Applying and reflecting public health Theme B: Community development Sr. # Topic Pg. # 1. Cognitive Analysis 2 2. Reflective Analysis 10 References 14 Part – I Cognitive Analysis: ‘A community is not a “thing”. It is a number of people who have repeated dealings with each other … What must never be lost sight of, however, is that community life is voluntary and autonomous or it is nothing…
In contemporary times, there is an increased emphasis on community-level health interventions, and the focus has shifted from government controlled measures to encouraging community participation in developing public health policies. The community based interventions have increased over the years with the rise in awareness regarding the role and impact of various factors which affect public health (Kretzmann and McKnight, 2005). These interventions have sought to eliminate and address a range of social concerns faced by the communities such as lack of educational standards; unemployment; crime in and around their neighbourhoods as these social issues have a direct bearing on the community health. The issue of the role of community level interventions within the arena of public health, can be viewed and described as a continuum between initiatives which are focused on resolving issues directly related to health concerns of the communities and those which have a long-term impact on community health (Evashwick, 2005). The key reasons behind the increased focus on community involvement in developing positive health outcomes can be attributed to the fact that rapidly changing external environment, has brought about a simultaneous change in the attitudes of the people with regard to their health. Such changes, in turn tend to influence the fundamental assumptions regarding the credibility of measures currently implemented versus the most effective and viable alternatives toward improving and enhancing access and delivery of health care services; and the role of community in bringing about such changes (Schein, 1992). These implicit assumptions help the communities to direct their efforts and behaviour towards analyzing and assessing the manner in which certain health issues are perceived by the group members, and use the inputs so derived in framing appropriate interventions. Since most of these issues which affect the communities are generally ignored or overlooked by administrative bodies, community level health interventions aimed at developing and contributing to public health, is perceived as a viable alternative for developing health policies (Hitchcock, Schubert, and Thomas, 2003). This strategy allows the issues critical to the communities to be addressed and confronted effectively; and solutions that seek to eliminate them can be developed resulting in improved outcomes (Rowitz, 2009). Since most of the issues faced at community levels, are implicit in nature, it is highly unlikely for the government or other administrative bodies to address them, and hence community involvement is sought as a favourable measure, to improve overall public health (Schein, 1992). With regard to public health, there is a growing concern about the increased demand for evidence-based practice, and awareness of complex issues in the field of health-care service delivery. The implementation of community led health interventions and inclusion of communities in developing and implementing health policies, is hence imperative for delivering positive health outcomes at community levels. Figure 1: Community development model Source: Sines, Saunders, and Forbes-Burford, (2009, p. 55) Over the years, the awareness and level of knowledge with regard to the various benefits of community developme ...
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