Health Promotion and Disease Prevention:
Training for Teachers

WiRED Releases Module for Community Health Workers

BY ALLISON KOZICHAROW; EDITED BY BERNICE BORN

Good health starts with knowledge applied in our homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods and communities. What are good health practices, and how can we promote them?

 

WiRED International now offers a module on health promotion and disease prevention, written especially as a guide for community health workers (CHWs). The training provides a structure for CHWs to use in their roles as community educators. CHWs learn about modifiable risk behaviors, health programs, interventions and how to implement healthy practices at the individual, family and community levels.

 

This module encourages healthy behaviors through the promotion of good nutrition and a healthy diet, physical activity, general hygiene, dental hygiene and health literacy. This advice also includes avoiding tobacco, getting recommended immunizations and screening tests, and seeing a healthcare professional when sick.

 

In addition, WiRED’s training module discusses the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) — that is, the economic, social, cultural and political conditions in which people are born, grow and live that affect their health status. Some harmful factors include unstable housing, low income, unsafe neighborhoods and substandard education.

 

The rise of chronic diseases among children and adults is a concern worldwide. (See earlier story on WiRED’s Module on Noncommunicable Diseases.) Health promotion and disease prevention are essential in order to lower risk factors that cause cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and type 2 diabetes.

 

WiRED believes that good health emerges from a community collaboration between families, neighbors, healthcare providers, schools, work sites and policymakers. CHWs, when trained about good health practices, can promote and improve the overall health of their communities.

 

 

 

 

Definitions


Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over their health and improve it. This process includes moving beyond individual behavior toward social and environmental interventions.

Disease prevention is not only the prevention of disease, such as reducing risk factors, but also the slowing and even reversal of the progress of disease and its consequences.

Wellness is a person’s attitudes and active decisions that contribute to positive health behaviors and outcomes. Wellness means understanding that a healthy body supports a healthy mind and vice versa. The goal of wellness is to reach a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.

 

 

WiRED’s Community Health Worker Training Program



Physician density varies widely among countries, with around 500 doctors per 100,000 people at the high end and 3 per 100,000 at the low end. The lowest physician counts are usually found in the poorest regions of Africa, parts of the Middle East, South Asia and segments of Latin America. With doctors and nurses absent or scarce, people are left alone to heal the sick, deliver children and address chronic illnesses, all with skills uninformed by effective medical practices.

 

CHW services are wide and varied and differ from place to place. A lingering problem is how to train CHWs with a standard curriculum while adapting to local differences in health conditions, cultural norms, government requirements and resource availability.

 

We are now developing the curriculum and we will soon research a comprehensive CHW training program for low-resource communities. It will provide an adaptable CHW training program that offers a core curriculum augmented by tools to meet local needs. Further, it will provide a continuing health education program, enabling CHWs to stay abreast of current trends and to remain informed if outbreaks should occur.

 

 

Quiz Taken from WiRED’s Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Module

1. Working at the __________ level promotes healthy living, helps prevent chronic diseases, and brings the greatest health benefits to the greatest number of people in need.

 a. Community
 b. Individual
 c. Workplace

2. __________ offer the ideal environment(s) to learn and practice healthy eating and physical activity.

 a. Churches
 b. Schools
 c. Workplaces
 d. All of the above

3. Successful health promotion programs will identify and draw upon community __________.

 a. Strengths
 b. Gangs
 c. Movie theaters

 

 


You can download the module mentioned in this story, and all 400+ of WiRED’s health modules, through WiRED’s Health Module Access Program (HealthMAP) by clicking here. This easy-to-use free program will enable you to create your own customized collection of health learning modules. You can learn more about HealthMAP through WiRED's animation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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