Promotion of health consists of an apprehension between programming frameworks. Health promotion begins with community empowerment where important issues concerning a certain group or individual are addressed. Community empowerment also deals with involvement of particular groups of people in activities and issues that are specified by health agencies it its efforts to promote disease prevention. Generally, community empowerment helps promote health by working as an instrument aimed towards health behavioral change in the community through focusing on particular defined groups of individuals. Thus community empowering entails the identification of important health related issues in a group of people or the community at large and identifying solutions to such issues. Such solutions may include programs such as substance abuse prevention programs. Similarly, community development initiatives are great promoters of health especially those involving efforts to improve the lives of the community members such as anti-poverty and housing projects. Additionally, community empowerment gives much attention to the marginalized groups of people since they hardly understand health related issues or have no means to promote their own health.
Community health nursing can utilize community empowerment in several ways to promote and improve health amongst community members. By participating in group works or other organizations, community health nurses can be in a better position to define and address many health issues. By participating in empowerment projects, community health workers are able to involve the community in problem identification and solution enactment thus promoting sense of determination to the community (Laverack and Labonte 2000, p. 1). Similarly, community health nurses can get involved in community empowerment by offering and participating in leadership since such issues require strong leadership bases. Examples of groups helping improve health in the community are the Georgia better health care program which works under Medicaid with the aim of improving primary health care and the World Health Organization (WHO) which aims at improving health through improved nutrition.
The three leading health indicators according to healthy people 2010 are physical activity, mental health/state and substance abuse. It is very important these indicators as they form the basis under which health improvement can be achieved. This is because they reflect the major health issues and thus they make it much easier for health program planners to identify and thus address such health issues. Health indicators were selected to help give a better understanding of the importance of promoting health through control and prevention of diseases. In addition they are meant to encourage more and more participation of individuals, groups and organizations in the process of improving health (Health and human services.2011, p. 1).
However efficient the health indicators may seem, some challenges are faced when such indicators are being addressed. Such barriers such as age patterns among individuals, gender and race, time trends and environmental factors may hinder the accurate identification of the health indicators. In such cases, it gets more difficult to identify and differentiate a health indicator and other personal behaviors due to environmental factors and the other factors mentioned above. However, by participating in health programs, community health nurses can assist program planners and policy makers differentiate the actual health indicators from the normal and environmental factors. By interacting with the community members, the community health nurses are in better positions to identify the particular health indicators associated with a certain group of people since the indicators may differ from community to community. This way, better and efficient addressing of health issues is ensured.
Health and human services. (2011). Healthy people 2010 leading health indicators. Web.
Laverack, G. and Labonte, R. (2000). A planning framework for community empowerment goals within health promotion. Web.