When it comes to matters of health,

Do you ever stop to think about stigma?

How well do you know “stigma”?

How about “stigma as a public health issue”?

 

Photo credit: Behavioural Health News

 

Oxford Languages describes stigma as “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.”

We often see and hear people mention the phrase “public health”.

I always wonder what it truly means.

 

Photo credit: TN.gov

 

The CDC Foundation describes public health as “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.

 

Photo credit: TN.gov

 

Now, put those two phrases together and we have a horrible recipe.

Let’s look back at the earlier days of COVID19; whoever had contracted the virus was shied away from by many other people.

Was it because they were sick or was it because they were afraid of contracting the virus themselves?

 

Photo credit: UNICEF

 

In the earlier days of HIV/AIDS,

Whoever had contracted this virus or had stigmata of Kaposi sarcoma on their bodies was to be stayed away from, at all costs!

Was that because they were sick or was it because they were afraid of contracting the virus themselves?

 

Photo credit: John Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

 

Let us look at alcoholism.

How many of us can freely mix and mingle with people they know and see suffering from this disease?

Is that because they are forced to, by other circumstances or is it a must for them to be seen together, just for the likes and approval-ratings?

 

Photo credit: CROSSIP

 

Do we ever to stop to think about the power of our words and looks, on other people?

What if we truly fought together, the spirit of stigma in our communities and systems?

Would not we make “stigma as a public health issue” something of the past?