Public Health Data Disaggregation in Missouri
Data disaggregation refers to the breaking down of data into smaller groupings, often based on characteristics such as age, ethnicity, gender identity, income, location, race and sex. In public health, this practice allows agencies to better understand the individuals and groups they serve and conditions which may impact those persons disproportionately. Data disaggregation allows public health professionals to create appropriate, efficient and equitable interventions to improve health outcomes. Disaggregated data also enables public health agencies to evaluate programs and policies to ensure effectiveness.
Influenza Vaccination for School-Aged Children
In order to ensure that all Missouri residents are protected from influenza (flu) and mitigate the burden of infectious respiratory disease, MOCPHE recommends required influenza vaccinations for school-aged children with very few exceptions. Missouri does not currently require influenza vaccination for school attendance, and historically, only about half (50.8%) of children 6 months to 17 years old were vaccinated against influenza. Preventing the spread of influenza will be even more important as COVID-19 continues to circulate in Missouri
Face Masks as a Critical Tool to Slow the Spread of COVID-19
Because COVID-19 is so new, evidence regarding transmission, mitigation, and treatment is rapidly evolving. The virus is thought to be transmitted from person to person primarily when respiratory droplets from an infected person coughing, sneezing, or talking land in the nose or mouth of another person. Face masks reduce disease spread by decreasing the likelihood that infectious respiratory droplets from persons with COVID-19 travel into the air and infect uninfected people. MOCPHE recommends the use of face masks by the general public when outside the home and supports face mask requirements due to substantial evidence that they decrease the risk of transmission.
Definition of Public Health
All Missouri residents should benefit from the same types and quality of local public health services, regardless of where they live. While there may be some local variation, Missouri residents should see local public health agencies assessing community health, monitoring local health issues, preparing for public health emergencies, developing policies and forming partnerships to address priority needs.
Public Health Funding in Missouri
Missouri has seen a steady decrease in federal and state public funding, a trend that is driving poor public health outcomes. The Missouri Center for Public Health Excellence believes Missourians deserve better.
Medicaid Expansion in Missouri
When the US Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that states could choose whether or not to accept the expansion of Medicaid, Missouri rejected it. This decision has had a significant impact on Missouri. In August 2020 Missouri residents voted to approve Medicaid expansion.
Non-Medical Exemptions for School-Required Vaccinations
Vaccinations have historically prevented millions of deaths and have lessened the impact of diseases like polio, measles and hepatitis B. However, vaccination rates have dropped recently, allowing vaccine-preventable diseases to reemerge in Missouri and nationwide. One of the contributing factors is an increase in usage of Missouri's non-medical exemptions for school-required vaccinations. The Missouri Center for Public Health Excellence recommends limiting exemptions for vaccines in children in order to effectively combat vaccine-preventable diseases in Missouri.
Syringe Services Programs
Syringe services programs are a set of community-based services for people who inject drugs. These evidence-based programs are a vital component of a comprehensive public health response to injection drug use and have the capacity to improve the lives of countless Missourians.
Although Missouri does not have a statewide Tobacco 21 law, state and local legislators have authority to raise the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products in their jurisdiction. Raising the minimum legal sales age is a public health policy approach that will prevent or delay tobacco use by adolescents and young adults.
Dietary supplement kratom is gaining popularity in the U.S., but is not currently regulated by the FDA. An increasing number of adverse effects are being reported. MOCPHE recommends state and local agencies consider establishing regulatory oversight strategies.