People around the country are becoming more health conscious than they have been ever before. Yes, there is a desire to look and feel attractive but today men and women want much more than a slim and attractive figure. This increased awareness about health is also a result of increasing pollution and birth of new lifestyle diseases. Healthy people 2020 is a mission of the government that was launched in 2010 with the objective of improving the health of the people. This program has a vision that aims for a society where all people live a long and healthy life.
Healthy people 2020 includes all diseases and people of all age groups. The program not only aims to increase quality of life but also aims to bring about equality of health among people of all cross sections of the society. The program identifies health improvement priorities to allow authorities to chalk out policies and pursue them. It also spreads awareness among the people about determinants of heath and diseases so that they can easily take corrective actions to prevent diseases, injuries, and disabilities.
Healthy people 2020 points out health objectives that are measurable. There are well defined goals pertaining to health parameters and diseases that are applicable on all the states of the country. The program aims to involve partners at all levels to make it possible to implement the policies and programs under Healthy people 2020. There are in all 42 topic areas with more than a thousand objectives.
There have been many achievements and great strides have been taken in the direction to achieve the goals of this program by 2020. Five years have passed since 2010 when this program was introduced. A great deal has been done by the government but a lot still needs to be done to achieve the objectives set out under this program. Results in the sphere of life expectancy at birth are very encouraging and so are the results in rates of deaths caused by coronary diseases. While life expectancy at birth has gone up considerably, the number of people dying prematurely because of heart ailments and strokes has gone down considerably. However, many challenges still remain and these include health disparities and incidence of many different types of diseases.
Now that five years out of the total time period of 10 years of the program have been completed, it is time to look back and make an analysis of not just achievements but also poor performances at different levels. This will help the authorities as well as people to make concerted efforts to remove the obstacles and move in the right direction. Some of the more important objectives under Healthy People 2020 have been taken together and collectively labeled as Leading Health Indicators. These LHIs are being used by the government to communicate serious and more pressing health issues with the people. At the same time, government is planning action so that these health issues can be addressed effectively.