Community Prevention Project
Currently, in the USA, much emphasis of public health initiatives is on the bettering the health of communities through prevention of illnesses. The occurrence of these diseases varies from one state to another. However, a public health concern that cuts across all states is the vector-borne diseases. In essence, this report seeks to look at the current situation of these conditions within New York and analyze the state’s efforts to prevent them. In light of this information, the report will make a proposition of an upgrade or a new prevention or an intervention program, suggest a budget for the same and offer a SWOT analysis for the proposal.
Health Concerns of People in New York
In New York, vector-borne diseases constitute the health problems for individuals in this territory. Befitting examples of such illnesses that are common within this state include the West Nile Virus infection and Lyme disease. Their existence is mainly due to the weather and climate changes in this area, which favors the multiplication of the disease vectors carrying the causative agents.
Firstly, West Nile Virus infection is a public health issue affecting New York residents whose primary cause is a virus mediated by bites of mosquitoes of Culex species. The high number of the mosquitoes in this region is due to the increased precipitation and flooding, which result in more breeding sites in the form of standstill waters for these vectors (Hilts, Eidson, & Hsu, 2017). The ramification of the multiplied numbers of the disease vector is an increased number of reported cases of this disease especially in the East Coast of this state.
On the contrary, the causative agent of Lyme disease is a bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) carried by ticks. Originally, this disease was uncommon in this state, but with an increase in mean warm temperatures, the migration of ticks to this area has ensued. Ticks favor a more humid environment, which this state avails in particular seasons. Consequently, their numbers are on the rise (Finch et al., 2014). As such, fears for the development of this disease within this region because of these changes in climate abound.
Current Environmental Risk Assessment Methods
The environmental quality departments of this state utilize various environmental risk assessment methods for the vector-borne diseases that are worth noting. A case in point of a method widely used is the monitoring and evaluation of weather and climate changes, which play a significant role to the increase of the disease vectors. For instance, the environmental practitioners establish the likelihood of the Lyme disease outbreak whenever they note there is an increase in warm temperatures that contribute high humidity. In such climate, the ticks thrive more than other environmental conditions. On the other hand, the risk of developing West Nile Virus infection is high in climatic conditions that encourage increased precipitation (Mack, Relman, Hamburg, Choffnes, Sparling, & Lemo, 2008). Evidently, going by the climatic and weather conditions, the environmental quality departments can ascertain the risk of the vector-borne diseases in New York.
Another commonly used risk assessment method is the land use and land cover metrics. Central to this technique the environmental protection practitioners have the responsibility of mapping certain areas as either high or low-risk area because of the risk propagated by the land utilization. For example, areas that have a sparse population and with shrub vegetation in the neighborhood are endemic for the tick-borne bacterial infections like Lyme diseases. On the other hand, the risk of West Nile Virus infection is high in regions with dense population and a surrounding epitomized with scrub vegetation and forests (Mack et al., 2008). Clearly, through assessment of land use and land cover metrics, the determination of the risk of the vector-borne illness in New York is possible.
Proposal for an Upgrade/New Prevention or Intervention Program
Judging from the current available preventive and intervention programs for the vector-borne diseases of concern in New York, there is a need for more emphasis on a more integrated educational program. Such an initiative will incorporate teachings of both the West Nile Virus and Lyme disease, which will forge a new understanding of the two conditions and inspire a behavior change simultaneously. That is the case given that upon realization of the predisposing factors, individuals will seek to avoid them at all cost so that they cannot contract these diseases.
Besides, with such an educational program in place, the high awareness levels of the diseases will result in an increased vigilance among the community members. Such is the case because individuals that are knowledgeable about health issues will always seek to take charge of their health by exploiting opportunities that will lead to better health (Healy, Hamilton, Crepeau, Healy, Unlu, Farajollahi, & Fonseca, 2014). Thus, with this new teaching program, there is no doubt that health of persons living within the state will improve even further.
Central to the success of this program is a budget that will indicate the funds estimated to carry out this program to its full completion. The budget is as shown below in the table below.
Table 1:Program’s Budget Summary Table
|Budgeted Items/Commodity||Number of budgeted items||Cost per Item||Total Cost|
|Staff Training expenses
Table 2: SWOT Analysis Summary Table for the integrated Educational Program for Vector-Borne Illness
1. Integrated Approach
An educational program of this kind will enable the prevention of both the Lyme disease and West Nile Virus infection in a simultaneous fashion.
The educational program utilizes an integrated approach that enables it to prevent duplication of activities and resources utilized in standalone programs for these diseases.
3. Ready available health care personnel
The program would not need new staff to carry out its activities. Instead, it will utilize the already existent health care personnel to conduct the program.
The program will entail training the health care staff on the conditions before going into the field to carry out the program.
2. Inadequate funding
Although the program utilizes a cost-effective approach, it still has inherent challenges of expenses given that it will entail the cost of staff wages and procurement of educational materials such as handouts.
3. Human resource shortage
Despite its dependability on the existent health care personnel, there is a need for more medical staff so that the whole population can receive the information about the two illnesses.
1. The existence of standalone programs that target vector control will ensure there is smooth integration of the new initiative, which will enhance its adaptability to the circumstances.
1. The unpredictability of the two conditions due to their seasonal variability poses the danger of the program failing to meet its intended purpose.
Concisely, this report aimed at establishing the current situation of the common vector-borne diseases in New York and analyzing the state’s efforts to prevent them. Moreover, after determination of this information, it would seek to make a proposition of an upgrade or a new prevention or an intervention program, suggest a budget and offer a SWOT analysis for the same. Indeed, the report has not fallen short of any of these targets since it has determined that the prevailing vector-borne conditions in this state be Lyme disease and West Nile Virus infection. Consequently, a proposition for an integrated educational program for both diseases has been made to meet the health care needs of the persons from this region. That said, the implication drawn from this report is that there is a need for such a teaching program if the success of the control of the two vector-borne diseases is to become a reality.
Finch, C., Al-Damluji, M., Krause, P., Niccolai, L., Steeves, T., O’Keefe, C., & Diuk-Wasser, M. (2014). Integrated Assessment of Behavioral and Environmental Risk Factors for Lyme Disease Infection on Block Island, Rhode Island. Plos ONE, 9(1), e84758. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084758
Healy, K., Hamilton, G., Crepeau, T., Healy, S., Unlu, I., Farajollahi, A., & Fonseca, D. M. (2014). Integrating the public in mosquito management: active education by community peers can lead to significant reduction in peridomestic container mosquito habitats. PloS one, 9(9), e108504.
Hilts, A., Eidson, M., & Hsu, W. (2017). Climate and health in New York state, 28(1), 1-6.
Mack, A., Relman, D., Hamburg, M., Choffnes, E., Sparling, P., & Lemo, S. (2008). Vector-Borne Diseases : Understanding the Environmental, Human Health, and Ecological Connections : Workshop Summary (1st ed.). Washington (DC): National Academies Press.