Pitfalls in Health Education
Dr. Yahya Y. Khader
B. Sc., MBBS, DHE
PHC physician, MOH, Irbid\Jordan.
Health promotion encompasses a variety of activities aiming at improving the health status of individual and community. And if successful will affect the lives of people, therefore, health promoters should be equipped with practical skills, and should understand the values and ethics implicit in their work.
In Jordan health education (HE) is an important pillar of MOH works. Recently the HE division was promoted to a full directorate, where qualified experts set their HE plans, based on priorities, community needs and information collected from different reports, surveys and studies, their work also include training of health workers and preparation of different HE media. Each health directorate in the country sets its own HE program separately according to their needs and available resources, in addition to the integrated HE activities in the primary health centers.
Specialists in the field of health promotion identify five approaches that can be used individually or in combination to achieve the desired goal:
Unfortunately traditional health education approach used in Jordan, and many other countries, aimed solely at changing the people to fit the environment, and did little to make the environment a healthier place to live in.
Supporters of this traditional approach argue that medical and health experts have the knowledge, and therefore know what is in the best interests of their patients and the public in general. Also people have entrusted them with their health care and they often seek their advice in health matters.
But, many disagree, and they feel there are more than one point in their favor:
Therefore health promotion should include not only traditional health education competencies in communicating and educating, but also in managing, researching, planning, evaluating, marketing, facilitating, networking and influencing policies and practices. And more attention should be paid to the users and receivers of the health promotion, and to the concept of working in partnership with the public.