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Health Education

Some people maybe think that health education is an easy process that simply aims to spread health information through publications and the media. Health education is even more difficult. It aims to change and influence the behavior of healthy individuals. It is not only necessary for the dissemination of information to affect the behavior of the individual. For example, doctors know the right to know about the effects of smoking. However, the percentage of physicians who smoke is about 40% -60%; Of experiences that facilitate the adoption of behaviors that promote the health of individuals and groups. 

There are many definitions of health education, including that health is an information process aimed at adopting a healthy and healthy lifestyle. It also helps people improve their behavior by influencing their beliefs and attitudes, not only at the individual level but also at the community level. Health Education Process Raising health awareness by providing individuals with information and experiences In order to influence their attitudes, knowledge, health behavior and community, health education is a set of activities aimed at raising health knowledge and instilling healthy behaviors in individuals and communities. 

Health education: An ongoing and related process, as cumulative, and as previously stated is not as easy as some think, and can be likened to the process of health education triangular equilateral, and the sides of this triangle are: knowledge, which aims to acquire information, and the intention to instill the values ​​associated with the information The goal is to implement the acquired information. Health education facilitates the process of changing behaviors and increases the sense of responsibility towards the health of individuals. Therefore, it is considered one of the most important elements of health care. The concepts of health education In recent years, bringing note exists of science knowledge; where he uses behavioral and educational theories, and uses different methods of communication and means of education, in addition to the principles of the media.

It is important to define the importance of health education for the individual and society by several points:

  1. Improve health at the individual and community level.
  2. Building healthy health trends.
  3. Helping individuals solve their health problems using available resources.
  4. Instilling and consolidating the values of healthy behavior, as well as changing the wrong behaviors.
  5. Helping individuals identify health problems and identify their needs.
  6. Dissemination of healthy health concepts among members of society.
  7. Improving the quality of life that an individual lives in society. To reduce the level of disability wherever possible. 
  8. Reduce disease incidence.

Health education steps can be mentioned as follows and in logical sequence:

First: the health message: The health information provided should be understood and correct, and the level of the person receiving it must be taken into consideration, and the health message should achieve the desired goal.

Second: The health educator: He is the person who conveys information to others and educates them. The intellectual has the right information, he is a trained person, he has a special ability to communicate the information. The health educator must believe in the message he wants to convey. He must have sufficient knowledge, Necessary to convey the information to the recipient. 

Third: the recipient or the target community: The level of awareness and culture of the receiving person must be determined, and whether he or she has a desire to change his behavior, with a focus on his health needs.

Fourth: The means of education: There must be multiple means of communication used in the dissemination of health information, and to be more comprehensive impact must be addressed more than one sense of the individual senses, and educational means:

  1. Audiovisual: such as seminars, lectures and conferences.
  2. Read: such as flyers, brochures and posters.
  3. Audio formats: such as TVs, CDs and video.

Health education levels:

– Health education for individuals: in which people are educated about nutrition, pathogens and methods of prevention, in addition to maintaining personal hygiene.

– Family health education: education that instills sound health concepts in individuals since their youth.

– Group health education: education that concerns groups with similar gender, age, employment or groups of people with health problems such as school children and smokers; the group is fully educated.

– Community health education: It is done through the different media, whether visible or audible; in order to deliver health information to the largest possible number of individuals, regardless of their different levels.

Each one of us knows that the primary goal of health education is to change the behavior of the individual from the behavior of unhealthy healthy behavior so that changing the health behavior of the individual and his followers of the new behavior must go through several stages, and the individual to be aware of these stages during a change of behavior, and stages of change are:

First: Awareness stage: It is the stage in which the knowledge of health is known.

Second: the stage of attention: in which the individual searches for details of the health information he wants and be eager to read or hear. 

Third: the evaluation stage: It determines the pros and cons of the proposed behavior and determine the extent of its benefit to the individual, followed by the decision to follow or reject the new behavior.

Fourth: the stage of the attempt: the stage of implementation; where the individual decides to follow the behavior in a practical way, in which the individual needs moral support around him to overcome the difficulties of application. 

Fifth: the stage of follow-up: in which the individual decides to follow new health behavior permanently.

At the end of this article, we ask your opinion who is responsible for the health of the individual, the family and the community. The answer is that the responsibility of spreading health awareness is not limited to the health institution, but there must be a concerted effort from all institutions such as education, governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations. To be a collective responsibility, which means that the individual responsible for his health in the first place, and then become the health of the responsibility of the family, followed by the responsibility of educational institutions, whether school or university, and then move to reach the government agencies that provide health services. 


Assistant prof. Murtada Ghanim Adai 

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