Problems of health education in rural areas in Poland

Marian Sygit 2, 3,  
Chair of Oncology and Environmental Health Care, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Health Education, Szczecin University, Szczecin, Poland
Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Department of Health Informatics and Statistics, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Chair of Nursing Development, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2013;20(3):515–522
Health promotion is aimed at the reduction of the differences in society’s access to factors determining the frequency of occurrence of pro-health behaviours. This means the construction of health resources and increase in the level of egalitarianism in access to these resources. Health education carried out on a high level in rural schools provides actual possibilities for gaining these resources. Many examples of educational practices confirm that the establishment of health conditioning and health behaviours of schoolchildren, and the diagnosis of rural school on the background of the specificity of the community in which it functions. These are a basis for the construction of effective educational programmes, and not analysis of the differences between urban and rural children and adolescents. In Poland, the performance of health education in rural schools encounters many problems associated both with the lack of infrastructure for health promotion, insufficient perception of the importance of health education at school by the educational authorities, underestimation of primary health care, low activity of the local governments, and lack of qualified rural health promoters. Current health education in Polish rural schools deepens inequalities in access to health, and postpones the moment of providing equal opportunities for rural and urban schoolchildren with access to the resources which condition the maintenance or even an enhancement of health. The objective of the study is to present selected problems in the performance of health education in a Polish rural school in the light of international trends, experiences and discussions related with an optimum form of health promotion in the environment of rural a school and the community.
Marianna Charzyńska-Gula   
Chair of Oncology and Environmental Health Care, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
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