It has long been recognised the many influences on health; social class, gender, ethnic and regional variations in health all exist in the United Kingdom (Livingston, 1997). Inequalities in health are the result of the physical
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It has long been recognised the many influences on health; social class, gender, ethnic and regional variations in health all exist in the United Kingdom (Livingston, 1997). Inequalities in health are the result of the physical and cultural settings in which people have to live (Whitehead, 1991). The North East of England has one of the highest mortality rates in the country (Department Of Health online, 2004). Following the publication of the National Health Service White Paper: Saving Lives: Our Healthier Nation and Reducing Health Inequalities: an Action Report in July 1999, a new and important focus on the promotion of health and the prevention of ill-health occurred. The role of the health educator in the prevention of ill health is crucial to the aims and objectives of these publications. I am a health educator and intend to plan and design a primary health promotion campaign aimed at men; it will educate men about the signs and symptoms of disease of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in men (Cancer Research, UK 2004) and although there are not yet statistics available regarding prostate cancer in the North East, it has already been identified as one of the countries region with the highest mortality rates due to the inequalities in health. It is for this reason that I shall plan my campaign around the topic of prostate cancer and the health needs of men in the North East.
The health prevention aspect of the model is aimed at prevention of prostate problems such as awareness of diet. Some simple changes to the diet may reduce the risk of developing cancer and other diseases. This is only one of the many changes that individuals can change to help improve their health; other changes can be the increase of exercise or stopping smoking etc. The basic health education message regarding using diet as a health prevention of prostate cancer is: - Avoid fatty foods - decrease saturated fat intake - Eat Red/processed meat 2-3 times a week. - Five portions of fruit and vegetables per day - Include Soya products occasionally in your diet - Do not take vitamin supplements in high doses. - Drink alcohol in moderation, preferably a maximum of three units a day; 1 unit is the equivalent of 1/2 pint of beer or a small glass of wine. Ewles and Simnett (1997) identify five main approaches to health promotion. - The medical approach is aimed at freedom from ill health and disease. - The educational approach is to give information and support to the individual, enabling them to understand health demoting factors. - The behaviour change approach is to encourage the individual to adopt a healthier lifestyle and that would be beneficial to their health. - The client centred approach is to work with clients to help them make their own decisions and choices and act upon them. Self empowerment of the client is central to the approach.
Assessment and valuation of all resources' costs used in the campaign is difficult; as is the evaluation of the health promotion which requires thought, time and a limited amount of resources. Assessment and evaluations are essential to the Health Promotion Campaign as it would enable the health professionals discover which elements were effective and give insight into how other elements of the health promotion campaign can be improved. Kemm (1995) As the cost of the medical procedures i.e. testing, medical staff and treatment would be in the long term vastly greater than that of the Health Promotion. As if a patient was aware of a problem due to the health promotion campaign; he could seek help sooner and have a greater chance of treating the disease and ensuring a healthier life, thus not needing extensive further treatments on a regular basis and therefore not draining the National Health Service funds. I believe that a Primary Health promotion educating the signs and symptoms and the prevention of prostate cancer would be more cost effective than that of medical care that would be needed if a patient were to develop the disease. Prostate cancer has not been publicised as widely as breast cancer. The prostate cancer programme was only started in 2000. Media coverage is still not nearly as sufficient as that of breast cancer. As stated by the Prostate Cancer Charity (online) 2004 during 1996 - 1999 prostate cancer survival was nearly 11% higher than that of 1990 - 1995; this is mainly due to the Prostate Cancer Programme and the prostate-specific testing that is now available.
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