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5.7 LESSON7. PREVENTION (the best defence)

The COVID19 pandemic has put an unprecedented strain on healthcare systems worldwide. To reduce the burden on these systems, prevention strategies such as social distancing, and mask wearing were implemented. These prevention strategies helped to flatten the curve and reduce the number of COVID19 cases. Additionally, the development and distribution of vaccines for COVID19 provided an effective way to prevent illness and hospitalization, further reducing the burden on healthcare systems.

While prevention is not unique to the pandemic, the emphasis during the pandemic has increasingly recognized prevention as a critical component of healthcare systems. Preventive measures not only improve health outcomes for individuals but also reduce the costs associated with treating preventable illnesses and chronic diseases. Preventive care can identify health problems early when they are easier and less expensive to treat, and can reduce the need for costly interventions, such as surgery or hospitalization.

Prevention must be a key strategy for healthcare systems, not only during a pandemic but moving forward, including in cancer care, where prevention is critical. Measures such as cancer screenings, public education campaigns that increase awareness of risk factors, such as poor diet, smoking, and promoting healthy behaviors (e.g., sunscreen) can have a significant impact.  Genetic testing to identify increased risk of certain types of cancers allowing for earlier and more targeted interventions. and personalized medicine can also improve outcomes and reduce the need for ineffective or potentially harmful treatments. Investing in prevention not only leads to better health outcomes but also helps to reduce healthcare costs and ensure the long term sustainability of our health systems.

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