Primary Healthcare should be strongly connected with initial education

Doctor 2019 surgery

(Natanael Melchor, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. María Cedeño & Ms. Julia E. Acosta, a second and first-year medical students respectively at the Iberoamerican University (UNIBE) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. They are affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

“Wisdom…. comes not from age, but from education and learning.” – Anton Chekhov

When we establish a new paradigm in the society, there is a certain resistance against it. For that reason, we should seek where this paradigm may be eventually approved and implemented. The Primary Healthcare (PHC) model, however, is not a recent lineament; it was proposed in the declaration of Alma-Ata in 1978 and to this day the health sector continues to embrace its application. As the Declaration of Astana in 2018 by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (1), it serves as the most recent guide in the process of PHC implementation. We should consider that the PHC is based on prevention, integration of the community and the adequate use of technology with a multisectorial scope.

The best way to follow the PHC model is raising awareness in schools, companies, and public and private health care centers. It is feasible to teach early in life the importance of prevention and health promotion in an attractive, playful manner (2). Hence, children can be aware of the importance of proper nutrition, good hygiene, regular physical activity, and annual medical visits as standard principles in PHC. Through this way, we can have better results in the process of adopting the PHC model for the long-term. By these essential lifestyle behaviors, community members can adopt these actions and make it part of their daily life. A clear example of this approach is the teaching of appropriate pediatric dental care; children are able to assimilate the importance of this and keep it as a habit.

Medical students can play an important role in the development of PHC because it is our responsibility as future health professionals to educate the population about health promotion and disease prevention strategies. In the case of pediatric care education, our objective would be to create and implement dynamic activities (e.g. outdoor activities, team building games, crafts, table games, theatre plays) and the use of audiovisual materials, to motivate preschool-age children to take care of themselves and those around them. In the Dominican Republic already exists a program called “EDUSANU” (3),  which is to teach in primary schools about health and nutrition; it includes teaching to read the nutritional facts of the products they consume, evaluate the menu and the products offered in schools to be healthy, with the aim of reducing the incidence of malnutrition, obesity and diabetes.

With the help of the Ministry of Health, together with the Ministry of Education and health policies in different institutions, technological advancement and use of dynamic teaching methods can successfully raise awareness about the value of PHC for optimal community health. The population can become more conscious about health and wellbeing. In this way we must take the first steps to empower people at an early age to better understand the importance of disease prevention and health promotion strategies.

References

  1. World Health Organization, United Nations Children´s Fund. Declaration of Astana: Global Conference on Primary Health Care [Internet]. Kazakhistan: World Health Organization; 2018 [cited 2019 Feb 19]. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/primary-health/declaration/gcphc-declaration.pdf
  2. Lee RE, Soltero EG, Ledoux TA, Sahnoune I, Saavadra F, Mama SK, et al. Sustainability via active garden education: translating policy to practice in early care and education. J Sch Health. 2019.
  3. General information [Internet]. EDUSANU; 2017 [cited 2019 Feb 22]. Available from: http://edusanu.com.do/?page_id=1753

About the authors

María Cedeño is a second-year medical student at the Iberoamerican University (UNIBE) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She serves as an active member of the Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH) of ODEM-Dominican Republic. She also serves as coordinator of the UNIBE Neurology and Neurosurgery Interest Group (NEUROX), and as an active member of the UNIBE Hematology and Oncology Interest Group (GHEMOU).

Julia E. Acosta is a first-year medical student at the Iberoamerican University (UNIBE) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She serves as an active member of the Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH) of ODEM-Dominican Republic. She also is a founding member of the UNIBE Dermatology Interest Group (DERMING) and is an active member of the UNIBE Neurology and Neurosurgery Interest Group (NEUROX).

 

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Evidence shows ‘brutal’ killing of Saudi journalist ‘planned and perpetrated’ by State officials: UN independent expert

We must learn and change after Haiti sexual abuse scandal -Oxfam chief

Medical training without borders: what’s still missing?

A few, or rather two, trade and economic alliances may rule our brave new world

Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager on State aid measures to address the economic impact of COVID-19

Project Manager – 2024

How civil society must adapt to survive its greatest challenges

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of DSME by HHIH

Carbon neutrality and funds for EU programmes are EP priorities for EU summit

Facts, not fear, will stop COVID-19 – so how should we talk about it?

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Harvested’ rainwater saves Tanzanian students from stomach ulcers, typhoid

More accessible products and services for disabled and elderly people

Fair and Simple Taxation: Commission proposes new package of measures to contribute to Europe’s recovery and growth

“The markets have moved on renewables, policy makers must keep up”, A Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

These countries have the most powerful passports

IMF asks Europe to decide on bank resolutions and the Greek Gordian knot

Health: The neglected aspect of climate change

Syria: WHO appeals for funding to sustain critical health care for millions trapped by conflict

Why the ECB prepares to flood the markets with more and free of charge euro; everybody needs that now

This app uses augmented reality to rewrite ‘herstory’

Will the EU ever tackle the migration crisis despite the lack of political will?

Cybersecurity Act: build trust in digital technologies

Poverty and social exclusion skyrocket with austerity

Eurozone governed by an obscure body and gray procedures

Will the EU reconsider Frontex’s role in light of accusations about violations of migrants’ human rights?

Guterres says UN stands ready to support Brazil’s search and rescue effort in wake of tragic dam collapse

Is there a chance for the West to win the war on terror?

An entrepreneurial point-of view on tackling the migration crisis and the risks of abolishing Schengen

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

How COVID-19 is throttling vital migration flows

Why businesses are nothing without strong human rights

Does research make sense any more? The dire need for new ways to measure success

In tech-driven 21st century, achieving global development goals requires closing digital gender divide

Wind farms now provide 14% of EU power – these countries are leading the way

European Commission determined to conclude EU-Mercosur trade deal this year despite French concerns

We’ve lost 60% of wildlife in less than 50 years

Mental health and suicide: when the alarm bells are faced with deaf ears

“As long as we work together through thick and thin, more benefits can be delivered to the people of Eurasia”, China’s Premier Li Keqiang highlights from ASEM in Brussels

How youth and technology can drive Africa’s COVID-19 response

Nearly $4 billion needed to protect 41 million children from conflict and disaster

The big five EU telecom operators in dire straights

How transparency can help the global economy to grow

What just happened? 5 themes from the COP24 climate talks in Poland

Myanmar military leaders must face genocide charges – UN report

Helping small businesses fight cybercrime benefits the global ecosystem

WHO coronavirus briefing: Isolation, testing and tracing comprise the “backbone” of response

Everything you need to know about the US government shutdown

These are the world’s least – and most – corrupt countries

Peru should help more young vulnerable people into work

ILO warns of widespread insecurity in the global labour market

Greece will probably stay in the Eurozone but at what cost?

Victims’ Rights: New Strategy to empower victims

This incredibly detailed map of Africa could help aid and development

In Mozambique, it’s ‘a matter of the heart’ says Guterres, lauding the cyclone-struck nation’s ‘undeniable moral authority’

Service and Sacrifice: For Ghana, UN peacekeeping is a ‘noble opportunity to serve humanity’

Britain’s May won the first round on the Brexit agreement with the EU

More attacks, ‘persisting security challenges’ threaten progress in West Africa, Sahel

Who is to pay for Trump’s trade war against China?

EU and African leaders to jointly tackle the migration crisis across the Mediterranean

Yemen parties underscore ‘strong desire’ for peace, UN Envoy reports

More Stings?

Advertising

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s