BY SAMIE WAIKORI
MALAITA Provincial Health Authority is hosting the first-ever National Health Setting Conference, underway in Auki.
The four-day meeting started on Monday this week with the theme “Sustaining health promotion activities in the setting”.
Speaking during the official opening of the programme yesterday, Director of Health Promotion Division of MHMS, Mr Ben Rickie said since health promotion embarked on healthy setting, they learned a lot from establishing the programme in the country.
“All the health promotion officers may present their experience for the past years.
“We all must acknowledge those pioneering experiences, through them we can have some insights that direct us to a position for future aspiration on all healthy setting,” he said.
Thus, Rickie challenged the participants to move beyond participation and engagement at hand and to interact with people.
Saying, this is by mobilising it to a higher order of inclusion, self-determination – defining the agenda and initiating action.
He said the missing step may be in providing people with sufficient information and capacity to understand discern and decided what is in their best interest.
“Making informed decision is a necessary step that individuals, families, groups, societies and nation must take in order to be active players who are not just engaging or participating in the development process, but are determine their own destiny,” Rickie said.
He said health promotion offers solutions and methods to go beyond the rhetoric of inclusion, participation and engagement to enable people to increase control and improve their health.
Rickie added that health promotion focused on providing supportive environments for people to develop their individual and collective skills in making decisions from the choices present to them.
He said in the western pacific region, health setting is one of the most important mechanisms that organise people’s participation in health matters.
Rickie said this might constitute a rhythm that has the potential to permeate health actions across all SDGs.
“Whether is healthy islands, healthy cities, health-promotion schools, healthy hospitals, healthy communities, or others, these settings are natural sites for integrated action and excellent platforms for local ownership of any combination of the SDGs,” he said.
He emphasised that healthy settings in turn cannot be achieved unless it equips or supports people tom modify their behaviour.
Rickie continued that healthy behaviours are triggered by health literacy, better choices and informed decisions.
“This provides the ‘beat’ – the punctuation of sound through silence of individuals contributing in their own ways at their own pace to collective achievement of health, until each and every one is reaching for better health, and no one left behind,” he said.
The conference gathered health promotional staffs from the nine provinces across the country including HCC.