Why is an Ounce of Prevention less valued than a Pound of Cure?

Over the past two decades of my study of and my practice in medicine, I have always been perplexed by the disconnect between the principle and the application of the proverb, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Given the meteoric rise of non-communicable physical, mental and social diseases and the cost of their treatment and their burden to society, I would have guessed that policy makers would have made health promotion and disease prevention a top priority, and resources locally, regionally and internationally would have been invested in elucidating the determinants of health promotion and disease prevention and implementing the wisdom of that enlightenment.

Truth be told, much has been discovered over the past decade on adverse childhood experiences and the long-lasting effects on physical, mental and social diseases. Also Sir Michael Marmot and his collaborators have investigated the social determinants of health and have shown unequivocally that social gradients of inequality in terms of access to the basic means of life growth and development does in fact affect life expectancies and disability-adjusted-life-years. Given this trove of empirical data to guide our policy and decision makers, one would have thought that major steps would have been taken at the local, regional and international levels to remedy the social deficiencies in our homes, our schools and workplace environments. This would then serve to minimize adverse childhood experiences, (in addition to the adverse experiences of the adolescents, adults and the elderly) and would also serve to optimize the social, economic and political environments to produce enabling policies that would inform and encourage healthier lifestyles and behaviours. Read More

What our immune system can teach us on how best to organise socially

One of the gifts of life we have taken for granted is the internal plumbing of the body, of which the immune system is an integral part.  The organisation of our immune system, for the most part, works silently behind the scenes to protect the integrity of our body from attacks from within and from without.  In… Read More

What does it profit humanity to know the unit-price of everything and the life-value of nothing?

(Cartoon originally copyrighted by the authors; G. Renee Guzlas, artist) In the previous blog article entitled, The Secret to a Healthy Nation, an attempt was made to identify the ROOT CAUSE of the causes of our physical, mental, social and environmental diseases.  After outlining in detail, 1) the prevalence of the diseases and their risk factors in our nation, 2) the pathogenic metabolic, social, mental… Read More

Who is responsible for your health? You, your health care provider, your family, your community, or your government?

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