Health education and awareness are providing a learning experience to the public to help each individual in the community to…
We would like to close the gaps in the knowledge, understanding, and innovation of the common public health through educating the public and empowering them to make informed decisions about their health.
Health education and awareness are providing a learning experience to the public to help each individual in the community to…
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection continues to be one of the major public health crisis. Through time the number …
Health education and awareness are providing a learning experience to the public to help each individual in the community to improve their health and well-being, through adding their knowledge and influencing their attitudes.
The areas being focused on health education and awareness are social health, emotional health, physical health, environmental health, spiritual health and intellectual health.
Its primary focus is to promote, maintain and restore health. A health educator is an individual who is professionally prepared to serve the public by using educational strategies and methods to facilitate the development of procedures, policies, interventions, and systems. The health educator has seven roles and responsibilities to do:
Responsibility 1: Assess the needs for health education of the individual and community.
Responsibility 2: Plan the interventions, programs, and strategies to make the health education successful.
Responsibility 3: Implement the planned health education, programs, and strategies.
Responsibility 4: Conduct research and evaluation related to health education.
Responsibility 5: Administer health education strategies, programs, and interventions.
Responsibility 6: Duly serves the public as a health education resource person.
Role 7: Be an advocate and communicate for health and health education.
The issues of the public health have been managed and investigated all throughout the years. It has brought the public health industry to focus on the cause and treatments of the disease, illness, and factors that have greatly affect the public health.
The top health issues that the public has been facing are:
An improved public health can improve the nation’s economy and people’s quality of life. Thus, the health educators and public health professionals are doing their best in identifying, preventing, and treating the issues of the public health.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection continues to be one of the major public health crisis. Through time the number of people living with HIV has increased, thus, more people have become aware of the infection. People living with HIV has helped spread the awareness in order to prevent the increase of the people infected with HIV. People living with HIV are being linked and stayed under the medical care for HIV patients, they begin their treatment and get virally suppressed. The availability of the interventions for HIV preventions has increased, thus, it can also provide prevention to their partners.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) comes from a particular virus that can only infect humans, it can weaken the immune system of the body by attacking the T-cells, which is the most important cell to fight against infections and illnesses. The virus takes over the host cells through its rapid reproduction.
It can be transmitted through blood, vaginal discharges, anal fluids, semen, and breast milk. We should stop the misconception that it can be transmitted through urine, sweat, or saliva. The best way to prevent acquiring HIV is to use condoms during sex and use clean needle and syringe when you inject drugs.
Flu-like symptoms are experienced by those on the early stage of HIV, these symptoms may last for a few days to several weeks.
For people living with HIV that are not taking antiretroviral therapy (ART), it may progress to AIDS. This is the late stage of HIV infection in which they experience symptoms like:
Those people who are living with HIV that suffers infections and disease from opportunistic microorganisms are considered to have Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). It happens since they are immunosuppressed, moreover, it can be because of the antiretroviral drugs they are taking. These treatments do not cure HIV or AIDS, however, it can give them a chance to live long and healthy lives.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) can be prevented, it just needs an effective prevention treatment to reduce the transmission of the infection. It is a global outlook to cut the social stigma with people living with HIV, the lack of education hinders treatment options and preventive measures for HIV.
HIV infections were stabilized and mortality rates have declined even though most of the HIV and AIDS population does not have access to antiretroviral medications, this is due to the ongoing public campaigns for awareness of safe drug use and safe sex.
Communication is a common mode for human’s to interact which we often underestimate its complexity. It is omnipresent, complicated and irreversible. Thus, it is our duty to make it quality-wise, we should anticipate the possible flow of information exchange through planning, implementation, and monitoring to avoid or minimize misconception.
Public awareness is the level of understanding of the public regarding the importance and implication of vital issues in the society. To raise public awareness it needs to create a specific messaging campaign about a particular issue that is most relevant to the life, health, and rights of the people.
There are three factors that might influence the complexity of communication, thus it should be identified and managed.
To engage with people, it does not have to be grand. Approach with the right ideas, make them interested and aware of your cause.
Thorough research of the cause
Learn and know all the information of the issue, this is the first indicator to have a successful awareness campaign. Published researches, statistical trends, or case studies give you the credentials of being an expert on the issue.
Know and establish a target population
To know who will be your audience is a primary component to bring people together that have a common interest. Empower and connect them.
Set objectives for the awareness campaign
To measure whether the campaign is a success, establish objectives that can make the campaign socializing and interesting. Through your objectives you can identify factors and areas for improvements, there might be a need to refine and change the campaign objectives.
Host educational events
People are more enticed to attend an event wherein they can learn. Thus, it is best to offer your knowledge or skills. During the event, start a conversation regarding your cause and connect with them.
Create and distribute informational pamphlets
Printed or digital pamphlets can learn about your cause, summarize and organize informational points about the issue. A catchy content can spark the people’s curiosity and interest.
Boost awareness through social media channels
Social media platforms are the most accessible mode of information exchange, it cannot only be read but also shared. Create social media accounts for your cause, you can engage with people and related-communities there. Manage to create insightful and helpful tips that people can relate to and easily share.
Host fundraising events
There are still people who have the heart and money to donate to worthy causes. People can donate through online transactions or in-person. Fundraising events can help you create a community that can help you with your cause.
A single approach cannot make everyone be interested and aware of the issues in the community. You have to combine various approaches to reach as many people as possible.
Be enthusiastic in raising awareness of public health issues, help the public understand more, protect the public through knowledge and awareness.
Health practitioners issued warnings about the long-term health implications to those who smoke. Statistics have detailed that there are more than 3,200 underage smokers who began smoking each day, and 42.1 million people are consistently smoking each day.
Amidst the effort of tobacco companies to continue their companies’ growth through their advertising campaigns, the advancement of public health awareness has banned smoking in public places and a variety of methods for smokers to stop.
Smoking can harm each system of the body, its adverse effects have been documented all throughout the years. Illnesses and diseases such as obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and autoimmune disorders are associated with smoking.
The toll deaths of cancer have been related to smoking, excess use of tobacco can affect the human body. Lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and liver cancer determined to smoke as a direct cause.
Did you know that those who quit cancer at age 30 decreases the risk of smoking-related deaths by 90 percent? And those who quit at age 50 and above only have a 50 percent chance? Thus, stop smoking! It’s still early.
Coronary heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death, both of which are a result of smoking. The effects of excessive tobacco use can thin the walls of the blood vessels and obstruct the blood flow to the heart.
Did you know that smokers have a higher rate of strokes and heart attacks than non-smokers?
The excessive inhalation of tobacco can pose negative effects on the respiratory system. Nicotine is not the only poisonous ingredient, there are still approximately 600 more. The said ingredients do not only displace the oxygen exchange of the lungs, but it can also impair the ability of the lungs to remove harmful particles.
Those who smoke heavily can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), shortness and difficulty of breathing, sputum production, and restricted airflow.
Smoking is highly contraindicated in pregnant women, smoking puts the entire reproductive cycle at risk. Pregnant women should be cautious with the effects of smoking on the fetus, it exposes the fetus to nicotine, a toxic that can cause compromised oxygen supply.
Did you know that women who smoke are a high risk of experiencing difficulty in pregnancy?
Autoimmune Disorders and other Chronic Illness
Smoking leads to chronic and severe illnesses due to the system malfunction of our body. It can be a precipitating factor that can reduce the efficiency of medical treatments, and leads to the dysfunction of the immune system.
Over the past two decades, climate change has been debated that it is a threat to the community. It has resulted in the rise of sea levels, increases of temperatures, deteriorating air quality, and changing of the weather patterns. It has drawn to the attention of medical practitioners, that the negative effect of the climate change on Earth, has to pose also a negative effect on the health of the human.
Statistics have shown and the researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) have declared that over 150,000 deaths each year are caused by the climate change. They have predicted that the numbers might increase by a hundred percent by the year 2030, the documented fatalities due to climate change are linked to four catalysts, such as:
Increase of temperatures
The average temperature has increased as high as 11 degrees Fahrenheit. The rise of temperature pose risk to the public since it is mixed with other weather conditions, it can lead to excessive heat event. Excessive heat event happens when the temperature, cloud cover, dew point temperature, surface atmospheric pressure, and wind speed can cause heat-related fatalities.
The common health conditions that can be associated with high temperatures are:
Declining air quality
Climate change and air pollution are known to be associated. Air pollution is a result of the industrial revolution and activities made by the human. The major contributors to air pollution are automotive transportation, electric power, and industrial processes that emit gas into the atmosphere.
Ground level ozone happens when toxic gases are mixed with carbon monoxide, it can greatly affect the lungs and can even lead to inflammation of the airways.
Inhalation of toxic gases can lead to:
Due to the climate change wind speeds of hurricanes and storms, total rainfall and floods are expected to increase. With the extreme weather, human health risks have increased its potential.
The risks for human health due to extreme weather patterns include:
Vector-borne diseases came from infectious microorganisms that are transmitted to people by blood-sucking arthropods. Climate change is said to be an indirect cause of having these diseases:
The health of our planet is directly associated with the human health. Thus, public awareness regarding climate change can reduce the risks of disease and fight against global warming. These effects are irreversible, however, there are still some methods that are long-term and sustainable that can reduce possible health risks associated with climate change.
People’s weights are classified by nutritionists and medical practitioners as underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese. Obese is even classified into three categories: Obese class I, obese class II, and obese class III. It is determined by the body fat measurement based on the person’s height and weight, or body mass index (BMI).
Obesity is a complex and major public health issue, the lack of exercise and bad nutrition are one of the major causes of obesity. The demographic group of a person can affect the weight of a person. The diet, exercise, and environmental factors play a significant role in their food consummation.
1 out of 3 children are documented to be obese or overweight, obesity that occurs during the childhood days have devastating long-term consequences. Obesity is associated with multiple chronic health conditions. These illnesses include:
Diabetes: This is caused by the imbalanced nutrition and lack of physical activities that can lead to insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.
Cardiovascular disease: Obesity is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and not to mention, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death.
Cancer: This is the second leading cause of death, it is a precipitating factor to multiple types of cancer.
Depression: Weight changes, weight gain, and obesity are highly linked to depression. It is more prevalent among children.
Reproduction: Studies have shown that fertility rates are reduced and chances of miscarriage or complications during pregnancy.
Respiratory disease: Overweight or obese people experience obesity hypoventilation syndrome, sleep apnea, and asthma.
Cognitive health: Studies have discovered that cognitive deterioration and obesity are linked, neurologic impairments include thinking skills and memory loss.
Musculoskeletal disorders: Arthritis, injuries, and muscle and joint atrophies are the results of obesity.
The organizations and government are running for a cause to reverse the trend of obesity. Health education is the primary defense to win against obesity, the target population for this drive is children and teenagers. The public is being made aware of this health issue through:
Physical education: Amidst the crisis of obesity, universities are not providing the appropriate regular exercise the student needs. Physical education course is essential to promote exercise. Thus, organizations suggest providing an hour of physical activity.
Recess: Breaks in between classes are cut short. It influences the children’s appetite and their motivation to do their recommended exercise.
Healthy meals: Healthier foods are being served in universities, this is to promote high-quality nutrition foods, sodas and junk foods are being banned inside the universities.
With the growing statistics of obesity and weight gain, health care providers are more encouraging through providing awareness from their reliable information. Healthy food options are being promoted than those easy to prepare junk foods through increasing the standards for labeling and high taxes.
Moreover, there are other causes of weight gain and obesity, as we blame everything to diet and foods, genetics, lack of sleep, stress, smoking and slow metabolism also plays the role in the obesity epidemic.
Through the years, misconceptions of vaccines have not yet died down. Some believed that it poses a greater risk than being helpful, however, over the past years, vaccines have reduced and diminished infectious diseases.
The following misconceptions of immunization should be corrected:
There is a line that links exposure and immunity, this was discovered when they used the antibodies to resist the infectious disease. During the 19th century, the laboratory made vaccinations was produced by the discovery of Louis Pasteur on the diseases.
As the mechanism of actions of the vaccines is not fully appreciated, it works to determine and defend the body against pathogens. For this to be achieved, there are blueprints of the pathogens, called antigens, introduced into the body to trigger the response of the immune system. The immune system can recognize the foreign invaders and produce antibodies that kill the pathogen before it can spread.
Scientists have made different types of vaccine:
Live attenuated vaccines: The immune system is introduced with a form of a pathogen that is weaker and asymptomatic. This is an excellent stimulant for the immune system, however, it is contraindicated in people whose immune system are compromised.
Inactivated vaccines: The immune system is introduced with dead cells of the pathogens that are killed by chemicals or heat. It is safer, however, it does not have an accurate simulation.
Subunit or conjugate vaccines: A specific carbohydrate that comes from the pathogen is introduced into the body which trains the immune system not to provoke the sickness. There is a lesser chance for adverse reactions but only certain vaccines can be prepared in this method.
Toxoid vaccines: Dead toxins mixed with water and formaldehyde is introduced into the body which makes the immune system kill living toxins.
Conjugate vaccines: Sugar molecules are being attached to a recognizable pathogen to help the immune system determine bacteria or viruses that are coated with sugary camouflage.
DNA vaccines: When injected, it instructs the immune system to create antigens that can fight off the pathogen all by itself.
Recombinant vector vaccines: A harmful antigen is introduced into the body that triggers the immune system to produce antigens that can determine and fight off foreign invaders.
There are vaccines being recommended in three schedules: 0 to 6 years old, 7 to 18 years old, and adults 19 years and older.
People should not be worried and hesitant in receiving vaccines, there are adjuvant added to improve the response of the immune system. These ingredient components are antibiotics, stabilizers and preservatives, these are necessary to prevent fungal or bacterial contamination.
Although health organizations are distributing vaccines which led to increased access to immunization programs, a reduction of 79% from the fatalities was made. While these existing immunization vaccines are being distributed, they are being improved. Moreover, they are working on a new set of vaccines that fights cancer. It is created to train the body to fight cancer in its early stages of development.
This is an awful fact that 40 percent of the newborns whose mothers did not receive prenatal care are likely to die within 28 days from their delivery.
Prenatal care is a form of counseling regarding pregnancy, regular physical checkups, laboratory tests, and preparations for the delivery. A lack of these prenatal procedures can have a great impact on the health and well-being of the child and mother.
Vital topics are being discussed with women who thought of getting pregnant, this is to discuss the physical changes during pregnancy and what to expect from their pregnancy.
Your obstetrician-gynecologist, family doctor, or a midwife is the primary healthcare professionals who can give reliable information on what to expect and plan for pregnancy.
When you are in conception, you should develop good eating habits. Folic acid is recommended to prevent birth defects. Foods that pose risk to the fetus should be avoided, such as undercooked meat, alcohol, fish, seafood, and unpasteurized food. A daily moderate exercise for 30 minutes, however, activities that applies force to the abdomen should be avoided.
Recreational substances, such as tobacco, alcohol, and drugs should not be taken during pregnancy. These can lead to developmental issues, preeclampsia, and placental problems.
Pregnancy is confirmed by the last menstrual period, and the date of delivery will be confirmed through Naegele’s rule. Fetal developments are being monitored.
First trimester: Appetite changes, heightened the sense of smell, frequent urination, morning sickness, mood fluctuations, faster nail and hair growth. It is best to get referrals from professionals and physician who can assist your delivery, have your prenatal checkups. Expect for lifestyle and health counseling. At 12 weeks, the fetus is completely formed, it has arms, legs, genitals, circulatory system, and nails.
Second trimester: You are expected to gain 11 to 54 pounds due to the major fetal growth. During this trimester, increased sex drive, decreased nausea, detectable movements of the fetus, weight gain, and mood fluctuation are evident. It is important to continue monthly prenatal checkups to monitor the fetal development and screenings. At 22 weeks, the fetus has developed its taste buds, skin, hair growth, lung activity and light and auditory responses.
Third trimester: More physical discomforts are being experienced by the mother. By this time, the delivery plans are finalized, the baby will be delivered at any moment as it shifts in the womb to a downward position. The method of delivery will be determined by the child’s position.
If you are wondering, sex is safe throughout pregnancy. However, physical discomfort or a drop in libido may occur. Wait at least six weeks after delivery to let your body rejuvenate and normalize the hormone levels.
Fourth trimester or postnatal care: The phase when the newborn baby and mother is recovering. Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed to boost the immune system and development of the newborn. Postnatal checkups should be done to ensure the development and health of the child.
The human brain is the center of all human activities when psychoactive drugs are introduced into the brain, it can tamper its functionality. Addiction is a condition of the brain that is manifested through compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli amidst negative consequences.
Addiction has been considered to be a disease of the brain that can lead to health consequences. It disrupts the normal and healthy functionality of a person.
The reason why drugs are addicting is it can release 2 to 10 times of the amount of natural dopamine the brain produces, moreover, it lasts longer than these natural neurotransmitters.
Overexposure to drugs can lead to uncontrollable disruption of brain structures and manifests compulsive behavior. When addiction happens, the brain happens to have a chronic and relapsing disease that can be manifested by the person through seeking and using drugs despite it is illegal and harmful.
Diagnosing drug addiction…
The DSM-5 coins substance use disorder, which refers to a scope of use-related conditions. It indicates the extent through the classification of mild, moderate and severe. Addiction happens when the body has adjusted through incorporating the substance into the normal function of the body when the drug that has become dependent is discontinued drug withdrawal may occur. FOSB, a protein that triggers the development of addiction, is the diagnostic marker to diagnose addiction, however, a brain biopsy is required.
Reason Why People Take Drugs
Drugs make you feel good: Psychoactive drugs produce an intense feeling of pleasure due to the increase of happy hormones. There are drugs that can give self-confidence, power, and increased energy, and there are some that can cause satisfaction and relaxation.
Drugs make you feel better: Anxiety, stress, and depression can lead to drug abuse, with their attempt to make their selves feel better.
Curiosity and peer pressure: Due to peer pressure, adolescents engage in daring or risky behaviors to express their independence and to feel their belongingness.
Environmental factors that increase the risk of drug addiction…
Peer pressure, school: Peer pressure can strongly influence the decisions of an adolescent child, moreover, those children that are troubled with their academic performance and inferior social skills are at a high risk for substance abuse.
Home, family: Those children who grew up in a family who has parents or family members that engage in criminal behavior can develop their own risky behavior.
Addiction is a developmental illness, it usually starts in childhood or adolescence.
Other factors that can increase the risk of drug addiction…
Early introduction: Research has proven that those who begin to use drugs in their early years develop serious problems. It poses social and biological defects in the developing brain.
Method of administration: Inhalation or injection can increase the potential of the drug. It can cross the blood-brain barrier immediately.
As it can affect the economy and public health, addiction has pharmacologic and biological-based treatments that are integrated into rehabilitation for addicts. The rehabilitation treatment includes individual and group psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, behavior-modification therapy, residential treatment facilities, and twelve-step programs.
Long before, mental health has been a taboo topic, unworthy of the acknowledgment and discussion of the public. However, the impact of mental illness on the overall health of a person has captured the attention of medical practitioners.
Mental Health is an essential component of public health, we need to have the capacity to cope with the normal stresses of life and can determine his or her self-worth. Unmanaged mental health issues can be associated with social inequalities, unhealthy lifestyle and social inequalities.
It has been a new concern in the public health which involves affective and emotional states, and psychological states. Having a positive mental well-being results positive social and health benefits.
Mental disorders and illness is a common cause of disability that poses an impact on the health and economy. Since the mental health crisis affects the development and management of chronic illness and the development of unhealthy relationships between mental and physical health and social inequalities.
It can influence the onset of the illness, its progression, and behaviors that pose risk to health such as tobacco use, substance abuse, and physical inactivity. It has been discovered that depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
The majority of the people who are diagnosed with mental disorders do not receive the treatment they need even though it is available and effective, this is due to the stigma regarding mental illness. It is a challenge for the public health to determine the risk factors, provide an increase public education and awareness about mental health disorders, eliminate the stigma associated with accepting treatment and improve the services for a mental health crisis.
Depression is estimated to be the second most common cause of disability, it can affect the productivity, power, will, and motivation of the person which can result to unemployment, absenteeism, and lower income. It is associated highly with anxiety and other mental health issues.
Due to unmanaged mental health issues, there is an increased rate of suicide. Suicide has become the second most common cause of teenagers and young adults at the age of 15 to 29. The stigma of suicide, depression and other mental health issues does not have any difference, thus, those who are a committed for public health are faced with the challenge on how to determine those who are suffering and needs immediate attention. Thus, the World Health Organization has made an extra effort to monitor the public health organizations with their data collection and tracking and provided prevention tips to improve suicide education and prevention.
The World Health Organization aims to eliminate the stigma from depression and other mental disorders, they encourage people who are struggling to seek and ask for help.
As there are several barriers that can ignore the importance of mental health, support the efforts of public health organizations to enhance the access of people to the information, care, and treatment for mental health. Let us open our hearts to those who have concerns about mental health, encourage them, educate them, and eliminate the stigma.
Sexual abuse has been a public health issue, it is a challenge to determine who the victims are because some are afraid to speak out. Thus, the government and public health professionals are taking a stand to break the gap between sexual abuse and sexual assaults especially to the children and elderly.
Sexual abuse is sex without consent, it is also known as ‘molestation’, wherein an undesired sexual behavior by a person is received by another person. This sexual activity is not wanted by the victim, thus the culprit used force, made threats, and took advantage of the victims. In sexual abuse, most perpetrators and victims know each other.
Those who commit sexual abuse on a child or younger than the age of consent are referred to as statutory rape or child sexual abuse.
Victims of sexual abuse…
We may ask, how can spouses be a victim of sexual abuse when they are married and right for sexual activities? Sexual abuse of spouses is considered to be domestic violence. It occurs when the violence involves forced sex and threats of unwanted sexual activity.
This occurs when the child is taken for the sexual gratification of an older adolescent or an adult, this is also known as child abuse. Child abuse is not limited to sexual activities, but the perpetrators expose the child to pornography and sexual activities.
This can pose psychological trauma to the child and affect the physical health of the child, which includes depression, shame and self-blame, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual dysfunction, chronic pelvic pain, suicidal ideation, self-injury, and borderline personality disorder.
Those who have offended child sexual abuse are not directly branded as pedophiles, except if they have the primary or exclusive sexual interest of a prepubescent child.
People with developmental abilities
Research has proved that people with developmental abilities have a greater risk of being a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault.
People with dementia
Most people with dementia are elderly people, they are considered to have a high risk of abuse. Due to their ailment, the abused are not considered truthful.
They are one of the people who are at high risk for sexual abuse or assault, due to reluctance and stigma.
Types of sexual abuse…
Contact abuse: It is a sexual activity that involves physical contact, including penetration.
Non-contact abuse: It does not involve physical contact, but it exposes and engages the victim to perform sexual activities through videos or the internet, which includes exploitation. Abusers will then blackmail the victim to send the video or images.
Those who have survived the sexual abuse or assault are referred to as survivors. Those victims that were harmed are brought to the emergency room, where they are given emergency contraceptive medications. Moreover, preventive medications are given for prophylaxis against sexually transmitted disease. Those who have survived that has abrasions are given with tetanus immunizations. Unfortunately, those who have post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, panic attacks and depression are given short-term treatments of benzodiazepine.
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