Principles Of Health Education

Health Hygiene & Sanitation

Lesson 47 : Health Education

Principles Of Health Education


  1. Credibility
  2. Interest
  3. Participation
  4. Motivation
  5. Comprehension
  6. Reinforcement
  7. Learning by doing
  8. Known to unknown
  9. Setting an example
  10. Good human relations
  11. Feedback
  12. Leaders


  1. It is the degree to which the message to be communicated is perceived as trustworthy by the receiver
  2. Good health education must be consistent and compatible with scientific knowledge and also with the local culture, educational system and social goals


  1. Health teaching should be related to the interests of the people
  2. Health programme should be based on the “FELT NEEDS”, so that it becomes “people’s programme
  3. Felt needs are the real health needs of the people, that is needs the people feel about themselves


  1. A high degree of participation tends to create a sense of involvement, personal acceptance and decision –making
  2. It provides maximum feedback
  3. The Alma- Ata Declaration states “The people have a right and duty to participate individually and collectively in the planning and implementation of their health care”
  4. Health programmers are unlikely to succeed if community participation is not an integral part


  1. In every person, there is a fundamental desire to learn. Awakening this desire is called motivation
  2. Two types of motives
    1. primary motives-are driving forces initiating people into action
    2. secondary motives –are created by outside forces or incentives
  3. Need for incentives is a first step in learning to change
  4. Incentives may be positive or negative
  5. Main aim of motivation is to change behavior
  6. Motivation is contagious: one motivated person may spread motivation throughout a group


  1. Health educator must know the level of understanding, education and literacy of people to whom the teaching is directed1
  2. Always communicate in the language people understand .
  3. Teaching should be within the mental capacity of the audience.


  1. Repetition of message at intervals is necessary
  2. If the message is repeated in different ways, people are more likely to remember it.

Learning by doing

  1. The importance of learning by doing can be best illustrated by the Chinese proverb “if I hear, I forget; if I see, I remember; if I do, I know”

Known to unknown

We must proceed

  • “from the concrete to the abstract”
  • “from the particular to the general”
  • “from the simple to the more complicated”
  • “from the easy to more difficult”
  • “from the known to unknown”

Here health communicator uses the existing knowledge of the people as pegs on which to hang new knowledge


  1. The health educator can modify the elements of the system (e.g., message, channels) in the light of feedback from his audience
  2. For effective communication, feedback is of paramount importance.


  • Leaders are agents of change and they can be made use of in health education work.
  • The attributes of a leader are;
    • He understands the needs and demands of the community
    • Provides proper guidance, takes the initiative, is receptive to the views and suggestions of the people;
    • Identifies himself with the community;
    • Selfless, honest, impartial, considerate and sincere;
    • Easily accessible to the people;
    • Able to control and compromise the various factors in the community;
    • Possesses the requisite skill and knowledge of eliciting cooperation and achieving coordination of the various official and non-official organizations.
Last modified: Friday, 27 April 2012, 12:37 PM