Although communicable infections have been known to man since the dawn of time, outbreaks of communicable infections still occur regularly. Known and unknown communicable infections continue to emerge and re-emerge due to factors such as drug-resistant microbes, the over-use of antimicrobial drugs, and many others. Many changes in society have weakened healthcare systems while enhancing the effects of poverty and malnutrition. Although the mortality rate has declined over the last 150 years, communicable diseases remain the biggest killer worldwide, increasing at an alarming rate. If existing control measures are to be relaxed and microbes mutate further to “super bugs” resistant to modern antimicrobial drugs, the possibility that communicable infections could assume the magnitude of wide-spread epidemics and/or pandemics is greatly heightened.
Communicable Medical Diseases: A Holistic and Social Medicine Perspective for Healthcare Providers is grounded in the integrated and unified biomedical and traditional models of healthcare. The phenomenon of communicable infections is depicted in a comprehensive, symbiotic, and interrelated way, as to enable all healthcare providers (professional, traditional, and lay care) to break the chains of interrelatedness between the human host, the pathogen, and the environment in preventing and controlling outbreaks of communicable infections at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. Healthcare to be given at home and in hospital, being comprehensively, holistically, and culturally congruent, focuses not only on the care of individuals of all ages within familial and community contexts but also on caring for the family and the community. To prevent the human host falling sick from specific communicable infections, priming the individual’s immune system through vaccination so as to enhance his or her immune system is also discussed.