The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) celebrates National Public Health Week during April 4 - 10. The annual event, sponsored by the American Public Health Association, recognizes the work of public health professionals in improving and protecting the health of all citizens. This year’s theme is “Safety is NO Accident: Live Injury-Free.”
Every day public health employees work hard to maintain and improve the health of Mississippians young and old.
“It takes hundreds of people working daily to protect the health of the residents of our state,” said State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier. “Public health workers are on the front lines of county health clinics providing clinical services, in the field protecting our restaurants and water systems, and in administrative roles. I appreciate each and every one of them.”
MSDH employees inspect and license 225 nursing homes, 118 hospitals, 1,759 child care facilities, 42 youth camps, 13 child care residential homes and 13,151 food facilities across the state.
Public health employees protect the health of our youngest citizens through the childhood immunization program and the First Steps Early Intervention program. Public health employees also work diligently to keep Mississippians healthy through infectious disease control efforts including monitoring, treating and reducing cases of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV disease, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia; vaccine preventable diseases such as Pertussis, Measles and Hepatitis B; and zoonotic diseases such as West Nile virus, Rabies and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Additionally, MSDH’s Emergency Preparedness division works to prepare for any health threats related to natural disasters or public health emergencies.
County health departments provide family planning services including the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutritional program to improve the health of children in their first five years of life; family planning services that include prenatal care and family planning counseling; and environmental inspections including testing Mississippi’s drinking water, and designing and inspecting on-site wastewater systems.
MSDH will hold several events in celebration of National Public Health Week including a Walk/Run for agency employees on Friday, April 8, at 8:30 a.m. to be led by Mississippi’s Biggest Loser Patrick House.