaptation on his health.

The number of studies and publications arguing for ecological approaches in public health has been growing during last two decades. Public health researchers present a strong conviction that the dominating bio-medical model of public health, which neglects to a high degree the cross-disciplinary perspective, is not able to alter the conditions that shape the rising rates of non-communicable diseases. Current public health literature presents new models of ecological public health and frameworks for their delivery. The frameworks provide a new structure that bring together the multiple components of public health, relate them to key influencing factors and provide greater clarity, balance and direction for the effective delivery of public health.

Creating social and environmental conditions conducive to health is a multi-sectoral responsibility. The public health community has to take the lead in building strong partnerships and to be in the forefront of promoting population health as a key criterion of sustainable development. Public health researchers have a significant responsibility for undertaking research that will assist society to understand and avert the health impacts of ecological changes.

Paper submission
All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed before their acceptance for publication.
The deadline for manuscript submission is 28th February, 2016.

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