Health Promotion & Education
An understanding of RHD and the associated causal factor, appropriate treatment, supplemental care, and potential outcomes are prerequisite for vulnerable populations. The health promotion and education component of RR has been designed using proven health behavior theoretical models with specific constructs that produced a valid and reliable method for program development and evaluation. Target populations include the at-risk population, children age 5-15 years; caregivers, such as parents or family members; community leaders, such as school administrators and teachers; and governmental leaders, such as national health sector officials and local, indigenous medical personnel.
Education is one way we can make lasting change. We have developed an entertaining but informative classroom presentation for children age five to fifteen, all in their own language and adapted to their culture. The presentation includes a puppet show story depicting what children should do when they have a sore throat. Coloring books with this same story are provided with take-home messages about sore throats and rheumatic heart disease. Songs have been written and put with tunes designed to stay in the childrens’ memories. Students from the Life Sciences at Brigham Young University perform the puppet show and teach these songs to each classroom. Meanwhile, parents and teachers are educated by the local health professionals about signs and symptoms of rheumatic heart disease, its prevention, and treatment. Posters with this information are left at each school for future reference.