"Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost 1920
“I slept and dreamed that life was a joy. I awoke up and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy” - Rabindranath Tagore
New Updates (Start of new series): Several articles were published on "This week" since July 2018, and remain accessible under Home > Old Items. New series of subjects consolidated into one comprehensive article are listed as published. If you find this site thought provoking, please share it with others and disseminate for the wider good of our planet Earth.
Health Education in Schools. August 9, 2020 (below)
Public Private Partnership and Implementation of the Public Health Action Plan, Nam Theun 2, Laos 2005-2013. 27 July 2020
Spring is here (3 May 2020) Other Interests > Bird Watching > Spring is here...
Hug Farm > Bird watching Under other interests > Bird Watching > Lesser Whistling-ducks in Chiang Mai. (February 2020)
Feel of Srilanka > Other Interests > Travelling (13-27 January, 2020);
Fauna in Srilanks > Other Interests > Bird watching
North Sumatra (November 4, 2019)
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Public Health Consultant
I am a public health physician with special interest in mother and child. Literature is full of evidence that if a girl child is nurtured with love and care, she grows into a woman, who in turn transfers the same love to her children; eventually responsible adults emerge contributing to a just society.
Public health has fascinated me. It is a hobby to me, not just a job. I can't believe I will ever have to retire! The sole purpose of this website is to share my life’s experiences in Public Health with the hope that visitors to site may find some useful information for their own endeavors. An opportunity may also arise for a dialogue on some of the issues and possibility of further development of ideas and the solutions.
I was born and grew up in the Indian Himalayas, studied in Christian Medical College, Vellore, South India. I am fortunate to have worked as a public health consultant in more than 12 countries for the past 46 years. Presently, I work as a public health adviser to Lesotho Highlands Development Authority, Maseru, Lesotho.
I live in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Part of the reason for engaging in this exercise is also to keep my mind occupied with all past experiences; and how it may influence the present and the future, which belongs to the generations to come.
This week: Old Items: Home > Old Items.
Health Education in Schools
Introduction Health illiteracy problem in USA has been described as a silent epidemic. European health literacy survey (HLS-EU) also found that on average, every second person surveyed showed limited health literacy and recommended that health literacy is an important priority on the EU agenda. Low health literacy is associated with worse health care and poorer health outcomes. Mere ability to read and write, does not equate for a measure of individual’s ability to health literacy. A proper health literacy measurement tool should take into account the multitude of social, personal, and cognitive skills that are imperative for proper function within a health-care system. One definition that was adopted by the Health Literacy Conference Report in Europe defines health literacy as the ability to make sound health decisions in the context of everyday life at home, in the community, at the workplace, the healthcare system, the market place and the political arena. According to WHO, “Improving health literacy in populations provides the foundation on which citizens are enabled to play an active role in improving their own health, engage successfully with community action for health, and push governments to meet their responsibilities in addressing health and health equity. Efforts to raise health literacy will be crucial in whether the social, economic and environmental ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are fully realized”.
Health literacy is an integral part of education process and must form an essential part of the curriculum. Young adults lack adequate awareness of the health issues affecting them? Children today, even before they reach school, know all about dinosaurs, can build Lego planes and castles and play complicated games on smart phones. Yet when they pass out from school, they have little knowledge about their bodies, how it functions and about some dangerous diseases that can be prevented by adopting healthy lifestyle. Teenagers know all about sex but pay little attention to its consequences. The education system has disappointingly failed public in preparing educated and informed adults. Beside washing hands after a visit to a toilet or before eating meals, little else is taught to children in schools about health. As a young doctor and interested in health promotion, I was conscious of this fact and organised a school health education programme for a number of schools where I was working. It was a lecture-based programme for high school students, who exhibited remarkable improvements in their knowledge of health issues on completion of the programme. The surveys before and after the programme proved that the knowledge gained about their bodies and health had significantly improved. Lecture-based education may have worked then but may not be the best way to address this problem today, even though there is a potential for young minds to retain the knowledge gained. I am sure some of them would have retained some of the information provided, for the rest of their lives. However, I think there are better ways of doing it and in this interactive age, participatory approach of education may be more productive. Some of the approaches are suggested here, with intention of shifting the responsibility from teachers to the students themselves. Continued on link Health Education in Schools
Discussion on the article is encouraged. This page will continue to discuss public health issues in future articles.