The summative assignment will explore and examine the preparation, implementation and evaluation of one off awareness event. It will analyse the process of health education in terms of teaching methods and learning theories experienced by both facilitators and participates. The subject promoted to raise awareness was sexual transmitted infection Chlamydia. The rational as to why this subject was chosen was to increase knowledge importance of safe sex health education within the targeted group and hopefully change in sexual behaviours. The session not only raises awareness on the subject of Chlamydia but also looked at preventative measures.
The targeted audience involved were University students aged 18 to 24 years. The awareness event took place in the student forum hall within Middlesex University Hendon campus. Chlamydia trachomatis (STI) is the most prevalent bacterial sexual transmitted infection in the western world and the most notifiable in UK (DoH 2007). According to Health Protection Agency (2008) rates of Chlamydia infection increasing world wide and UK and notification rates quadrupled from 1999 to 2008. NationalAuditOffice (2009) indicates that infection is concentrated in youth with approximately 80% of notifications being among those aged 15 to 25 years.
Chlamydia infection is asymptomatic and can cause significant morbidity particularly for women. The promotion of sexual health is a legitimate role for health professional and is an essential health promotion functions (Ingram-Forgel 1990). Winaship and Peuchey (2000) supports Ingram-Forgel statement by saying with direct targeted group health promotion facilitators are ideally placed to carry out this vital educational role. There was more to this than just giving out leaflets with information about Chlamydia and safe sex. There is a need to be a coherent plan that could be adapted to meet individual needs .
Winship and Peachery (2000) state that “the education is not to kill the subject by making it sterile or by overstressing the seriousness of the possible consequences of unprotected sex”. In this case it was to raise awareness and educate the students about Chlamydia and its effects without causing fear. There was the need to have a one off event in raising awareness as it was the start of year for new student from various location of the world some not aware of sexual infections and how they may be acquired. Therefore health promotion students were best placed for this form of health promotion and education.
This is supported by Bettie (1989) model of education cited in by Nadioo (2004) illustrating that more likely the transmission of information to individual perceived to live in ignorance of it in this case students and the creation of trusting relationships with other students so that they will be more likely to adopt the advice given to them. To enable facilitators to develop a coherent plan of health education promotion the participants (students) were guided by health promoter to consider potential problems and actual problems in sexual activities.
It was important to assess what safer sex and Chlamydia means to the participants as it might mean different things to different people. They maybe too embarrassed to confess that they have little knowledge of Chlamydia or the correct way of using protection. (Sutton and Payne ,1996). This empowers the participants to identify their own need felt and expressed needs Bradshaw 1972 aired by Naidoo & Will 2004). Once defined this allowed the health promoters to devise ways of meeting the needs.
Rogers (1986); Amstrong (1982) (cited by Naidoo and Wills 2004) suggests that by identifying the participants needs enables the health promoter to retain power and control rather empowering the participants. The author disputes this as needs are something that participants can benefit. Needs are something that they want rather than something dictated by the health promoter. The participants verbalised their needs as wanting to be free from Chlamydia and to be more aware of preventative measures. Roger (2000) sees the statement as a guiding in planning the health education as the aim, goals and objective are defined.
The aim needed to be broad statement outlining what the health promoters were trying to achieve. Therefore the aim was to promote sexual health through Chlamydia awareness and safe sex practice whereas the goal of the teaching at the event was to discuss to participants methods of using safe sex measures. Ewles and Simmett (2003) suggest that the objective suppose to be obtainable and relevant, therefore the objective was for the students to discuss the potential hazards associated with unsafe sexual practices which in this case Chlamydia.
Naidoo and Wills (2009) therefore points out the important of health promoters to identify motivational stages which enables the health promotion models to be utilised. Two stages of health promotion approaches “behaviour” change and “educational” were utilised out of the five in efforts to meet participant’s needs. These approaches are designed and used to help participates to change attitude and behaviours in favour of healthier sexual life style.
Subsequently this allowed the participants to have had clear understanding of Chlamydia infection and allowed them to explore their own attitudes and beliefs. (Naidoo and Wills 2004). In approaching student during the event discussing and demonstrated the benefits and correct use of condoms Naidoo and Wills (2009) sees this as means or key to improve sexual behaviours. In support Ewles and Simnett (2000) sees this as empowering participants in making informed decisions and therefore hopefully behaviour change achieved.
The behaviour approach appeared to be quite straight forward but Naidoo and wills (2009) pointed out that change in behaviour by participants may only becomes self evident after a long period of time and secondly any changes realised may be difficult to attribute to the health promotion. Educational approach was to provide the participants with enough information and sufficient skills for them to make informed choices about their health behaviour (Naidoo and Wills 2009). An example is when we discussed with the participants the routes of transmission of Chlamydia and preventative measures.
This approach was well promotion suited to this form of health education. The health promoter provides information available to participants for example on up to date leaflets and therefore participants were able to explore their own values and attitudes hence the empowerment of participants to make their decision (Naidoo and Wills 2004). Ewles and Simmett (2003) urge health promoters when using these approaches to acknowledge and respect the rights to choose their own health behaviours. It was necessary to implement these approaches by bringing them together ith educational teaching model suitable for health promotion therefore the model by Bloom (1968) (cited by (2000) was used. Sexual health education can be defined according by WHO (2002) as a effort aimed at producing positive changes in attitudes in health and seeking behaviours on sexual transmitted infections and prevention. Sutton and Payne (1997) suggest that education and learning in sexual health be considered within a group setting participants learn from other’s question and answers especially the shy or inhibited.
However Naidoo and Wills (2009)in support of the main stem of Bloom’s Taxonomy true learning involves cognitive theories which are concerned with an increase level of knowledge hence behaviour theories is for attitudes and beliefs whilst psychomotor theories concerned of skills acquisition and competence. Miller and Bor (1991) suggests for health promoters to be comfortable discussing the subject of Chlamydia and safe sex often in a frank fashion with the participants. The primary task of the event was to assess the knowledge and level of understanding from the targeted population in ways Chlamydia may be acquired.
Nicklin and Kemworth (2000) recognise such situation as demanding an equal and non-judgemental relationship between health promoter and participant. Knowles(1973 cited in Kicklin and Kenworthy (2000) suggests that this allows the participants to learn through experience and accomplishment and build on existing experience and knowledge. This was achieved through a basic verbal question and answer scenario. Walking (1990) realises that this the thought processes of the participants and identifies key factors inherent to the problems.