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History of Health Promotion in Global context | Historical development of Health Promotion

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Health promotion has its roots from the early origin of human population but health promotion as a scientific discipline emerged in 1970s.

  • In Global context, the history of health promotion illustrates some of the complexities and issues that promotion continues to face today.
  • Health promotion as a scientific discipline emerged in 1970s 
  • Health Promotion was rooted in much early origin back to 19th century and beyond

Concept of Health Promotion

Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health ( WHO 1948).

Health promotion-Early origins

  • A search for origins of health promotion and education leads to the earliest civilization.
  • The writing of the Babylonians, Egyptians, and Old Testament indicates that various health promotion techniques in relation to shelter, food, water, safety were utilized
  • There were community systems to collect rainwater or provide safe drinking water.
  • There were various sewage disposal methods including the use of earth closets.
  • Personal Cleanliness was advocated .Intoxication was recognized as troublesome.
  • Dietary restrictions were numerous and various sanitary restrictions governed the supply and preparation of food.
  • In most Early Civilizations, health and religion overlapped .Organized religion sponsored many of the earliest health care facilities and practitioners of healing arts.
  • In some civilizations , the first temples were also the first hospitals. Regardless of the motivation, religious practitioners desire to improve the health and well being of others has been a powerful force in the history of medicine ,health education and health promotion.

History Of Health Promotion in Global Context 

History of health promotion can be studied under the following three phases ;

Phase I ; Nineteenth century 

  • Environmental sanitation measures was applied to prevent diseases
  • Wastes from slaughter house was managed 
  •  John snow performed epidemiological investigation of cholera outbreak to discover the cause of disease to prevent reccurrence. He sketched the spot map and pointed out the sources of drinking water to illustrate the  outbreak and thearea affected by cholera epidemic.

Social Control;

  • Political leaders developed Public health policies
  • Notification of infectious diseases
  • Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases( STDs)

Phase II; 1900-1970

Social Hygiene;

  • Social influence on public health 
  • activities was done to encourage focus on preventive medicine
  • Attempts made to encourage breastfeeding,higher standard of housing
  • Major Focus was on Mother and child health

Phase III; 1970 to Present 

Social Medicine;

  • Social Medicine developed in Britain in 1930s to 1940s 
  • Identified behaviours Tobacco,smoking,diet as as risk factor for developing disease like lung cancer.

Health Promotion 

  • WHO established in 1948AD and carrried out different health promotional activities .
  • The Declaration of Alma-Ata was adopted at the International Conference on Primary Health Care, Almaty, Kazakhstan, 6–12 September 1978. It expressed the need for urgent action by all governments, all health and development workers, and the world community to protect and promote the health of all people.
  • In 1977, the thirtieth World Health Assembly decided that the main health related goals of government and the World Health Organisation in the coming decades should be directed at ensuring that all the people of world attain a level of health that would permit them to lead socilally and economically productive lives.
  • This became known as as the Global Strategy for Health for All by the Year 2000(HFA 200).The significant features of HFA 2000 was the recognition that the main determinants of health lay outside the health sector-namely food, water, sanitation, housing, employment etc.

International Conferences on Health Promotion

International Conference on health Promotion Ontario,Canada (19860)

In 1986, the first International conference on Health promotion was held in ottawa, Canada.The Ottawa charter for health promotion outlined five areas in which health promotion action should be directed;

  1. Building healthy public policy
  2. Creating supportive environment 
  3. Strengthening community action
  4. Develop personal skills
  5. Re-orient health services 

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