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Health Education
Contents of the lecture:

 Definition of health education.

 Health education versus health propaganda.
 Objectives of health education.
 Areas of health education.
 Approaches to health education.
 Principles of health education.
 Types & processes of health education.
 Components of Health Education:
 Health education is an essential (‫ )جوهري‬tool of
family & community medicine.

 Many health problems are due to the lack of

knowledge regarding health among the people.
Health education about common diseases is an
essential component of Primary Health Care.
Definition of Health Education
Health education is a process of learning by
communication between health educator and the
target audience aiming to change the behaviour
for better health.
Health education versus health propaganda:

When persuasive communication is deliberately employed

to manipulate feelings, attitudes and beliefs, it becomes
“propaganda” or “brain washing”.

Health education can help to increase knowledge and to

reinforce desired behaviour patterns.
Propaganda was used in the world war as in any war.
German authorities spread headlines said: French
doctors infect German wells with plague germs,
appealed the emotion of people to hate France.

Persuasion in H.E. it is useful and manipulation in

propaganda it hurts.
Health education and Health Propaganda
Health education Health propaganda
Knowledge &skills actively Knowledge instilled in the minds
Acquired of people
Makes people think for
Does not stimulate thinking
Not necessarily based on the
Based on the health of people
health needs

Appeals to reason Appeals to emotion

Behavioural-centred Information-centred
Objectives of Health Education
 Informing people.
 Motivating people.
 Guiding into action.
 To equip people with skills, knowledge and
attitudes to enable them to solve their health
problems by their Owen actions and efforts.
 To promote the development and proper use of
health services.
Areas of Health Education
1- Human Biology.
2- Nutrition.
3- Hygiene.
4- Family health.
5- Prevention of communicable Diseases.
6- Prevention of Accidents.
7- Use of Health Services.
8- Mental Health.
1- Human Biology:
the structure and functions of the body, how to
keep physically fit – the need of exercise, rest and
sleep. The effects of alcohol, smoking and drugs
on the body.

2- Nutrition:
The aim of nutrition education is to guide people
to choose optimum and balanced diets
3- Hygiene: This has two aspects: –
personal and environmental.
Personal hygiene includes bathing, washing
hands, care of nails, teeth and personal
environmental hygiene:
It is a major concern of many governments, it is on
the improvement of basic sanitary services
consisting of water supply, disposal of human
excreta, other solid and liquid wastes, vector
control and food sanitation.
4- Family health:
The family is the first defence of its members. The
role of family in health promotion, early diagnosis
and care of the sick is crucial importance.

5- Prevention of communicable Diseases:

Drugs alone will not solve health problems without
health education, a person may fall sick again and
again from the same disease.
6- Prevention of Accidents:
Accidents occur in three main areas: the home,
road and place of work. It should be the
responsibilities of the police department to
enforce rules of road safety.
7- Use of Health Services:
One of the declared aims of health education is to
inform the people about the health services that
are available in the community and how they can
utilize them (e.g., screening program,
immunization, family planning services, etc.).
8- Mental Health:
There is a tendency to an increase in the
prevalence of mental diseases when there is a
change in the society from an agricultural to an
industrial economy, and when people move from
the warm intimacy of a village community to the
isolation found in big cities.
Approaches to Health Education
There are 4 well-known approaches to health education:

1- Regulatory approach (Managed prevention):

2- Service Approach.

3- Health education approach.

4- Primary health care approach.

1- Regulatory approach:
Regulation in the context of health education may be
defined as any governmental intervention, as ;

- Use of compulsory seat belts in western countries.

The advantage of this approach is simplest and quickest

way, but there are also important failures of laws.
2- Service Approach:
It aimed at providing all the health services needed by
the people at their door steps on the assumption that
people would use them to improve their own health.

3- Health education approach:

There are many problems (e.g., cessation of smoking,
use of safe water supply, fertility control, which can be
solved only through health education.
4- Primary health care approach:
It is a new approach and it is based on the principles of
primary health care. Help the people to identify their
health problems and find workable solutions.

Principles of PHC: Equitable distribution, Community

participation, Inter-sectorial coordination, etc.
Principles of Health Education
1. Interest: People will listen to and learn only
things that they are interested in. Health
educators should find out the health needs of the
people and then give information to satisfy those
2. Participation: Participation is one of the most
important principles of Health Education.
Participation will lead to active learning, which is
more effective than passive learning. Group
discussion, panel discussion, workshop are
examples of active learning.
3. Comprehension: Health education to be
effective, the teacher should know the level of
education and literacy of the audience. Health
education should be within the mental capacity of
the audience.
4. Communication: Communication is the
process by which the health information is
transferred to the target audience. The language
and words used should be simple and
understandable to the audience.
5. Motivation: Stimulation or awakening of the
desire to learn is called motivation. Some of the
motives are – praise, reward and punishment. The
health educator should try to stimulate the desire
to learn.
6. Reinforcement: Repeating the health message
is important for learning. The health message
should be given repeatedly
7. Learning by doing: Learning should be active
and not passive. People should learn by doing.

8. Good human relations: People relate the

health message with the person giving the
message. So the Health educator must be kind
and sympathetic. People should consider him/her
as their friend; so good human relations are
important for health education.
Why are we trying to change the behaviour by
health education?
Because behaviours and social factors nowadays
are major contributors to mortality.
Types & Processes of Health Education:
1- Medical Type.

2- Motivation Types.

3- Social Intervention Type.

1- Medical Type:
It is primarily interested in the recognition and
treatment of disease.

2- Motivation Types.
It is a translation from health information into the
desired health action.
Motivation type includes the stages of:
- Awareness.
- Interest.
- Evaluation.
- Decision-making.
- Adoption or acceptance.
3- Social Intervention Type:
Motivation type is insufficient to achieve
behavioural change, as for example, reducing
smoking, adoption of small family norm, raising
the age of marriage, elimination of dowry, etc.

This highlights the importance of group support in

helping reaching the decisions and taking action.
Components of Health Education:
1- The communicator – must know:
His objectives –clearly defined,
His audience-its needs, interests and abilities,
His message- its content, validity and usefulness and
Channels of communication.
2- The message – must be: in line with objectives-clear
and understandable, specific, and appealing.
3- Audience.
4- Channels of communication.
No Health Education without Audio-Visual AIDS

1- Auditory Aids.
2- Visual Aids.
3- Combined AV Aids.
Methods of Heath Education
Health education can be done at 3

 Individual
 Group
 General Public
1- Individual level
Doctors, nurses and other health
professionals who come in contact with
patients can provide health education at
individual level

 Cardiac patient can be given health education

about healthy diet, exercise etc.
 A pregnant lady can be given health education
about diet, child care etc.
 The advantage of this method is that the
person gets full attention and he can ask
questions, clear doubts and discuss very
personal or intimate health topics.

 The main disadvantage is that the number

of people to whom we can provide such
health education will be very small.
2- Group level

In this method health education is given to a

group of people, such as mothers, school
children, patients, industrial workers. Choice
of the topic of health education must be
selected with care to make sure that it is of
interest to the group.
Cont. Group level

Group health education must not be passive

in which the health educator alone talks.
There should be active participation by the
group members. The health educator must
allow the group members to ask questions
and give suggestions.
Methods used for group level

Panel discussion
 Symposium
 Workshop
 Role playing
3- General Public level

It is done through mass media.

 Television, radio, newspaper, posters etc.
It is the best way of conveying information to
a large population. However it is not effective
in changing human behavior