According to the World Health Organization (WHO), promoting healthy lifestyles is essential in any society. Educational administrations must enable health systems around the world. Health education (HE) is a fundamental tool for promoting health. For HE to be effective and efficient, we must govern it by the principles of multidisciplinary, experienced, and collaborative work. Professionals from different sectors should get involved in this.
Health education in Public Health aims to teach people to make the right health decisions on their own. Training enables them to choose between right and wrong anytime and anywhere. Prevention is one of the essential benefits and improves population health while reducing morbidity and mortality.
It is also necessary to consider some inherent drawbacks of HE. The results are usually only long term and are not generally evident for people with little training. We need seamless coordination and commitment of non-health sectors to reach optimal effectiveness or excellence. Previous training is also essential for non-health workers in an intersectoral and coordinated manner. The school that integrates HE, when working with other entities, is instrumental.
Those interested in contributing to the field of public health through education can consider pursuing a Master in Public Health offered by universities such as UTS Online, which provides comprehensive training in public health theory and practice.
What is Public Health?
Public health encompasses the prevention and control of diseases and the promotion of the health of the population. Public health initiatives have eradicated smallpox, disinfected water to make it drinkable, and immunized populations. Research indicates that public health has saved more lives in recent decades than all the lives lost in the 20th century. These achievements resulted from addressing the health problems of the population with a multidisciplinary approach. In this sector, the tools and knowledge of modern biology have contributed significantly.
Since the last century, scientific journals have been the primary means of communication between scientists. They are a reflection of the functioning of the sciences, institutions, and academics. For professionals in this area, scientific journals publicize new evidence that supports decision-making in the health sector. Promoting this evidence will help the population's health decisions achieve a balance considering scientific, administrative, political, ethical, and technical aspects.
PhDs and MPHs usually work in the research sector in this field. If you are wondering what is an MPH, It is a globally recognized academic degree. It serves as a fundamental credential for proper professional practice and continuous improvement in this discipline.
The MPH is a cutting-edge interdisciplinary program with a fantastic learning curve. It offers the possibility of graduating in 3 or 4 semesters. This program allows strengthening the essential competencies for an acceptable practice, having the Social Determinants of Health and equity as the center's axis. It considers critical analysis tools for decision-making.
What is the importance of public health education?
Public health education involves healthcare professionals teaching the public about their health to understand their condition better. People can get an education in healthcare settings or outside, and formally or informally. The overarching goal of public education is to improve community health and the performance of the healthcare industry.
Health workers carry out health education following the previous principles. However, we must consider that we often do not achieve the desired effect because other factors play against our efforts. Many times, these are much more powerful and influential than our health education campaigns. We frequently fall into the error of attributing failure to poor implementation and management. In most cases, it further aggravates the problem.
It is essential to carry it out at all ages, but especially in children and adolescents. They acquire most of the habits at those ages, which tend to persist throughout people's lives. With the compulsory nature of studies in childhood and adolescence, school is ideal for health education. For this, the available scientific evidence teaches us that we must promote the relationship between education and health centers. We can launch joint projects that strengthen ties between health professionals and professionals in the educational field. Ultimately, we can promote training in health issues for all members of the community.
Public health encourages and supports people with their health-related knowledge and skills. At the same time, it is always important to increase the motivation to deal with health-relevant information. The public must evaluate it critically and use it self-determinedly. Strengthening health literacy also requires the framework conditions and information on the health design of social settings. Such health organizations make it easier for people to find, understand, and use information and services to make the right health decisions.
Greater motivation and better results
Suppose a patient is well-aware of his condition. In that case, he will undoubtedly understand what goals he should work towards to improve his health.
Undoubtedly, health education will have a positive effect on all health organizations. Public health education could reduce the number of unnecessary admissions, phone calls, or visits. Good health is not just about healthy eating and exercise; it also includes having positive mental health, healthy self-esteem, and a healthy lifestyle.
Improved health literacy
Health literacy is an essential cornerstone of the health equity of all people. It aims to support the population in making self-determined decisions in everyday life that promote their health. The concept of health literacy has been gaining increasing international importance since the 1990s. It resulted from a series of studies that showed clear connections between primary education (reading, writing, and arithmetic skills) and health. These findings inspired further studies to explore how well patients can find health information, understand their doctor, and affect treatment success.
With the establishment of the comprehensive psycho-social health concept, health literacy has also found its way into health promotion. Researchers relate it to binding terms like empowerment and participation. Health education involves general education, motivation, and empowerment of people. People can find, understand, judge, and apply relevant health information in everyday life.
Helps strengthen communities
Education empowers the public to make decisions that contribute to maintaining or improving the quality of life and health throughout their life course. On the one hand, health literacy is a question of personal skills. On the other hand, it depends on the demands of the environment. Healthy communities are more resilient to diseases, epidemics, and health crises. Public health serves a great deal in this area.
Education is one of the most effective ways to combat social inequality and poverty. Access to good, free public education increases everyone's chances of leading a more self-determined, healthier, and more productive life. We could reduce global poverty by 55% 1https://en.unesco.org/news/world-poverty-could-be-cut-half-if-all-adults-completed-secondary-education of all adults complete secondary school. Vital health and safety systems help lower mortality rates and reduce disease. They also help cushion the social and economic consequences of illness and prevent victims from bearing high healthcare costs.
Health education is a crucial determinant of health, according to WHO 2013. A high level of public health education and understandable health information design help understand physical and mental health issues. It also helps people make the right health-related decisions. General health education primarily benefits unprivileged population groups. Public schools with well-trained teachers and hospitals with qualified specialists help to overcome poverty. Education and health care are human rights. Providing them free of charge mitigates the dire consequences of the unequal opportunities of income and wealth.
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