Health Education

Mar 18, 2016 | Articles| Health and Social Care

In California, mid 2015, there was an unparalleled outbreak that damaged the reputation of the happiest place on earth: Disney.

 

The disease that panicked parents across America was nothing less that the common measles. The outbreak started in late December 2014 in one of Disney’s’ parks and rapidly spread to more than 173 cases across the country by March 2015. Even though there were quick angry outbursts from parents and the media blaming the Mickey Mouse Company, research pointed that the outbreak was due to “substandard vaccination”. It was found that MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination rates were as low as 50% of the exposed population (The LA Times, 2015). It wasn’t Mickey Mouse’s fault; rather, it was Uncle Sam’s error.

The outbreak was a consequence of poor health education. Health Education can be defined as information and instruction to persuade the general public to take action and accept responsibility for health improvement (WHO, 1969). The UK Ministry of Health (1964) identified 4 categories of health education:

1. Specific action (for example, vaccination)

2. Habit and attitude change (for example, regular exercise)

3. Education and appropriate use of health services

4. Support for community action

Health Education is a profession that educated people about health through the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health. For the WHO the main objective of health workforce development is to produce sufficient numbers of skilled workers with technical competencies that make them accessible to diverse populations. The NHS as created the Health Education England to support the delivery of excellent

healthcare to the patients in England. Health Education is central to community development and the prevention of incidents such as the measles outbreak. As a health care professional it is your responsibility to ensure information and instruction to all patients of the latest advancements and techniques in healthcare in order to decrease mortality rates and increase longevity.

Andreia Areal