Welcome to the first unit of the Health Promotion for Public Health module. We hope that the module will be stimulating and relevant to your practice.
Health Promotion includes a wide range of strategies aimed at improving people’s health. This is a departure from the earlier emphasis on disease prevention, and as such it has increasingly become part of the responsibility of a range of professionals. This focus on positive health and on prevention has been recognised not only as a cost-effective approach, but also one which responds to the ethics and morality to which our society might aspire.
The process of planning and implementing a Health Promotion programme involves many stages. It also involves different ideological stances and practical approaches. This module guide will take you through a selection of approaches, highlighting the different interpretations at different stages of the development of Health Promotion, and the merits and problems of these interpretations.
This module is based on a case study about Nomhle, a newly appointed Health Promotion Manager to the district of Mfula, given to you as a part of your Reader. In the case study, Nomhle has been given the task of developing a plan for a Health Promotion programme for the district to address the key issues of importance. The case study, School of Public Health (2012), which spells out what she will have to address, is in the accompanying Module Reader. Additional information will be provided as you progress through the Module Guide. The case study will also form the basis of your assignment. Detailed instructions on the Assignment are in Section 3.5 of the Module Introduction.
Unit 1 explores a number of concepts that are fundamental to Health Promotion, as well as some of the debates and dilemmas which have entered the discourse – debates that are inevitable in a growing field. They are also debates that you are likely to encounter in your professional practice. It is therefore important for you to understand them and be able to interact with and contribute to them.
The overall aim of this unit is therefore to introduce you to the current debates and challenges in Health Promotion, and its relationship with related disciplines.
There are three Study Sessions in this unit.
Study Session 1: A Context for Health Promotion
Study Session 2: Global Strategies for Health Promotion
Study Session 3: Current reflections about Health Promotion
In Session 1, we will present an overview of Health Promotion, provide you with an opportunity to consider your thoughts about it, and introduce you to what the literature says. The session will also look at the determinants of ill health, already explored in earlier modules, but this time with the focus on its relevance to Health Promotion. The session also looks at the concept of equity, and its importance in terms of the right to health, fairness and social justice.
Session 2 provides a survey of recent developments in the international field of Health Promotion and presents some of the key debates.
Session 3 serves as a consolidation, preparing you for the more practical components of the module.