Concept of Health & Disease

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  • To understand the meaning of health
  • To be familiar with the new philosophy of health
  • To understand the concept of disease /illness
  • To communicate confidently about the topic to the target groups



According to the constitution of World health organization and a revision of its definition, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well – being and ability to function, not merely absence of disease or infirmity. The function here refers to optimum level function and emphasizes an ability to live an economically productive life.


Health is NOT mainly an issue of doctors, social services and hospitals. It is an issue of social justice.


Health is a fundamental human right and a world wide social goal; that it is essential to the satisfaction of basic human needs and to an improved quality of life; and that it is to be attained by all people.


Health is a state of Physical, Mental and Social well being and is not merely absence of Disease.

 All Communities have their concepts of health as part of their culture.Oldest is that Health is "Absence of Disease"

Changing Concepts:

Absence of disease change into Biomedical concept.

1-Biomedical Concept: This concept has basis on "Germ theory of disease" 

2-Ecological Concept: Health as dynamic equlibrium between man and enviroment.Disease is maladjustment of human organism to enviroment.

3-Psychosocial Concept:Not only biomedical phenomenon,but social,psychological,cultural,economic & political factor concerned.


In recent years, we have acquired a new philosophy of health, which may be stated as below:

  • Health is the essence of productive life and not the result of ever increasing expenditure on medical care.
  • Health is a fundamental human right.
  • Health is intersectoral.
  • Health is an integral part of development.
  • Health is central to the concept of quality of life.
  • Health involves individuals, state and international responsibility.
  • Health and its maintenance is a major social investment.
  • Health is world- wide social goal.



Disease is defined as a condition in which body health is impaired. Disease is not a static entity but a process which begins before man is actually affected by a living or non-living agent in the environment inn which he lives, leading to a battle between the agent and man’s defensive forces. The battle on the part of man’s defensive forces is an attempt, to maintain a positive balance against injurious forces leading to disturb his health equilibrium.


Illness is a phenomenon in which one or more natural functions of the body are so disturbed that the affected individual cannot meet the natural requirements of every day life. It is a state in which the equilibrium of the body and its functions are disturbed.  If the disturbance is severe and its duration is not long, the person is said to be acutely ill. If on the other hand illness continues for a long duration without disability, the affected person is said to be chronically ill.

Spectrum of Health:

Health & Disease lie along a continum And there is a single Cut-off point.

  • Positive Health
  • Better Health
  • Freedom from sickness
  • __________________________________________
  • Unrecognised Sickness
  • Mild Sickness
  • Severe Sickness
  • Death

Determinants of Health: 

Health is multifactorial.(Multidimention).