(L-R: Standing - HIV & STI Coordinator, Ms Ana Heather; Tobacco Focal Point, Ms Maina Tairi; Men's Health Coordinator, Mr Tearorangi Aitu; TB Coordinator, Ms Nukutau Pokura; Health Promotion Officer, Ms Tania Avare; Sitting - Communication Officer, Mr Howard Tangimetua; Health Promotion Manager, Alcohol, Cancer Prevention Focal Points, Ms Edwina Tangaroa; Director of Community Health Services, Dr Rangiau Fariu; Nutrition/NCD Coordinator, Ms Karen Tairea; Absent - Adolescent/Reproductive Health Coordinator, Ms Maine Beniamina)
The Health Education Unit was established within the Division of Public Health in 1981 and as of 2007 the name was changed to Health Promotion Unit.
To support the achievement of the Ministry of Health vision the Health Promotion Unit’s:
GENERAL OBJECTIVE is
To promote, strengthen, support and contribute to the physical, mental, social, spiritual and moral development of the people and enabling them to take control over and improve their health.
Health Promotion is categorized into three main sections:
1. Service Provision
Strengthen health promotion support activities with other health programs in the Ministry of Health, Schools, Communities, Non-governmental organizations, the Outer Islands, Regionally and Internationally.
a) Developing knowledge and understanding of health and health related problems and rational attitudes and behavior for the attainment of individual, family and community wellbeing.
b) Developing favorable attitudes and appreciation of the value of health services and their utilization for health maintenance and promotion.
c) Developing an increasing sense of responsibility for health in any living environment and to strengthen and promote family stability and family welfare through family life education and counseling services.
d) Continued development and strengthening of the health education. Information Education and Communication (IEC) component of health services delivery.
e) Education of decision makers or leaders to acquire skills in planning and decision making to enable one to cope with present and future health and health related issues and problems.
f) Education of the general public on the prevention of health related issues focusing on adolescent/reproductive health, cancer prevention, HIV and STIs, men’s health, nutrition and physical activity, road safety, TB, tobacco and alcohol.
2. Communication and Research
The Health Promotion Unit is responsible for all production of IEC materials, which are relevant for the effective dissemination and delivery of health messages to the Cook Islands population.
The aim will be made effective through:
a) Carrying out graphic work, maintenance and operation of audio visual equipment in the production of pamphlets, posters, video tapes and newspaper articles.
b) Localizing the production of IEC material to encourage and motivate people to adopt healthier life-styles and behavior.
c) Allocation of appropriate equipment and materials within the Health Promotion Unit for the production of IEC materials.
It is very crucial that this section of Health Promotion be strengthened, for it will be through research will we find out how to direct our future efforts in effective health promotion. Research data will also enable the unit to evaluate the successes and failures of all activities.
3. Special Projects.
These projects are aid donor - funded by UNFPA, Global Funds and WHO and into their final phases and it is anticipated that Ministry of Health will continue strengthening these programs that includes:
- Adolescent Reproductive health:
- HIV/AIDS and STIs:
- Non Communicable Diseases and
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