(Jackson, MS) This week the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) celebrates National Public Health Week. 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 “A Healthier America: One Community at a Time.”
MSDH employees inspect and license 208 nursing homes, 123 hospitals, 1,728 child care facilities, 42 youth camps, 12 child care residential homes and 13,000 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 protect the health of all of our citizens 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 9 at 8:30 am to be led by WLBT’s Marsha Thompson in honor of former State Health Officer Ed Thompson.