THE IMPACT OF HEALTH EDUCATORS ON HEALTH AWARENESS IN THE COMMUNITY

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
Health education is the process of educating people about health. Areas within this profession encompass environmental health, physical health, mental health and spiritual health. Health education can as well be said to be the principle by which individuals and groups of people learn to behave in a manner conducive to the promotion, maintenance or restoration of health. Health education is the process of combining learning experiences designed to help individual and communities improve their health, by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes.
According to Stressbusters (2001), health education is one of the strategy of health promotion and is focused on helping individuals learn and use health enhancing skills. He further states that health education is also an effective tool that helps improve health in developing nations. It does not only teaches prevention and basic health knowledge but also conditions ideas that reshape everyday habits of people with unhealthy lifestyles in developing countries.
The Joint Committee on Health Education and Promotion Terminology (2001), defined health education as “any combination of planned learning experiences based on sound theories that provide individuals, groups, and communities the opportunity to acquire information and the skills needed to make quality health decisions. The World Health Organization (2000) defined health education as comprising of consciously constructed opportunities for learning, involving some form of communication designed to improve health literacy, including improving knowledge, and developing life skill which are conducive to individual and community health. There are aspects of health education which includes: family health education, personal health education, community health education and many others.
Family health education service is the process of educating members of a given family about health. Personal health education is a planned program of learning through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives.
Community health education is a theory driven process that promotes health and prevents disease within certain target populations in the community. Community health education according to World Health Organization (2004) is geared toward creating health awareness down to the rural dwellers. This study is geared toward establishing the importance of health education on community health awareness among resident of Ezillo community in Ishielu local government area. Community health is a field which concerns itself with the study and improvement of health characteristics of biological communities. While the term community can broadly be defined, community health tends to focus on geographical areas rather than people with shared characteristics. The health characteristics of a community are often examined using geographical information system (GIS) software and public health data sets. Health is broadly defined as wellbeing which is generally influenced by a wide away of socio-demographic characteristics, certain relevant variables ranging from the proportion of residents of a given age group to the overall life expectancy of the neighborhood, and community medical interventions influence health of a community like Ezillo. They influence access to medical care to public health communications campaigns (WHO, 2000, p. 2). Community health may be studied within three broad categories which are: primary health care, secondary health care and tertiary health care.
Primary health care refers to intervention that focus on the individual or family such as hand washing, immunization, circumcision among others. Secondary health care service are provided by medical specialists and other professionals who generally do not have first contact with patients, for example cardiologists, urologists (National Hospital for Neurology, London 2012). Tertiary health care on the other hand refers to those interventions that take place in a hospital setting such as intravenous rehydration or surgery (Johns Hopkins, 2004). There are components of community health which includes; promotion of health, prevention of health problems, treatment of disorders, and provision of rehabilitation, evaluation of health care issues and community research and evidence based practice.
Health promotion includes educational, social and environmental supports for individual, organizational and community action. It seeks to activate local organizations and groups or individuals to make changes in behavior or policies that influences health (Wall, 2009). Prevention of health as the case of social health, the need will surface at the three levels of prevention; primary prevention, secondary prevention and tertiary prevention.
Primary prevention activities for mental and social health could include personal stress management strategies such as exercise and meditation, or school and workplace educational classes to enhance the mental health of the people. A secondary prevention strategy could include the staffing of a crisis hot line by local organizations such as health department or mental health center (Brown, 2004). In the words of Stressburts (2001), tertiary prevention might take the form of the local medical and mental health specialists and health care facilities providing individual and group counselling and rehabilitation.

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Updated: 7th April 2020 — 1:02 pm

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