Roles and Responsibilities of Teaching Health Institutions in the Preparation of Health Educators for Health Emergency Responses to Diseases
Role of teaching health institutions in preparing health educators for health emergency responses to diseases.
Concept of Health
Health according to World Health Organization is a state of complete, physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Health is a fundamental human right. Healthy life ensures a productive life. Better health is central to human happiness and well-being, it also makes an important contribution to economic progress, as healthy population live longer, are more productive and they serve their nation more. There are many factors that influence health status and a country’s ability to provide quality health services for its people.
Health has various meaning and interpretation to many people. Health is viewed as the condition of being sound in body, mind and spirit especially freedom from physical illness or pain. Ajayi (2004) defined health as soundness of body and mind which helps an individual to function fully and to efficiently discharge given responsibilities. Park (2007) asserted that despite the importance of health, many people failed to value it as an accept. At the individual level, health is usually subjugated for other needs considered as more important such as wealth, power, prestige, knowledge and security. Observation shows that health is often taken for granted and its value is not fully understood until it is lost. Park (2007) noted that at the international level, health was forgotten when the covenant of the League of Nations was drafted after the First World War. Health was again ‘forgotten’ when the charter of the United Nations was drafted at the end of Second World War.
In recent years however, there has been a reawakening that health is a fundamental human right and a world- wide social need that is essential for the satisfaction of basic human needs and to improve the quality of life of all and sundry in the society. Bradley (2003) asserted that “health is the thing that makes us feel that now is the time to function”. An adage says that he who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything. Health is a condition that enables an individual to mobilize all his resources intellectually emotionally and physically for optimum living towards the attainment of set goals and objectives thus, the healthier we are, the greater our potentials for effectiveness (Lucas and Gilles, 2007). Health is a term that summarizes the condition in which an individual is emotionally stable, mentally alert and socially well- adjusted to himself and the society he belongs to.
Concept of Health Education
Health is an important factor in national development. The test of civilization in any nation is the measure of consideration and attention which it gives to the health of its citizenry. The United Nation, World Health Organization and other Health agencies now use health as a parameter for measuring the wealth of a nation.
Health education is the organized teaching procedures directed towards developing understanding, attitudes and practice relating to health and factors affecting health (Alebiosu 2015). Health education seems to be a very vital element of health whose goal is to bring about desirable changes in attitudes and practice and not merely teaching people the rules of hygiene. Udor (2000) asserted that Health education is designed to prepare the masses to make proper decision throughout their life time on matters affecting their health, healthy living in form of personal hygiene, food hygiene, environmental hygiene, prevention of communicable and non- communicable diseases and the health of the family. Moronkola (2003) viewed health education as the health programme directed to meet the health needs of the community with the support of individual, home and government. Park (2007) defined health education as the section of the health process primarily concerned with developing an understanding of health and providing necessary experiences and services which play a key role in the maintenance and improvement of health of the communities. Fodor and Dolis (2002) posited that health education refers to a plan that provides for the sequential arrangement of learning opportunities designed to favorably influence health values, attitudes, practices and cognitive capabilities that are c o n d u c i v e t o t h e o p t i m u m development of the individual, family and community.
It was observed that right from the beginning individuals and communities have sought to protect their health by controlling diseases, improving the environment, caring for the sick and protecting their food and water supplies from any form of contamination. Health education is the section of health field with the goal of promoting health attitude and behaviour through systematic awareness creation to the communities on health programme. Moronkola and Okanlawon (2003) posited that effective health education empowers the consumers in the community to manage their own health process effectively and to cope with social and economic challenges arising from illnesses and diseases while Otinwa (2005) added that health education is aimed at behavioural change. The change could be achieved by making people in the community to understand and feel the need to do so regardless of the problem. The researcher also observed that the way sickness is being handled in public health is a major p r o b l e m t h a t c o u l d l e a d t o multiplication of diseases in the society. Seeking early medical advice by clients and care givers is always the last resort as clients will neglect the symptoms until the disease or illness becomes aggravated. Often times, they c o n s u l t t r a d i t i o n a l h e a l e r s, spiritualists, churches and make health practitioners their last result hence the high morbidity and mortality rates of these diseases in the community.
Types of Diseases
There are major types. These are Communicable or Infectious diseases and Non-communicable diseases e.g Deficiency disease, Hereditary disease including genetic and non-genetic disease, Physiological disease and Industrial diseases.
Mode of Transmission of Disease The mode of transmission can be through Direct method, Inherited method or Intermediate host. For example, malaria fever can be transmitted through mosquito. Types and nature of disease that affect human beings are inherited diseases, congenital, deficiency, industrial, environmental and infectious.
Conclusion was drawn on the fact that health educators’ role before, during and after outbreak of diseases cannot be overemphasized. Effective health education that could help to change people’s unhealthy behaviour can only be achieved through mass campaign on radio, television, use of jingles, whatsapp messages and use of you- tube and other devises that could pass information across to the populace.
Based on the discussion above, the following recommendations were made:
– Awareness should be created for people through health education on the need for change of lifestyle by avoiding dirty environments, improved life of personal and environmental hygiene, eating of healthy diets, avoiding sedentary lifestyle that could cause health problems and engaging in regular exercise that would aid effective circulation of blood throughout all the systems and organs of the body thereby ensuring healthiness.
– Government should encourage training and re-training of health workers in all fields of health viz doctors, nurses, pharmacists, all forms of technicians to equip them to measure up to the expected standard and demands of present day diseases.
– Government should also ensure provision of necessary instrument, equipment, infrastructure and necessary and qualified health personnel to enhance effective functioning of the various health centers and hospitals in the nation.
– Government should establish more health care facilities all over the country to meet up with the health needs of people in the rural and urban. Adequate healthy life and effective treatment of those who have diseases are vital issues that could not be neglected in a healthy society.
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- Ajayi, F.T. (2004). A guide to Primary Health Care Practice in Developing Countries, London Macmillan Education Ltd.
- Alebiosu, E.O. (2018). Effective Health Education as a Means of Ameliorating the Health Risks Associated with Hypertension. Journal of Human Kinetics and Health Education Pedagogy, 1 (1); 134-145.
- Alebiosu, E.O. & Adeyemi, B.A. (2019). Health Education as a Tool for Revamping Academic Performance of Primary School Pupils in Southwest, Nigeria. International Journal of A d v a n c e R e s e a r c h a n d Publication, 3 (2); 33-36.
- Bradley, M.F. (2003). Community Health for Student Nurses London: Bailliere Tindall.
- Fodor, M. & Dolis, R. (2002). Effects of Education on Health: Michigan. University of Michigan Press.
- Lucas, O.A. & Gilles, H.M, (2006). A New Short Textbook of Preventive Medicine for the Tropics: London, Printed by Hodder Education.
- Moronkola, O.A. (2003). Current Status, Challenges and Future of School Health Education in Nigeria. Delta Journal of Educational Development, 1 & 2; 11-19.
- Moronkola, O.A. & Okanlawon, F.A. (2003). Fundamental of Public and Community, Health Education. Ibadan Ryan People (Nigeria) Ltd.
- Otinwa, G.O. (2005). Achieving a Lifestyle of Wellness, Lagos Institute of Security Nig. Press. Park, K. (2007). Park Textbook of Preventive and Social M e d i c i n e ; I n d i a : M / S Banarsidas Bhanot Publishers.