Running head: ADVOCACY PLAN  1
Step1: Defining the issue
Theimpact of health education on individuals’ health andorganizational and socio-economic factors
Breakdownof the problem
Manyfactors affect individuals’ health and the general communitieswhether individuals are healthy or not that depends on thecircumstances and environment in which they live. Factors such asgenetics, income, and level of education and relationship individualshave with the environment have a great impact on health. As such,blaming or discrediting people for poor health is inappropriate.There are several determinants of individuals’ health such asphysical environmental, genetics, level of health education, income,health services and availability of supportive social networks.Opportunities for good health and health services are greatlyaffected by social-economic conditions in which they live.
Healtheducation is an important aspect in determining the overall health ofan individual as well as that of the community. Education benefitstranscend those of economics to that of creating safer, cohesive andhealthier societies. At individual level, health education isessential as the knowledge, social and personal skills learnedthrough health education help equip the individuals with access andapplication of information learned to maintain, improve individualand communal health. As such, improved health education facilitatesin intervention measures and improving individual and populationhealth. There exist great inequalities in health education, and thisleads to continued health disadvantage of particular individuals inthe community (McCray,2005).
Studiesindicate that, several inequalities in health education mirror thoseof individual and community health inequalities. In most communitieshealth is not experienced equally by all people there existsignificant gradient between different socioeconomic groups. Asubstantiated body of evidence indicates that individuals with lowerlevels of health education are likely to have ill health and dieyoung. Therefore, improving health education outcomes among thedisadvantaged group has the potential to impact positively on theprevailing health inequalities.
Goals(Whatam trying to convince the government on)
Oneobjective of this advocacy plan for health education is to provide aclear, interpretable and convincing rationale on why investing inhealth education is critical in promoting individual health,community health and reducing health inequality in the society. Inaddition, this advocacy plan seeks to influence and convince thegovernment that investment in public health education is key toimproving individuals and the community health. Lastly, the advocacyplan is aimed at informing debate on the salient health gaps createdby inefficient health education and in so doing influence publicpolicy on health locally and nationally.
Step2: Target audience (Government and health policy makers)
Theaudience of this advocacy plan is primarily aimed at the governmentwho are key policy makers in health as a part of informing thenecessity of investing in health education using the limitedresources to improve individuals’ health and solve other socialeconomic issues.
Step3 Message points
Healtheducation is vital for individuals, community and governmentwellbeing. There is urgency for government to invest more on healtheducation. Research indicates that individuals who have adequatehealth education are physically active and engage in healthybehaviors. There are many similarities between individuals’ healthstatus for those with low health education and lower social-economicgroups. Individuals with adequate knowledge on health education arelikely to engage in activities that improve health. Severalresearches have proved that individuals health, life expectancy andmortality rates are linked to the level of health education held byindividuals. For instance, a cross-country study done in Europerevealed that people with low education reported poor general healthas well as functional limitations(McCray, 2005).
Mostpeople with low or no health education engages in poor diet andhealth behaviors such as substance abuse. Individuals with healtheducation gain knowledge of health conditions and treatments, haveself-management skills than those who do not. Limited health literacyis associated with high rates of hospitalization, increased healthcosts and greater use of health care services. Health education hasstrong influences on other aspects such as employment and earnings ofindividuals. The overall effect is that, inadequate health educationleads to health inequality and perpetuate other socioeconomicinequalities. Low health-literate individuals will spend moreresources on healthcare services, and this may lead to poverty,dismissal from the job due to illness (McKenzie, Neiger &Thackeray, 2009).
Individualswho are well schooled may have an upper hand in health education thanthose who due to social-economic inadequacies lacked formal educationand consequently little health education. As such, health educationinvestment by the government is essential to bridge thissocial-economic gap. In the same line, individuals in the lower endof social-economic status may have limited resources to enhance themacquire informational equipment necessary for health education.Therefore, the government needs to invest in health education as partof achieving far-reaching importance in improving individuals’health, community health, improving the socioeconomic conditions ofindividuals and reducing socioeconomic inequality (McCray,2005).
StepFour: Action plan/Delivery Channels/Choosing strategies
Inthis health education advocacy plan, the goal is to inform and stressthe importance of health education to government and important policymakers in the health sector. As such, this advocacy plan intends toengage in a series of activities for the campaign. In particular,public talks will be held in town halls as a way of engaging allstakeholders in convincing the government on the urgency and need toinvest in public health education. The media will also be used forthis advocacy campaign as a way of pressing the government invests inthis noble cause. Furthermore, an advocacy team will be formed tomeet prominent politicians who may have a great influence ongovernment policy regarding health. Occasional public ralliespreceded by politicians would be arranged as well as exhibitionsillustrating the salient dangers of low and unequal health education.Finally, petitions would be organized to press the government ininvesting funds in health education (ALAAdvocacy Institute, 2009).
Stepfive:Tactics / Materials
Publicoutreach materials concerning the need for more funds in healtheducation would be distributed in government offices, media houses,Schools and other social gatherings. These outreach materials willinclude among others flyers, roadside billboards, media adverts withdeveloped messages that include slogans such as, “Health educationnow!” “Reduce health care cost, social inequality throughhealthcare education!” In this case, there will be a timeline ofactivities depending on the campaign mode used for instance, publicrallies will be held every weekend, and media campaign adverts arecontinuously aired throughout the week. Meetings in social halls willbe arranged on weekdays as well as meeting politicians. A team ofadvocacy groups will be assigned to spearhead particular activity sothat the overall campaign runs concurrently for optimum advocacy(ALA Advocacy Institute, 2009).
StepSix: Monitor and Evaluate (outcome measures)
Asthe advocacy campaign progresses, results will be monitored to assessthe if goals aimed are met. Monitoring of the various activities willhelp evaluate any weakness or opportunity that needs more focus. Forinstance, most public outreach will be matched with public days likehealth fairs, world AIDS day, international cancer day among othersto get the message widely heard(McCray, 2005).In the same line, social and political climates will be monitored toassess when advocacy for health education funds can be made. This isimportant in assessing changing political and social threats that mayoppose the recommendation for more government investment in healtheducation (McKenzie, Neiger & Thackeray, 2009).
ALAAdvocacy Institute, (2009).The Advocacy Action PlanWorkbook. ALAAdvocacy.American Library Association. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ala.org/advocacy/sites/ala.org.advocacy/files/content/advleg/advocacyinstitute/Advocacy
McCrayAT. (2005).Promoting health literacy. Journalof American Informatics Association.12:152-63.
McKenzie,J., Neiger, B., Thackeray, R. (2009). Planning,Implementing, & Evaluating Health Promotion Programs.5th edition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education, Inc.