It may seem ridiculous to define "health" when we all know what it is. Or do we? The definition of health by the World Health Organization (WHO), also known as l'Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (OMS), is as follows: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Health for All In 1977, the World Health Assembly decided that the major social goal of governments and WHO should be the attainment by all people of the world by the year 2000 of a level of health that would permit them to lead a socially and economically productive life. In 1981, the Assembly unanimously adopted a Global Strategy for Health for All by the Year 2000. This was the birth of the "Health for All" movement. "Health for All" does not mean an end to disease and disability, or that doctors and nurses will care for everyone. It means that resources for health are evenly distributed and that essential health care is accessible to everyone. It means that health begins at home, in schools, and at the workplace, and that people use better approaches for preventing illness and alleviating unavoidable disease and disability. It means that people recognize that ill-health is not inevitable and that they can shape their own lives and the lives of their families, free from the avoidable burden of disease. In 1994, WHO's Member States, in recalling the goal, acknowledged that significant global changes had occurred since that time, and called for a renewal of the strategy to meet challenges, exploit opportunities, and overcome obstacles at the dawn of the 21st century.
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1. The state of the organism when it functions optimally without evidence of disease or abnormality. 2. A state of dynamic balance in which an individual's or a group's capacity to cope with all the circumstances of living is at an optimum level. 3. A state characterized by anatomic, physiologic, and psychologic integrity, ability to perform personally valued family, work, and community roles; ability to deal with physical, biologic, psychologic, and social stress; a feeling of well-being; and freedom from the risk of disease and untimely death. [A.S. haelth]
- behavioral h. an interdisciplinary field dedicated to promoting a philosophy of h. that stresses individual responsibility in the application of behavioral and biomedical science knowledge and techniques to the maintenance of h. and prevention of illness and dysfunction by a variety of self-initiated individual and shared activities.
- h. education process by which individuals and groups learn to behave in a manner conducive to promotion, maintenance, or restoration of h..
- mental h. emotional, behavioral, and social maturity or normality; the absence of a mental or behavioral disorder; a state of psychological well-being in which one has achieved a satisfactory integration of one's instinctual drives acceptable to both oneself and one's social milieu; an appropriate balance of love, work, and leisure pursuits.
- public h. the art and science of community h., concerned with statistics, epidemiology, hygiene, and the prevention and eradication of epidemic diseases; an effort organized by society to promote, protect, and restore the people's h.; public h. is a social institution, a service, and a practice.

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health 'helth n, often attrib
1) the condition of an organism or one of its parts in which it performs its vital functions normally or properly: the state of being sound in body or mind <dental \health> <mental \health> esp freedom from physical disease and pain <nursed him back to \health> compare DISEASE
2) the condition of an organism with respect to the performance of its vital functions esp. as evaluated subjectively or nonprofessionally <how is your \health today>

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(helth) a state of optimal physical, mental, and social well-being; the popular idea that it is merely an absence of disease and infirmity is not complete.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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