Similarities and differences between public health and community health (Answers)

Both #Public Health and #Community Health are fields of study that are concerned with the prevention of diseases, prolongation of life and promotion of health of a population.

They are categorized under health sciences in most schools. Unlike other health allied professions like the medicine and nursing that provide direct treatment to patients, public health and community health do not. They carry out activities through research, education and promotion (campaigns and outreaches). However, community health workers like community health extension workers (CHEWs) and community health nurses provide direct medical services to patients and immmunization services.

From the above explanations, it’s clearly obvious these disciplines share a similar goal which is to keep populations healthy and well. Read on to know the differences between the two fields of study.

What are the differences between Public Health and Community Health?

Without a doubt, #Public health and #Community health are strongly related. However, one is a subdivision of the other. Community health is considered a subdiscipline of Public health. While the focus of public health is largely extensive, say at national level; communiity health on the other hand, is specific to geographical regions, often at local level, could be rural communities, or districts in urban area. Although professions that require combined efforts, collaborations differ.

Similarities and differences between public health and community health
#Public Health Vs #Community Health

Public health work to improve health of a nation as a whole, therefore, the collaborative efforts of the government, non-governmental organizations, donor agencies and other industries are requisite to the accomplishment of this goal. Community health tend to interact and collaborate more with community members, patients, lawmakers and other relevant stakeholders.Public health experts are referred to as Public health practitioners/officers.

Professions under this discipline include Biostatistics, Health administration, Data analyst, Epidemiology, Public health nursing, Public Health Nutrition and Dietetics, Disease Control and Surveillance, Emergency Preparedness and Response Coordination amongst others. Workplaces for public health professionals include Research Institutes, Universities and Colleges, Administrative and Policy making bodies, Government and Non-governmental Organizations within and outside Nigeria etc.

Community health professionals are known as Community health practitioners. Community health practitioners include community health officers, community health nurses, health analysts, community health workers, health program coordinators, community health extension workers, health coaches/educators. They are commonly found working at Primary Health Care centers (PHCs). Other work areas for them include community clinics, health facilities etc.


The relation between #Public health and #Community health is inextricable. The roles and responsibilities they perform are nearly similar; while one functions at national level, the other functions at local level. Regardless of the differences between these disciplines, one thing is common, they help maintain and improve the health of individuals, groups, communities, and populations.

Stella-maris Achumba is a public health graduate from Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Nigeria


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