The Importance of Secondary and Tertiary Disease Prevention
Generally, when a primary disease prevention is not effective or has failed, a healthy person becomes sick.
Therefore, this way of prevention involves finding and treating people in the sub-clinical stage or the early clinical stage of the disease. The disease is detected earlier and treated.
You should understand that most of the curative work of outpatient and inpatient services occur in this stage.
The aim is to reduce mostly the suffering, to cure the disease and to prevent disability.
There are two ways you can find early diseases in the community :-
- Screening for sub-clinical disease using special tests. For example, Mantoux test for T.B, Pap test cervical cancer.
- Weighing babies in the clinic, examining urine and stool specimens of patients and also examining pregnant women.
It targets people with chronic diseases that cannot be cured. Moreover, T.P reduces negative impact of an already established disease. How? By restoring functions and reducing disease-related complications. It has two aims:
- Treatment to prevent more disability and death.
- New training and special education to help your patient to return to some useful work and life in the community.
In some disease, it is used because primary and secondary ways have failed.
Blindness due to vitamin deficiency normally happens when primary prevention (early detection of corneal ulcers) have failed hence, the damage to the cornea called keratomalacia cannot be treated.
Tertiary prevention can help your blind or partly blind patient learn to do some useful work and return to the community.
Other diseases include diabetes.