Epidemiology is mainly concerned with the study of health-related issues in specified populations. As a result, its aim lies in understanding the reasons why some diseases occur at a particular time or location. Friis and Sellers (2021) state that “the key aspects of this definition are determinants, distribution, population, and health phenomena” (p. 2). Furthermore, Lisabeth explains that “epidemiology is closely tied to public health practice and action” (What is epidemiology). This means that the work done can be used to develop the appropriate policies to prevent any outbreaks that may threaten the society. Epidemiology thus plays an essential role in protecting populations by understanding trends in diseases or disorders, after which a better knowledge of the effects of such occurrences on society can be grasped.
Understanding epidemiology provides a number of benefits to government and health agencies. Firstly, an understanding of the health history of certain populations may enable future projections (Friis & Sellers, 2021). Secondly, it may also assist health officials to comprehend the inner workings of the health care system in a particular country. Lastly, it may also offer insight into an individual’s risks of getting a disease or disorder (Bhopal, 2016). Therefore, these benefits of this field are critical in measuring risk and putting in place measures to avoid full-blown epidemics that may be difficult to control.
Consequently, epidemiology can assist society to better understand public health by providing information on prevalence, occurrence and distribution of health-related issues. Comprehension of this field can enable the identification of infectious diseases and any other disorders that may be of concern to authorities. Data collected for these studies thus forms a critical aspect of the early detection of possible faults in health systems, enabling the prediction of possible outbreaks in future.
University of Michigan School of Public Health. (2014). What is epidemiology, and why should you study it? Web.
Bhopal, R. S. (2016). Concepts of epidemiology: Integrating the ideas, theories, principles, and methods of epidemiology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Friis, R. H., & Sellers, T. A. (2021). Epidemiology for public health practice (6th ed.). Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.