Prevention, Paludismo and Potable Water: Health Promotion in Practice
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In an introductory Health Promoter's meeting, the new students were asked to identify factors which influence health. The answers were as diverse as the people present. Those who had poor nutrition cited food, women cited a good marriage and strong children, community leaders mentioned a better road and quicker access to medical care, and those who had traveled outside the community cited education. The conclusion all came to during this exercise was that health is more than medicine, it is the state of well-being of a person, community, and environment. WHO defined health in the 1946 conference as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. This definition is the basis for health promoter programs in rural communities of developing countries. While advances in medical technology and research continue to improve the quality of life globally, getting even the most basic medical care to rural communities in developing countries is hindered by lack of medical personnel, financial constraints, minimal communication and health education as well as geographical isolation. Those who live in rural areas in developing countries often fail to benefit even from programs promised free of charge to all those who need it. They often learn to live without basic medical care because many factors make it inaccessible.