What is healthy People 2020 ?
Healthy People 2020, is an initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States. Launched in December of 2010, the project has four major goals geared towards preventing disease and disability, eliminating health disparities and promoting quality of life and good health for all. In order to succeed in achieving it’s far reaching goals, the project tracks about 1,200 objectives broken down into 42 key topic areas, each representing a major area in public health.
The 42 major areas of public health under the healthy people 2020 project are alphabetically listed below;
Access to Health Services
Arthritis, Osteoporosis, and Chronic Back Conditions
Blood Disorders and Blood Safety
Chronic Kidney Disease
Dementias, Including Alzheimer’s Disease
Disability and Health
Early and Middle Childhood
Educational and Community-Based Programs
Health Communication and Health Information Technology
Health-Related Quality of Life & Well-Being
Hearing and Other Sensory or Communication Disorders
Heart Disease and Stroke
Immunization and Infectious Diseases
Injury and Violence Prevention
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health
Maternal, Infant, and Child Health
Medical Product Safety
Mental Health and Mental Disorders
Nutrition and Weight Status
Occupational Safety and Health
Public Health Infrastructure
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Social Determinants of Health
These 42 objectives are measured using established targets, baseline data and more recently, socio-demographic data tabulated separately by gender, family type, disability, income education, race, Hispanic origin, marital status age, country of birth and geographic location.
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is responsible for coordinating and evaluating these efforts to ensure the country meets the set objectives and public health professionals especially public health physicians, public health nurses and epidemiologists play key roles. According to a recently released report, the United States has met or exceeded 40% of its Healthy People 2020 objectives as at January 2017, however the report also noted that the major health indicators showed little to no improvement and others actually regressed in some areas.
Similar programs in developing countries like the vision 2020 in Nigeria ended up in huge failure largely due to lack of vision, lack of leadership, lack of commitment, nepotism and policy somersaults. Despite set backs in some areas the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) have made very significant progress in their quest to achieve their set goals and objectives.