Expanding the Frontiers of Health Promotion Through Health Protection Strategies and Approaches
Keywords:Health promotion, Health protection, Behaviour change theories and models
Health promotion as a global health strategy introduced into public health practice by the World Health Organisation’s Alma Ata Declaration of 1986 was favoured to significantly drive the realization of optimal health and well-being depicted in the 1946 definition of health. However, the constantly changing global health and disease climate especially the continuous emerging of viral disease pandemics and environmental health threats occasioned by climate change has increasingly necessitated further innovations and dynamism in public health approaches. This lead paper examines possible ways of expanding the frontiers of health promotion practice through innovative integration of health protection approaches. The two public health components – health promotion and health protection were independently discussed highlighting their objectives, core principles and strategies. A nexus was established in some implementation strategies with particular expose on the common application of behaviour change theories and models by the two concepts towards protecting and promoting the health of individuals and communities. The paper identified how synergistic application of the two concepts can successfully achieve protection from diseases and environmental threats, mitigate their effects, build resilience among communities, and enable effective emergency response in various settings including health institutions, communities, schools and workplaces. Hence, it was concluded that expanding the frontiers of health promotion towards health protection approaches is inevitable since health protection provides the foundation for health promotion to thrive and the aims of both can be achieved through commonly shared strategies. A major recommendation of the paper is that policy implementation guidelines should be monitored to ensure that multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary collaboration is strictly adhered to in order to sufficiently harvest its benefits in preventing diseases, protecting and promoting the health of the public.