Health promotion enables people to improve their health and gives control over matters that affect the healthy living. In this case, there are many societal issues that bring about challenges in health promotion. Such factors have been recognized, and there are campaigns to eliminate the problems to promote healthcare awareness properly. The primary issue present in almost every community pertains to cultural factors. In this case, the culture of a society affects social participation and income distribution (Blais, 2015).
Culture is often a uniting factor in society, but at the same time, there are divisions between people of a similar culture. For instance, gender roles and classification has been seen as a challenge in health promotion. The opportunities provided for men and women are different due to the predetermined norms inherited from the previous generation. In a majority of communities, the female gender faces challenges, especially in health and education. With less education of the females, they may fail to understand the value of nutrition and hence adopt unhealthy habits. Since it is the women who are mainly tasked with kitchen duty, this implies that the failure to adhere to nutrition will affect the entire family (Eldredge et al., 2016).
Food preferences are a central feature of culture. As per my observation, a majority of the people in my community are frequent consumers of meat and potato products. Such food ranges from French fries, barbeque, burgers, hot dogs, and many other fast-food favorites. It is needless to say that such diet has a direct relation to the lifestyle diseases encountered. As much as the health promotion practice has always been tailored to discouraging the food mentioned above, people find it hard to abandon their culture. Contrastingly, other cultures such as the Japanese is associated with a diet rich in rice, vegetables, and fish. This has a balance of nutrients and could be an explanation as to why there are fewer heart problems in Japan as compared to the United States.With every culture, there is an associated religion. Certain beliefs dictate the societal issues which may then have a direct or indirect impact on the health promotion practices. Many people in my community rely on prayer and spirituality to accomplish healing. This behavior at times indicates a commitment to medicine and integration with religion. The people hence develop a connection between the mental and physical health and adopt a positive attitude towards health promotion and development (Eldredge et al., 2016).
Culture affects the response of the community towards health promotion. The attitude of society towards medical care is often portrayed by a majority of the population of a community based on the inherited cultural values. For this reason, health experts undertaking promotion campaigns will tend to tailor the approach to suit the beliefs and hence influence the attitude. For instance, in the Islam culture, women will not accept to be touched by men, and therefore, in health promotion for a culture with this attitude, the female health practitioners should be used (McLeroy et al., 1988). The type and amount of healthcare accepted by the community are usually based on the connectedness and unity which forms a basis for a typical attitude.
One of the main property of culture involves the language spoken. For health promotion, language barriers can prevent access to knowledge and information. The nurses and other health practitioners must, therefore, consider the language spoken by the community for efficient service provision. It is often noticeable for non-English speakers to struggle in the United States. For instance, the Mexican and Hispanic immigrants in the US often find it hard to understand the healthcare schemes and the health promotion. Unless a translator who understands the culture and language is present to act as a mediator, then the issue is still a challenge to the health practitioners (Blais, 2015).
To deal with the cultural and social issues in health promotion, specific strategies have to be adopted. It is necessary to embrace the deeply rooted traditions to create trust in medical professionals. The best initiative is to make efforts to understand and recognize the aspect of the culture before implementation of any plan. For instance, when it comes to food, it is necessary to consider the preferred diet and understand the reason as to why it is so. For cases when the staple food is dictated by the standard of living and income level, then it is indeed challenging to solve this issue unless more financial resources are availed (McLeroy et al., 1988).
Another step in intervention is to involve members of the target community. This will improve the validity and credibility of health professions in the eyes of the society. Cultural sharing and participation in medical talks even become more comfortable as the individuals are more inclined to participate. The community is inclined to receiving medical practitioners with warmth when one of their own due to an enhanced attitude (Eldredge et al., 2016), accompanies them. What is vital is to implement changes gradually to allow people to process the importance and relevance as opposed criticizing a culture.
Blais, K. (2015). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives. Pearson.
Eldredge, L. K. B., Markham, C. M., Ruiter, R. A., Kok, G., & Parcel, G. S. (2016). Planning health promotion programs: an intervention mapping approach. John Wiley & Sons.
McLeroy, K. R., Bibeau, D., Steckler, A., & Glanz, K. (1988). An ecological perspective on health promotion programs. Health education quarterly, 15(4), 351-377.
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