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Distractions to Health Promotion Efforts

However, despite such strengths, we are losing the power of health promotion due to three current distractions. The first one is lifestyle drift. It means we tend to focus on individual lifestyle change for health promotion, instead of restricting upstream unhealthy actions, such as actions taken by fast food industry, tobacco industry, and others. Resilience is another distraction. By this, we tend to strengthen individual’s abilities to withstand adverse situations, although structural causes making us less resilient. We tend to forget about these structural causes. The last one is innovation. This is one of the most favorite word by many researchers and industries, or even by policy makers. However, for health promotion, it is not always supported.
Usually, it takes time to see visible outcome in health promotion intervention. Sometimes, however, a newcomer comes with money and power, and wants to do something new in the middle of successful intervention under the name of innovation. And it may distract ongoing successful health promotion interventions. And this innovation favors people are coming to low-income countries, very free country. In summary, because of these three distractions, these two key strategies of health promotion, build health public policy or create supportive environments, they may not work well. We should be very careful. As Winslow mentioned, the goal of health promotion is not only to prevent diseases but also to go beyond it.
The Ottawa Charter clearly mentioned that health is seen as a resource for everyday life, and not the objective of living. This is very important message for us. In 2005, the Bangkok Charter also suggests the importance of quality of life and well-being as potential goals of health promotion. Suppose a person gets lung cancer, and underwent a surgery to remove it. Rehabilitation will start soon, and he will be healthier but may not reach the healthy level before the surgery. Still, even if he had lost the right lung, by using the remaining healthy lung, he can use his health for everyday life as a resource, and can achieve quality of life and well-being. This is the power of health promotion.
So in summary, health is not a single goal over health promotion. It seeks much higher values.

Dr Jimba introduces the 3 distractions we face while implementing HP.

He explains how seemingly positive characteristics, like innovation and resilience, can actually hinder HP. Continuing from the previous step, Dr Jimba explains how the Ottawa Charter sees ‘Health’ as not an objective, but a resource. He also mentions The Bangkok Charter, and how both charters believe that the goal of HP extends beyond health itself, to include quality of life (QOL), and overall wellbeing.

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Capacity Building: Core Competencies for Health Promotion

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