Health Education In Community Health

Afza.Malik GDA

Community Health Education in Nursing

Health Education In Community Health

Community health education in a community setup carried out under some principals to attain pre-settled aim preset objectives.

Health Education

    Health education is an essential tool of community health. Health education is a vital part of community health nursing, because the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health require that patients understand health care Health education is an integral part of all health services and all health personnel's who are responsible for providing health care/ It is so essential for community health nurses because they have key position to provide education because they see patients with varying needs and abilities in many settings.

    Health education like general education is a learning process which is concerned with changes in knowledge, feelings and behavior of people. It is an approach for teaching patients and their families to deal with past, present and future health problems. This knowledge enables them to make informed decisions to cope more effectively with temporary or long-term alteration in their health and life-style, and to assume greater responsibility for health. In its most usual form it concentrates on developing such health practices as are believed to bring about the best possible state of well-being.

Possible Definitions of Health Education

    "Health education is a process that informs, motivates and helps people to adopt and maintain healthy practices and life-styles, advocates environmental changes as needed to facilitate this goal and conducts professional training and research to the same end."

    According to this definition, the first directive of health education is to inform people or disseminate scientific knowledge about prevention of disease and promotion of health. Exposure to knowledge will melt away the barriers of ignorance, prejudice and misconception, people may have about health and disease. This creates awareness of health needs and problems and also responsibilities on the part of the public.

    The second directive of health education is motivation. When people want to change their health practices, mere information is not sufficient because information involves the provision and presentation of facts, hence, there is need for motivation. Motivation is a combination of forces which initiate direct, and sustain habits towards a particular behavior. So, people must be motivated to change their habits and way of living, since there is existence and emergence of many behaviors; life-style of human beings are harmful to their health, e.g., alcohol, smoking, drug addiction, etc.

    The third directive for health education inserted in the above definition is, that health education should be conducted by a variety of health, education and communication personnel in a variety of settings. Health education is defined as a process which brings about change’s knowledge and attitude of the people and in thereby effecting change in health practices.

Aims Of Health Education

    The purpose of health education is to help people to achieve health and efforts. It should aim: their own actions

    i. To help people to understand that health is the most valuable community asset; and to help them to achieve health by their own activities and efforts.

    ii. To develop a sense of responsibility for improvement of their health as individual members of families and communities.

    iii. To develop scientific knowledge, attitude, skills on health matters to enable people to develop correct habits.

    iv. To educate people for proper use of health services in whatever form it is made available to them by the government.

    v. To alter behavior which may have directly or indirectly influenced occurrence or spread of diseases in a given cultural setting. A culturally relevant health education program can be planned only after understanding the behavior in all its manifestation.

     vi. To help people achieve health by their own actions and efforts. Health education begins, therefore, with the interest of people in improving their conditions of living and aims at developing a sense of responsibility for their own health betterment as individuals, and as members of families, communities or government.

    vii. At promoting the greater possible fulfillment of inherited powers of the body and the mind, and happy adjustment of individual to society. It is the educational approach to health problems and as such is concerned with practical measures for the pro motion of health and control and treatment of disease.

    viii. To provide a person with appropriate knowledge to enjoy decent health and also the knowledge about occurrence and spread of disease thus enabling him to adopt relevant preventive measures.

    ix. To create in him an interest in his own health and well-being.

    x. To create in him an interest for the health of other members of his family as well as of those living in his surroundings.

    xi. To create in him a desire to support health education programs in his area.

    It should be noted that no health education program can function in isolation. A health education program has to be an integral part of various other development program. Functionally, a health education program should aim at bringing about the following changes in:



Objectives Of Health Education

    1. To inform people or disseminate scientific knowledge about prevention of disease and promotion of health.

    2. To motivate people to change their habits and life-style, which are harmful

to their health and also motivate people to adopt habits and ways of living conducive to health.

    3. To guide the people who need the help to adopt and maintain healthy practices and life-styles by showing proper community resources.

Principles Of Health Education

Following are four basic principles to carry out health education in  a community setup.

    1. Help people to develop interest in improving their own living conditions. It will happen when health education program are based on felt needs of the community. Education should be based on the principle of interest.

    2. The methods, nurses adopt for health education, should encourage people's participation. Education should be based on the principle of active learning.

    3. Start the educational program from the point, where people already are, and move from the known to the unknown point.

    4. Know the level of understanding, education and literacy of people to whom the teaching is directed. Use language and symbols which are easily understood by the people, and nurses, must be aware of the various barriers of communication and cultural background of the community.

    5. Reinforce the messages by repeating them using different methods and media. Every health campaign needs 'reinforcement'.

    6. Help to motivate people to desire a change in their attitudes and behaviors.

    7. Provide opportunities for the people to learn by doing.

    8. The people are the soil, the health facts the seed, and the transmitting media the Sower. The nurses should have prior knowledge of people, about their customs, habits, labors, health needs, etc. and then provide the health facts to people through the attractive, palatable and acceptable transmitting media.

    9. The nurse should maintain good human relations through the educational approaches.

    10. Community leaders should be taken into consideration for the success of any health program including health education.


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