1.6 Finding out what’s going on in your community
Stop reading for a moment and assume that you want to know what are the priority health problems as well as possible resources within your community so that you can carry out your health education planning in the most effective way.
What do you think you could do to find out about the health problems and possible resources in the community you are working with? Bear in mind that we are talking here about the beginning of the process of thinking about these issues.
Diagnosis is the first step that should be used to understand the health problems in your community and is also needed to find resources and work out how to solve those health problems.
The first task for you as a Health Extension Practitioner in your work to change harmful behaviours will be to determine their causes. Just as physicians must diagnose an illness before it can be properly treated, the Health Extension Practitioner should diagnose or understand the behavioural, cultural and social context of her community before it can be properly changed.
If the causes of the unhealthy behaviours are understood by you this will be crucial to be able to intervene with the most appropriate and efficient combination of education, reinforcement and motivation.
1.5 Health promotion