Measures of Disease Occurrence
Setting priorities in public health planning for disease prevention depends on a set of conditions. Public health priorities should be set by the combination of how serious diseases are (a product of their frequency and the impact they have on those affected and society) and our ability to change their frequency or severity. This intervention requires knowledge of how to treat and/or to prevent the disease. If we have sufficient knowledge about the causes of the disease and if these causes are avoidable we may be able to propose effective preventive programs. If we do not have that knowledge research is needed, and if we know where to search for causes this research can be specifically targeted. If the disease can be treated at a low cost and with little risk, prevention need not be better than cure but often will be.
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