Health promotion and health protection - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022)

Health promotion and health protection measures and COVID-19

A range of immediate and tangible health promotion strategies were employed in response to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to minimise the spread of the disease, to ensure the health and wellbeing of all Australians during the pandemic and to reduce the strain on the health system.

These strategies have included the development of educational resources and social marketing campaigns to promote hand hygiene and social distancing (Smith and Judd 2020). The kind of messaging in a pandemic needs to instruct, inform and motivate individual self-protective behaviours and encourage behaviour change. Meeting the specific communication needs of sub-populations helps the quality of the societal response (Vaughan and Tinker 2009).

More broadly, wide-ranging policy, regulatory and legislative measures were introduced, and state-legislated Public Health Acts were also invoked, which provided Chief Health Officers with additional powers to obligate citizens’ compliance with public health orders (ACT Health 2022) to prevent and contain the spread of the virus. There were also operational changes to settings where groups of people congregate, such as aged care, school classrooms and workplaces. Additionally individuals were expected to adhere to rules, such as wearing face masks in certain settings, staying at home during periods of lock down and using ‘check-in’ apps when entering a venue.

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The public health protection measures have changed over time. A range of public health protection measures were implemented, adapted or eased at the discretion of jurisdictions in response to emerging evidence, new variants, and Australia’s epidemiological situation (Department of Health 2022).

Australia’s international borders were closed to all non-citizens and non-residents in March 2020 with exemptions only for immediate family (the international borders have since reopened). Under the Biosecurity Act 2015 requirements regarding air travel were introduced such as pre-flight COVID-19 testing for travellers entering Australia and requirements to wear face masks when flying internationally. The Department of Health publishes regular COVID-19 epidemiology reports which capture some of these point-in-time health protection measures.

COVID-19 vaccinations

As the pandemic progressed, safe and effective vaccines were developed and approved as another measure to protect the population against COVID-19 infection and to reduce transmission and severity of the virus. Under the Australian Government’s phased approach, those in greatest need and/or at highest risk, such as health care and frontline workers, aged care residents, older Australians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other priority populations such as those with a disability or with existing chronic conditions were eligible for a vaccine in the first phases of the roll-out.

As the vaccines became more available to the general adult population, large public venues were reorientated to provide preventive health services for mass ‘vaccination hubs’ in places like the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney Olympic Park and Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Centre. This facilitated a more universal, equal and accessible approach for large-scale population vaccination. Commonwealth primary care providers, including General Practices and community pharmacies have delivered the majority of vaccinations in the program. Those people not eligible for Medicare were also included in the roll-out.

Since 8 November 2021, a third dose or ‘booster’ has become available to mitigate against waning immunity and the emergence of variants (Department of Health 2022). On 25 March 2022, a ‘winter booster’ became available to those at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (Department of Health 2022). For up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccines, visit COVID-19 vaccines | Australian Government Department of Health (see Immunisation and vaccination).

Evaluating health promotion initiatives

Health promotion activities have been shown to be cost saving, whereby the cost of implementing the intervention is offset by savings associated with reductions in treating disease (Vos et al. 2010). Monitoring and evaluation are important to assess the performance of health promotion initiatives and provide the evidence that researchers, policy makers and service providers need on what works.

Evaluating the impact and cost of community and nationwide initiatives can be difficult. Directly attributing health outcomes to a specific initiative itself is a challenge, and this is further complicated when multiple strategies are being applied at once (for example, legislation, taxation and promotion campaigns). Evidence to support the effectiveness of health promotion initiatives may not be available for many years as health impacts and benefits may not manifest until years after the intervention has been implemented.

Where do I go for more information?

For more information on health promotion, see:

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ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) (2018) National Health Survey: First Results, 2017–18,ABS website, accessed 5 May 2022.

ABS (2021) Microdata: National Health Survey, 2020-21,ABS website, accessed 5 May 2022.

ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Health (2022) ACT Public Health Directions, ACT Government website, accessed 4 March 2022.

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2018) Australia’s health 2018, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 5 May 2022.

AIHW (2021) Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2018,AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 5 May 2022.

BITRE (Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics) (2010) Road deaths in Australia 1925–2008,BITRE, Australian Government, accessed 5 May 2022.

BITRE (2020) Road trauma Australia 2020statistical summary,BITRE, Australian Government, accessed 5 May 2022.

Brown G, O’Donnell D, Crooks L and Lake R (2014)‘Mobilisation, politics, investment and constant adaptation: lessons from the Australian health-promotion response to HIV,’ Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 25(1):35–41, doi:10.1071/HE13078

(Video) Health promotion based on the five action areas of the Ottawa Charter

Department of Health (2018a) Eighth National HIV Strategy, Department of Health, Australian Government, accessed 5 May 2022.

Department of Health (2018b) Tobacco control—key facts and figures, Department of Health, Australian Government, accessed 5 May 2022.

Department of Health (2021) National PreventiveHealth Strategy 2021-2030,Department of Health, Australian Government, accessed 9 May 2022.

Department of Health (2022a) Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC),Department of Health website, accessed 9 May 2022.

Department of Health (2022b) Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemiology reports, Australia, 2020–2022, Department of Health, Australian Government, accessed 5 May 2022.

Department of Parliamentary Services (2020) National emergency and disaster response arrangements in Australia: a quick guide, Department of Parliamentary Services, Australian Government, accessed 5 May2022.

Ghebrehewet S, Stewart AG andBaxter R (2016)‘Chapter: What is health protection?’, inHealth Protection Principles and Practice,Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Guerin N and White V (2018) ASSAD 2017 statistics & trends: Australian secondary students’ use of tobacco, alcohol, over-the-counter drugs, and illicit substances, 2nd edn, Cancer Council Victoria, accessed 5 May2022.

(Video) Promoting Healthy Technology Use - Prof Donna Cross (Wider Community Speaker at Mental Health Forum)

Howat P, Maycock B, Cross D, Collins J, Jackson L, Burns S and James R (2003) ‘Towards a more unified definition of health promotion’,Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 14(2):82–85,doi:10.1071/HE03082.

Kirby Institute (2021) HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia annual surveillance report 2021, Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, accessed 9 May 2022.

McIntyre R(2022) 'Raina MacIntyre: Why COVID-19 will never become endemic',Opinion – The Saturday Paper, No. 382.

Smith JA, Crawford G and Signal L (2016)‘The case of national health promotion policy in Australia: where to now?’,Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 27(1):61–65, doi:10.1071/HE15055.

Smith JA and Judd J (2020)‘COVID-19: Vulnerability and the power of privilege in a pandemic’,Health Promotion Journal of Australia,31(2):158–160, doi:10.1002/hpja.333.

Vaughan E and Tinker T (2009)‘Effective health risk communication about pandemic influenza for vulnerable populations’,American Journal of Public Health 99(S2): S324–S332, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2009.162537.

Vos T, Carter R, Barendregt J, Mihalopoulos C, Veerman JL, Magnus A, Cobiac L, Bertram MY and Wallace A (2010) Assessing cost effectiveness (ACE) in prevention study, ACE–Prevention Team,University of Queenslandand Deakin University, accessed 5 May2022.

White V andWilliams, T (2016) Australian secondary school students’ use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2014,Cancer Council Victoria for Department of Health, accessed 5 May2022.

(Video) Health-Promoting Effects of a Low-Carbohydrate Lifestyle

World Health Organization (WHO) (2016)Promoting health in the sustainable development goals: report on the 9th Global Conference for Health Promotion, Shanghai, China, 21–24 November 2016: all for health, health for all,World Health Organization, Geneva, accessed 5 May 2022.


What is the role of the Australian Institute of health and Welfare? ›

The AIHW is an independent statutory Australian Government agency producing authoritative and accessible information and statistics to inform and support better policy and service delivery decisions, leading to better health and wellbeing for all Australians.

What are health promotions in Australia? ›

Health promotion is a broad term. It focuses on preventive health – preventing the root causes of ill health – rather than on treatment and cure.

What is health promotion and protection? ›

Health promotion and disease prevention programs focus on keeping people healthy. Health promotion programs aim to engage and empower individuals and communities to choose healthy behaviors, and make changes that reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases and other morbidities.

Who is responsible for health promotion in Australia? ›

The Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA®) encourages and supports best practice in health promotion in Australia, in order that everyone may enjoy good health.

What is the function of health and welfare? ›

Its mission is to enhance and protect the well-being of all Americans by providing effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health and social services. HHS is responsible for administrating programs that deal with health, welfare and health information technology (health IT).

How is AIHW funded? ›

The health system is funded by Australian and state and territory governments as well as non-government funders such as private health insurers and individuals.

What are the 5 principles of health promotion? ›

It suggested that health promotion happens at five key levels.
  • Developing Personal Skills.
  • Creating Supportive Environments.
  • Strengthening Community Action.
  • Developing Public Policy.
  • Re- orienting the Health Services.

What are the 3 pillars of health promotion? ›

The basic strategies for health promotion identified in the Ottawa Charter were: advocate (to boost the factors which encourage health), enable (allowing all people to achieve health equity) and mediate (through collaboration across all sectors).

What are the three 3 basic strategies for health promotion? ›

The small circle stands for the three basic strategies for health promotion, “enabling, mediating, and advocacy”.

What's the difference between health promotion and health protection? ›

These policies and programs aim to protect worker health by reducing or eliminating the potential for exposure to job hazards (i.e., health protection), while also promoting worker health by fostering individual health behaviors, such as tobacco control, healthful diets, physical activity (i.e., health promotion), in ...

What does a health promotion officer do? ›

Health Promotion Officer is a Community Health Worker whose main focus is on primary healthcare, with health promotion as a vital aspect. The HPO plays a pre-emptive role in the assessment and identification of health needs as well as to intervene in primary healthcare activities.

What is health promotion and why is it important? ›

Health promotion is a behavioral social science that draws from the biological, environmental, psychological, physical and medical sciences to promote health and prevent disease, disability and premature death through education-driven voluntary behavior change activities.

What are the 4 main health care sectors? ›

The key sectors of the healthcare industry can be broadly classified into the following four sub-segments:
  • Health care services and facilities.
  • Medical devices, equipment, and hospital supplies manufacturers.
  • Medical insurance, medical services, and managed care.
  • Pharmaceuticals & Related Segments.

What are examples of health promotion? ›

Promoting Health for Adults
  • Helping People Who Smoke Quit.
  • Increasing Access to Healthy Foods and Physical Activity.
  • Preventing Excessive Alcohol Use.
  • Promoting Lifestyle Change and Disease Management.
  • Promoting Women's Reproductive Health.
  • Promoting Clinical Preventive Services.
  • Promoting Community Water Fluoridation.

Who has the greatest responsibility for health promotion? ›

The responsibility for health promotion in health services is shared among individuals, community groups, health professionals, health service institutions and governments. They must work together towards a health care system which contributes to the pursuit of health.

What statement best describes health promotion? ›

Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health.

What are the 3 core functions of public health? ›

This page and graphic show how the ten essential environmental health services align with the three core functions of public health (assessment, policy development, and assurance).

What are the main objectives of public health? ›

Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases.

Why is Aihw reliable? ›

Trusted advice

The AIHW has more than 30 years of experience working with health and welfare data. We enjoy national and international recognition for our statistical expertise and proven track record in providing high quality, independent evidence.

What are the 3 levels of healthcare in Australia? ›

Its 3 major parts are: medical services. public hospitals. medicines.

Is the AIHW peer reviewed? ›

The AIHW Ethics Committee takes peer review very seriously so approval of your application will not be granted until satisfactory peer review reports are provided.

What skills do you need for health promotion? ›

To become a health promotion specialist, you would need:
  • excellent spoken and written communication skills.
  • the ability to influence and motivate people.
  • an understanding, supportive and non-judgmental personality.
  • the ability to think creatively.
  • project management skills.
  • good research and analytical skills.

What are the characteristics of health promotion? ›

There are 3 key elements of health promotion:
  • Good governance for health. Health promotion requires policy makers across all government departments to make health a central line of government policy. ...
  • Health literacy. ...
  • Healthy cities.
20 Aug 2016

What are the benefits of health promotion? ›

As a core function of public health, health promotion supports governments, communities and individuals to cope with and address health challenges. This is accomplished by building healthy public policies, creating supportive environments, and strengthening community action and personal skills.

What are health promotion activities? ›

Health Promotion International lays out five key action areas for health promotion:
  • Reorient health services. ...
  • Create a supportive environment. ...
  • Develop personal skills. ...
  • Strengthen community action. ...
  • Building healthy public policy.
7 Feb 2020

How do you implement health promotion? ›

The following factors should be considered:
  1. Identify the target population and their key health needs. ...
  2. Involve passionate people in all program aspects. ...
  3. Assess staff capacity. ...
  4. Seek and maintain support from partners. ...
  5. Facilitate administrative support for the program.

What is the difference between health education and health promotion? ›

Health education involves voluntary changes in behavior through awareness, knowledge, skills, beliefs, attitudes, and values, whereas health promotion utilizes approaches that compel individuals to change their behaviors.

How do you conduct health promotion? ›


What are the three processes in health promotion and disease prevention? ›

Prevention is frequently categorised as primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention; quaternary prevention has been introduced recently. Primary prevention refers to actions that avoid the manifestation of a disease.

How do I become health promotion officer in Australia? ›

To become a Health Promotion Officer

You usually need a bachelor degree in health promotion or public health to work as a Health Promotion Officer. Some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification.

Where can you work as a health promotion officer? ›

Other employers include Schools, Waste disposal plants, Water purification plants, Local municipalities, Mental Health Centres, Old age homes, Mines, Health Research centers, Cancer foundation, Heart foundation, Diabetes foundation, and NGOs.

What qualifications do you need to be a wellbeing officer? ›

You'll need:
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach.
  • knowledge of psychology.
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses.
  • sensitivity and understanding.
  • customer service skills.
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.

What are the barriers to health promotion? ›

The main topics as barriers are: a lack of patients' motivation to make lifestyle changes, insufficient reimbursement, a lack of proven effectiveness of interventions and a lack of overview of health promoting programs in their neighbourhood.

What is the importance of health promotion and disease prevention? ›

Health promotion and disease prevention programs can empower individuals to make healthier choices and reduce their risk of disease and disability. At the population level, they can eliminate health disparities, improve quality of life, and improve the availability of healthcare and related services.

What is the difference between health care and healthcare? ›

Health care are the specific things that people do: see a patient or prescribe a medication. Healthcare is an industry, the system by which people get the health care they need.

What are the 4 level model of the health care system? ›

In the broadest terms, there are four major healthcare models: the Beveridge model, the Bismarck model, national health insurance, and the out-of-pocket model.

What are the different types of healthcare? ›

Types of Patient Care
  • Primary Care.
  • Specialty Care.
  • Emergency Care.
  • Urgent Care.
  • Long-term Care.
  • Hospice Care.
  • Mental Healthcare.

What are the 3 types of prevention? ›

  • Primary Prevention—intervening before health effects occur, through.
  • Secondary Prevention—screening to identify diseases in the earliest.
  • Tertiary Prevention—managing disease post diagnosis to slow or stop.

What are 5 ways to prevent the spread of disease? ›

As well as maintaining good general health, there are some basic actions that everyone can take to stop the spread of infectious diseases:
  • Immunise against infectious diseases.
  • Wash and dry your hands regularly and well.
  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean surfaces regularly.
  • Ventilate your home.
5 Apr 2022

Who is responsible for health promotion in Australia? ›

The Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA®) encourages and supports best practice in health promotion in Australia, in order that everyone may enjoy good health.

What is the role of individuals in health promotion? ›

Individuals have can fill various roles and have different levels of responsibility for health promotion. At the most basic level individuals have the responsibility to promote their own health. This means becoming educated about health, particularly the risk and protective behaviours.

What is health promotion theory? ›

The theory of health promotion states that past experiences influence the actions of an individual. There are four theoretical propositions of the HPM, such as past behaviors and traditions, confidence and encouragement, support, and dedication and commitment.

Why is the AIHW a reliable source? ›

The AIHW is backed by numerous data holdings and unmatched knowledge of data and information related to the Australian health and welfare sectors.

Why is AIHW reliable? ›

Trusted advice

The AIHW has more than 30 years of experience working with health and welfare data. We enjoy national and international recognition for our statistical expertise and proven track record in providing high quality, independent evidence.

Is AIHW peer reviewed? ›

The AIHW Ethics Committee takes peer review very seriously so approval of your application will not be granted until satisfactory peer review reports are provided.

Who is most at risk of homelessness in Australia? ›

Australians known to be at particular risk of homelessness include those who have experienced family and domestic violence, young people, children on care and protection orders, Indigenous Australians, people leaving health or social care arrangements, and Australians aged 55 or older.

How do I cite the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in APA? ›

Answered By: Michael Cullen Jan 07, 2021 4282
  1. First in-text citation. (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW], 2010) OR Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW, 2010)
  2. Subsequent in-text citations. (AIHW, 2010) OR AIHW (2010)
  3. APA 7th Reference list. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. ( 2018).
7 Jan 2021

Is Australia a healthy country? ›

Most Australians can expect to enjoy long and relatively healthy lives, however, some population groups have different experiences of health than others.

How many indigenous people are in Australia? ›

Based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) projections, the number of Indigenous Australians in 2021 was estimated to be 881,600. The Indigenous Australian population is projected to reach about 1.1 million people by 2031 (ABS 2019b).

Who does obesity affect in Australia? ›

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' National Health Survey from 2017–18 revealed that 67 per cent of Australian adults were overweight or obese (12.5 million people), an increase from 63.4 per cent since 2014-15. If the current trend continues, more than 18 million Australians will be overweight or obese by 2030.

How many people are affected by asthma in Australia? ›

Just under 2.7 million people (10.7% of the total population) had asthma in 2020-21.
Asthma prevalence.
Males (%)Females (%)
4 more rows
21 Mar 2022

What is health and well being? ›

The WHO constitution states: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." An important implication of this definition is that mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.

Where can I get medical data? ›

If you are interested in getting a copy of your medical records, you will need to contact the doctor's office, clinic, or hospital where you were treated.

What is Australian epidemiology? ›

The Epidemiology Directorate is responsible for the collection and analysis of a wide range of population health data. We are the “go to” area for advice and analysis on population-based health data for Western Australia.

Where can I find health statistics? ›

  • National Center for Health Statistics.
  • World Health Organization.
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • United States Census Bureau.

Where do homeless sleep in Australia? ›

Couch Surfing: 15% of Australia's homeless population stay with their family and friends – often on the couch or lounge room floors. Boarding Houses: Affordable boarding houses are available to those who do not have their own homes.

Where are the most homeless in Australia? ›

A majority of people experiencing homelessness long-term in Australia are found in the large cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. It is estimated that on any given night approximately 116,000 people will be homeless and many more are living in insecure housing, "one step away from being homeless".

What is the biggest cause of homelessness in Australia? ›

What is the leading cause of homelessness in Australia? In Australia, domestic and family violence (DFV) is one of the main drivers of homelessness in Australia. Sadly, many children, women and men have experienced or have witnessed abusive and violent behaviour towards a partner, former partner or family member.


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