10 Major Importance of Health Education


10 Major Importance of Health Education

Health education is a social science that draws from the biological, environmental, psychological, physical and medical sciences to promote health and prevent disease, disability and premature death through education-driven voluntary behavior change activities.

Health education is the development of individual, group, institutional, community and systemic strategies to improve health knowledge, attitudes, skills and behavior.

The purpose of health education is to positively influence the health behavior of individuals and communities as well as the living and working conditions that influence their health.

Health education is any combination of learning experiences designed to help individuals and communities improve their health, by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes. It is one strategy for implementing health promotion and disease prevention programs. Health education provides learning experiences on health topics.

Health education strategies are tailored for their target population. Health education presents information to target populations on particular health topics, including the health benefits/threats they face, and provides tools to build capacity and support behavior change in an appropriate setting. 

Components include social health, emotional health, physical activity, illness prevention, goal setting, and personal values.

The history of organized modern health education goes back just a few decades. However, the entire field of health education and promotion has been around for millennia in one shape or another. The roots of health education lie with the ancient Greeks. These guys were super smart. They were the first people to, at least partially; realize that a person's health was not influenced by some supernatural mumbo jumbo and that things like a person's activities, environment, and diet played a role in diseases. 

Inasmuch, the ancient Greeks organized concepts related to public health policy, education, and the development of skills related to promoting an individual's and a community's health.

In terms of a contemporary view, health education in its modern form started to come into existence around the 1970s, with the creation of the President's Committee on Health Education. This was created by none other than President Richard Nixon.

Thereafter, more important developments began to occur, including the creation of a National Center for Health Education in 1975, as well as the creation of the Department of Education and the modern version of the Department of Health and Human Services around 1980.

Thus began the true modern era of health education in the U.S.


What is Health Education?

Health education is the set of philosophies and methodologies that educate the general public, healthcare practitioners, and communities about anything related to health. It draws from disciplines that include biology, environmental science, ecology, psychology, physical science, and medical science. It is used to promote good health as well as prevent disease, disability, and early death. 

Health education encourages voluntary behavioral changes and positive influences. It can happen at the individual, group, institutional, community, or systemic level. It attempts to address attitudes, behaviors, and skills that can improve wellness. In order to have a healthy society, organizations should focus on health education. This is because it gives citizens the idea of what it’s like to be healthy. 

In addition, it’s a good strategy to inform them of the risks they can experience if they don’t take health seriously.

Here’s a quick rundown of platforms you can use to promote health education, Seminars, Webinars, Workshops, Lectures, Classes and Social media


Major Characteristics of Health Education Approaches

a)  Completion of a community needs assessment to identify community capacity, resources, priorities, and needs.

b) Ensuring proficiency of program staff, through training, to maintain fidelity to the program model.

c) Implementation of programs with integrated, well-planned curricula and materials that take place in a setting convenient for participants.

d) Participation of the target population.

e) Planned learning activities that increase participants’ knowledge and skills.

f)  Presentation of information with audiovisual and computer based supports such as slides and projectors, videos, books, CDs, posters, pictures, websites, or software programs.


Major Importance of Health Education

1. Health Education Teaches about Physical, Mental, Emotional and Social Health: In an era where illicit drugs is wreaking havoc on mental health and families, effective drug education is important because young people are faced with many influences to use both licit and illicit drugs.

Education can play a counterbalancing role in shaping a normative culture of safety, moderation, and informed decision making. Education about substance abuse is an important part of helping individuals understands the many aspects of this topic.

This information can include factual data about what substance abuse is, warning signs of addiction, information about how alcohol and specific drugs affect the mind and body, the consequences that addiction can have on one’s physical and mental health, family, relationships, and other areas of functioning and how and why substances are abused.

2. Health Education has a Positive Impact on Finances and the Economy: Health education can also boost a community’s economy by reducing healthcare spending and lost productivity due to preventable illness. Obesity and tobacco use, for example, cost the United States billions of dollars each year in healthcare costs and lost productivity.

3. Health Education Improves learning and Cognition: Education impacts on health in two ways; firstly through teaching that enables children to learn specifically about health (often known as skills based health education) and secondly through the educational process as a whole which provides skills such as critical thinking and making choices that enable children to opt for healthy lifestyles. The impact of the latter is seen particularly in the overall impact of education on the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Health Education in school and other learning opportunities outside the classroom build skills and foster traits that are important throughout life such as hygiene, conscientiousness, perseverance, a sense of personal control, flexibility, the capacity for negotiation, and the ability to form relationships and establish social networks. 

These skills can help with a variety of life’s challenges from work to family life and with managing one’s health and navigating the health care system.

4. It motivates People to Improve and Maintain their Health: The importance of health education impacts many areas of wellness within a community, including; chronic disease awareness and prevention, maternal and infant health promotion, tobacco use and substance abuse prevention, injury and violence prevention, mental and behavioral health promotion, nutrition, exercise and obesity prevention and the reduction of risky behaviors. 

Health education can also lead to more accurate health beliefs and knowledge, and thus to better lifestyle choices, but also to better skills and greater self-advocacy.

Education improves skills such as literacy, develops effective habits, and may improve cognitive ability

5. Health Education Builds Knowledge, Skills, and Positive Attitudes about Health: Health education encourages people to learn new skills they will use to make healthy choices throughout their lifetime. Resulting in positive changes in behavior and attitudes that are critical in risk reduction especially among young people, students and vulnerable population.

Sexuality education, as a part of health education, is vital for young people’s development, learning, and overall well­being. Learning in this area also contributes to academic success and positive mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.

6. Health Education Makes LIVE Longer Life: People want to have a longer healthy life. Hence, it’s important to put emphasis on living a lifestyle with a proper diet and healthy routine. You can achieve longevity if you decide to live healthy by adopting new healthy habits. Joining a fitness club and nutrition classes are some ways to form this kind of habit.

7. Health Education Help to Prevent Diseases: It is no secret that if we do not want to get sick, we need to make an effort to take care of our overall health. Thus, if you want to prevent diseases such as high cholesterol, diabetes, heart diseases and chronic pain, a healthy lifestyle is the key.

8 Health Education help to Achieve Better Immunity: Staying active helps you stay in shape, manage your weight, boost immunity, and increase your energy level. If you want to stay healthy, you need to make an effort to eat healthy food and exercise regularly.

9. Health Education Improve Mood:  Having a healthy lifestyle fuels you to be energetic. This boosts your mood and confidence. Plus, when you’re feeling healthy, you can have a better outlook in life because you have the strength to face and overcome stress. 

10. Health Education Improve and Boost EnergyAs mentioned earlier, when you take care of your overall health, it will boost your energy. You can achieve this by having a balanced diet, doing regular exercise, and sleeping right.


Purpose of Health Education

Health education combines and integrates knowledge from many different scientific disciplines.

It encourages positive attitudes toward healthy choices and changes.

It provides the skills and knowledge to form lifelong habits.

Health education is about more than just improving the life or health of one person. 

If one person changes their habit those around them are likely to observe and possibly improve their health. 

Parents can teach their children healthy habits to prevent future illnesses. 

If an individual is healthier, they save money on health care, have better work habits, and spend money throughout the economy on aspects such as entertainment, travel, lifestyle, and other needs, rather than health costs on preventable illnesses and diseases. 

If a family is healthier, they have the same benefits as individuals. The kids can attend school regularly; they can spend money on toys and activities that might otherwise be spent at hospitals or on medication.

At the community level, this can reduce the burden on doctors, clinics, hospitals, and workplaces.

The cost of illness is high both financially and in terms of human resources. 

A shortage of doctors, nurses, and other specialists is less likely among a generally healthy population. These concepts scale up to the state, national, and world levels. 

Preventing premature deaths, avoiding preventable illnesses and diseases, and maintaining a healthy population is a benefit to all levels of society.


The Importance of Health Education

As previously stated, health education promotes a healthy lifestyle and raises awareness about the importance of health. This can be done when professionals take part in educating people on what they can do to have a healthier life. Health education doesn’t just happen in schools.

There are many groups that offer free seminars to rural areas aiming to reach communities so that they can benefit from being informed about health. Moreover, there are professionals, especially educators, who take time to study the health needs of the community to give proper intervention.

When citizens are well-informed about the importance of health education, they could have a healthier life. This results in fewer patients in the hospital. Public health centers and hospitals will not be too crowded. There won’t be scarcity of free medicines. 

Additionally, people will have the ability to work, which is a big help to the economy.


Often Asked Questions

What is health education and why is it important?

Health education is giving people the skills, tools, and knowledge to live healthier. It has been proven to reduce early death, preventable diseases, and it is cheaper than treating the illnesses it prevents.


What are examples of health education?

Health education is everything from signs reminding someone to wash hands in the bathroom to courses on advanced nutrition. 

It can happen at the personal level or the community level.

It can be in advertising and workplace incentive programs.


What are the Ways to Promote Health Education?

Plan learning activities for street children and mothers in the community Provide information on ways to have healthy habits Do a needs analysis in order to identify the resources the community needs Implement programs that raise awareness on the importance of health education Organize lectures and seminars to keep the citizens educated on facts about health.


How Important is Health Education in Nigerian Schools?

The following facts highlight the importance of health education in Nigerian schools:

1. A lot of health challenges that occur later in life are caused by a lack of information on healthy living by both parents and students

2. Preventable or treatable infectious diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and HIV/AIDS account for more than 70 per cent of the estimated one million under-five (5) deaths in Nigeria

3. Malnutrition is the underlying cause of morbidity and mortality of a significant proportion of children under-5 in Nigeria

4. It accounts for more than 50 per cent of deaths of children in this age bracket

5. Lack of proper and prior knowledge of a child about his or her health could subsequently lead to death.


Why is Health Education Important?

1. Health education improves the health status of individuals, families, communities, states, and the nation.

2. Health education enhances the quality of life for all people.

3. Health education reduces premature deaths.

4. By focusing on prevention, health education reduces the costs (both financial and human) that individuals, employers, families, insurance companies, medical facilities, communities, the state and the nation would spend on medical treatment.


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