How to provide health education and thus create better health systems

ifmsa-world-globe

(IFMSA, 2016)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Maria Khan. The writer is a third year medical student at Army medical college in Pakistan. Mrs Maria Khan is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA).

Health education or Education for health begins with people. It hopes to motivate them in improving and leading a healthy lifestyle whether it is their diet, fitness regime or knowledge about communicable diseases.

WHO defines it as “…opportunities for learning involving some form of communication designed to improve health literacy, including improving knowledge, and developing life skills which are conducive to individual and community health.”

It enhances students’ knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes about health. It teaches about physical, mental, emotional and social health enabling them to make healthy choices throughout their lifetime.

Health education itself is a purposeful apparatus that helps improve health in developing nations promoting knowledge and prevention not only affecting the immediate recipients but also for generations to come. Much contribution revolves alcohol abuse, tobacco use, injury prevention, mental and emotional health, nutrition, physical activity, prevention of diseases and family life.

But how well-equipped are our students to understand, assess, communicate and advocate the change towards better health? Can they propose such changes towards more equitable health systems? Can they work out of the safety zone to reach out to people at various district or national levels? Are they able to communicate and advocate for public health and health education at national or international levels? The answer to these lie in the quality and efficacy of health education.

A paper presented by UNICEF at meeting of The International Working Group on Education defines the quality of health education as ”Learners who are healthy, well-nourished and ready to participate and learn, environments that are healthy, safe, protective and gender-sensitive, content that is reflected in relevant curricula and materials, processes and skilful assessment to facilitate learning and reduce disparities and outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes, and are linked to national goals for education and positive participation in society.” 

APHA, SOPHE, WHO, DHEP, NCHEC and many other organizations are working actively worldwide to promote public health advocacy and education by improving the standards, capability, and ethics of health education professionals.

The WHO Healthy Cities project indulges governments in health development and promotion and emphasizes on the need to tackle inequality in health, medical needs of people and economic and environmental determinants of health. It has more than 1400 cities and towns as members.

Talking at a global level, most of the health education programmes are densely concentrated in high income countries and very few to none in middle or low income developing countries. Various factors dampen the education process in these areas most commonly the lack of funding but most importantly living in a country in conflict or at risk of conflict.

In spring 2015 Global attitudes survey, when locals were asked “What do you think should be the top most priority for our country?” their top choice was health care, followed by education and government effectiveness. Increasing the numbers of public health professionals in Africa has always been a great challenge for the African region. Hence postgraduate public health training programmes have started in 22 African countries and various online learning methods increased the school’s impact on graduates to address health issues relevant in Africa.

Improvement requires a great deal of enthusiasm and strong devotion. Also Governmental agencies and institutions that promote quality education must move beyond archaic principles, think out of the box and pave a way to help develop the knowledge, awareness,  skills, and attitudes to help people lead healthy lifestyles.

About the author

Maria Khan is currently a student of third year MBBS at Army medical college and a proud member of AMSA and IFMSA-Pakistan for the past two years. She has been associated with publishing for the past five years and has had her articles published in DAWN. She is the member of the college research society AURF and has had the chance to present her research at the 11th annual AURF meeting and the 1st Surgeon General international conference being the youngest of all speakers. Her special interests include research in oncology and pediatrics, learning more about biotechnology and genetic engineering, reading and writing articles.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

MWC 2016 LIVE: Telenor CEO calls on operators to embrace Mobile Connect initiative

For the future of Europe youth remains a priority

Global Talent – Professional Internships

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: The European regions on the path to recovery

Alexis Tsipras ready to test Eurozone’s political sturdiness; Up to what point?

What the G7 wants to do in eastern Ukraine

Can ECB’s €60 billion a month save Eurozone?

The third bailout agreement for Greece is a done deal amid European economies full of problems

Whose interests are protected by the new Mortgage Directive?

Ahead of State of the Union the European Youth Forum highlights lack of action on youth employment

One more country to test the EU project: Kaczynski’s Poland

Facebook and Google to treat Europe as the 51st State of the USA

Teamgum @ TheNextWeb 2014

Trump stumbles badly on his Russian openings; Europeans wary of Putin

International World Summit Award calls for outstanding digital applications with impact on society from 178 UN member states

Germany tries to save Europe from war between Ukraine and Russia

World Retail Congress announces Dubai 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

Prevent future crises and empower youth – now!

Can We(esterners) ever understand (the) Chinese

How Germany strives to mold ECB’s monetary policy to her interests

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Britain and Germany change attitude towards the European Union

Why youth unemployment is so difficult to counter

No hard drivers in sight to remodel the stagnating affairs of the EU

Facebook wins EU approval for WhatsApp acquisition; just a sign of the times

EU: Huge surplus in the trade of services with the rest of the world

“If they think they can slave an entire nation, then they will just have the opposite results!”, Alexis Tsipras cries out from the Greek parliament

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

When will Eurozone’s unemployment rate stop being Europe’s worst nightmare?

Why education and accountability are important for developing countries?

Lithuania needs to get rid of the victim mentality

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

Trying to cure bank cancer with analgesics

EU Budgets: Europe hoping for Xmas gifts

Why the ECB suddenly decided to flood banks with money?

EU growth in 2015 to be again sluggish; Can the Juncker Commission fight this out?

China is now heavily endorsing its big investment flow in the Central Eastern European (CEE) countries

To my Chinese friend

“No labels for entrepreneurs!”, a young business leader from Italy cries out

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

“Hasta la vista” Google says to Spain and now Europe is next?

Eurozone: Economic Sentiment Indicator recovering losses

European banking stress tests 2014: A more adverse approach for a shorter banking sector

European Youth Forum welcomes strong stance on human rights in State of the Union

The EU lets the bankers go on rigging the benchmarks

The European Sting @ the European Business Summit 2014 – Where European Business and Politics shape the future

Connectivity and collaboration in the ICT industry: the key to socio-economic development

EU–US: What is the real exchange in a Free Trade Agreement?

China’s 13th Five Year Plan and the opportunities for Europe

A Sting Exclusive: “Change is challenge, change is opportunity”, Commissioner Bienkowska cries out live from European Business Summit 2015

Junker for Commission President: What were the stakes in this affair

ECB with an iron hand disciplines the smaller Eurozone member states; latest victim: Greece

Trump enrages the Europeans and isolates the US in G7

COP21 Breaking News_12 December: Another sleepless night for the negotiators before Indaba meeting

The developing countries keep the world going

Deutsche Bank chased away from US, threatened with more fines

After Brexit and Grexit, Brussels to deal with Poloust

A Sting Exclusive: why the environment is important to your health, by UNEP’s Head for Europe

The US + Britain trivialize mainland Europe, NATO and the EU

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s