We’ve made great strides in health care over the last century. Just imagine, a hundred years ago 1 in 5 children would die before they were 2 yrs old in Aberdare! My grandparent’s generation remember having to collect water from the stream; having a toilet installed; TB and diphtheria were common killers but have now largely dissapeared.

But while we have achieved some remarkable medical breakthroughs, and of course we’ve seen the radical development of the NHS providing free health care at the point of need to all, the real breakthrough was achieved through educating the public on hygene awareness.

We now live longer and in general have a better quality of life than what we did a 100 years ago. Nonethless we have people living in chronic pain, and we’ve seen an increase in other diseases, most notably heart disease and illnesses related to the heart such as diabetes. Most major killers in Wales today are the conseqences of lifestyle choices – smoking, diet, excersise; and the biggest concern is the levels of obesity. If the current levels of child obesity continues into adulthood our NHS will be under severe strain, which will put further strain on funding for other necessary research. So just as the major breakthrough in the last century was through education, so to will we see a breakthrough in health care this century, by educating our people about the choices they make and the consequences of those lifestyle choices.

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