Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (World Health Organization 1948, cited under Macro System Overview). Public health promotes and protects the health of children, families, and the communities where they live, learn, work, and play. As a discipline, its focus is at all three levels of prevention — primary, secondary, and tertiary. Overall, global and rural public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations within and across countries throughout the world. Public health professionals have a focus on preventing problems from happening or recurring through implementing educational programs, recommending policies to protect health and prevent disease, administering services, and conducting research. Child health has long been a major area of focus in public health, and directing evidence-based intervention, resources and services to improve the health of children and their families is crucial to having healthy adult populations. There are many individual, social and political determining factors that affect child health, which have been studied through the integrated concepts of macro, meso, and micro systems of care.
In the development, planning and implementation of child health services and interventions, the systems of care (macro, meso, and micro) focus on the root causes of challenges faced by children and families, by seeking to understand and assess these challenges, that includes family and community, environmental conditions, and legal rights. In this paper the decision was made to provide a systems framework for this meta-review (environmental scan approach) that gives the reader an overview of documents (articles, reports, book chapters) reflective of this holistic approach to the discussion of global and rural child public health.
“Child Public Health,” was recently published in Oxford Bibliographies.
The lead author is Dr. Joseph Telfar, department chair at the Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH). Ms. Rakhi Trivedi, JPHCOPH doctoral student, Dr. Helen Bland, JPHCOPH professor of community health, and Dr. Valamar Reagon, JPHCOPH alumni, and Ms. Jazzmin Williamson, JPHCOPH MPH student, were collaborating co-authors on this paper.