The Key Features of Public Health in Roman Britain Essay

The Romans developed the first ever system of public health. They understood that dirty conditions made people ill, and in order to ensure that their empire thrived their soldiers and merchants had to be healthy. So they provided many facilities to promote public health within societies. However, the key features of public health were: hygiene, treating illness and personal health.

The Romans were great builders and to promote hygiene they had built aqueducts, sewers, and bath houses. Aqueducts brought millions of gallons of water everyday into the city’s through lead pipes which was then used for drinking, washing clothes and bathing. The water brought in was clean and was taken to the bath house where it was used to fill a huge bath where people could go in and bathe for a small price. This ensured people would try to keep themselves clean. They had also built public latrines so that all the waste was taken into sewers and not the streets where people had a greater chance of getting a disease. All the waste went into sewers which was then flushed with water from the bath house and other places where there water was not clean anymore.

The sewers lead to rivers or the sea. The Romans believed that staying fit and healthy prevented you from getting a disease. Usually within bath houses there was a gymnasia where people could go and exercise. The Roman writer Celsus advised exercises before a meal and Galen prescribed gym exercises and deep breathing as a way to health. To treat illnesses the Romans had built hospitals and trained physicians. The first hospitals were built to treat soldiers. People were often treated with what knowledge Hippocrates had passed on, especially the theory of the four humours. Or others were amputated to stop the spread of infection.

However, the public health system was not perfect. There were often defects with their methods for example, water from the bath houses was changed only once a week, which instead of helping promote hygiene, was the cause of many people with diseases. Moreover, the sewers were not reliable for disposing waste. When open sewers close to the ground were not emptied, people who went near to them often became ill.

Read also  Environmental Effects on Human Health

More Essays

  • Public Health and Health Care

    Public health is one the of the science that improves and protects the health care of the communities and families through promotions of healthy lifestyles, research for injury and disease prevention and detection and control of infectious diseases. Public health professionals try and prevent issues from...

  • Health Campaign Paper

    The concept of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health was developed in 1732 when the Philadelphia Almshouse began to provide free hospital care to the poor. According to the City of Philadelphia (2010), the Department of Public Health protects health and promotes healthy lifestyles for all...

  • Promoting Health Internationally

    Developing countries are beset with health crises to a greater extent than their more developed counterparts. The lack of resources and the presence of numerous demanding needs causes the insufficient allocation of such resources for the addressing of health issues. In other countries, there is simply no...

  • How to Lead a Long and Healthy Life Speech

    Good Health starts from the very infancy. It is here that protection and care is needed, so that each organ functions well, each organ develops naturally, and there are no deformities, disabilities and diseases but often the health of children remain neglected, with the result that they grow unhealthily and...

  • What Is Good Health_

    The definition of health is ‘the state of being free from illness or injury' (Definition of health, 2013). There are five main components of health including physical, mental, social, environmental and spiritual health. All of these five components have inter-relationships in one way or another and can both...

  • Socio Economic Aspects of Health & Social Care

    There are different definitions of health and it can be viewed in a number of ways. Negative definitions of health This is when people decide if they are ill or not by the things that may influence them to think so. Negative definitions of health are basically when you use a negative tone to tell what...

  • Epidemiology of Diabetes in Mexican Immigrants

    This paper will center on the vulnerable population of Mexican-American immigrants with chronic type II adult-onset diabetes and how this affects this growing population. The definition, description, steps, and method of epidemiology will facilitate the discussion. Routine data such as demographics, census,...

  • Psychology of Health in the Workplace

    This document will discuss the relationship between health and psychology in the workplace and how certain lifestyle choices affect these areas. This paper will also include examples of lifestyle choices that enhance personal health and reduce illnesses. Understanding how health and psychology relate to...

  • Sociology of Health and Illness

    The state of our health is very important to us, we spend a lot of time and money on trying to stay healthy, but what do we mean by "Health"? The world Health Organisation (WHO) describes health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being which is more than just the absence of...

  • Economic Impact of Pollution on Health

    Environmental degradation has indirect relationship with economic activity of households by affecting their health. Diseases borne by environmental pollution result in loss of income, loss of working hours, low labor productivity and heavy expenditure on health by households. This research assessed the...

Read also  Epidemiology_ Psychiatry and Mental Health Professionals