As answers to past HSC questions begin to roll in via the form (at the bottom of this page) I thought I should begin to share some of the responses students are providing. The answer below is from Olivia and is an answer to the question “How do the five action areas of the Ottawa Charter address the principles of social justice? Include examples in your answer.” Which is question 24 from the HSC PDHPE exam in 2013. It is an 8 mark question.
The Ottawa Charter is an effective health promotion framework developed using different sources of information. The action areas include developing personal skills, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, reorienting health services, and building healthy public policy. Through basing health promotion on the five action areas of the Ottawa Charter, it allows the social justice principles to be addressed.Developing personal skills enables people to enhance their health knowledge through the provision of information and skills, allowing for the principles of social justice to be addressed. Access to equitable education is vital for the principles of social justice to be upheld, as it is recognised as a prerequisite for health. Through the development of an individuals’ health literacy, it empowers them to make informed choices about their health. For example, the PDHPE curriculum addresses a range of relevant health issues through classes and is available to all Australian children through schooling. Through having the knowledge and skills to make positive health choices, it can allow the individual to positively influence the people around them. For instance, a mother who is educated about the importance of a well-balanced diet will provide healthy foods for her children and pass on her knowledge. It is through the development of personal skills that the social justice principles can be addressed.Creating supportive environments increases an individuals’ ability to make health promoting choices in their social and physical environments. This allows the social justice principles to be addressed. An environment in which healthy choices are supported and encouraged is much more likely to produce positive health outcomes for the people that live in it. For example, local pools in areas with a high proportion of female Muslims designate several timeslots each week to women-only swimming sessions. This recognises the diversity of the population and allows equitable access to health facilities, hence removing barriers that stop Muslim women from using pools. Therefore, it creates a supportive environment that supports healthy life style choices and assists reducing illness associated with physical inactivity, such as being overweight. Through creating supportive environments, it allows the social justice principles to be addressed.Strengthening community action involves empowering communities to identify and implement actions to address health concerns, which allows the social justice principles to be addressed. Empowering communities to use their voice and come together to address health inequities improves the likelihood of the specific needs to be met and gives the communities a greater sense of control. For example, the Close the Gap campaign is aimed at targeting health inequities faced by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and involves the Indigenous Australian population with the development and implementation of health promotion initiatives. Many of the strategies that are part of the campaign have been designed to be run by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services, and to train Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people so they can be involved with the development and implementation. This creates a supportive environment where the ATSI people feel empowered to make healthy decisions for themselves and their communities. It is through addressing the social justice principles that strengthening community action can be achieved.Building healthy public policy involves the decisions made by government and organisations that work towards health improvements, allowing for the social justice principles to be addressed. It is through legislation, funding, and policies that governments can create an environment that achieves good health and equity. For example, bulk billing through Medicare reduces the cost of medical fees, which is a barrier for people in low socioeconomic areas. By having access to medical care, it allows socioeconomically disadvantaged people to make healthy choices, therefore promoting equity. Another example is government legislations, such as smoking restrictions in public areas, which assist people make positive health choices. It is important that there is a collaboration in the development of policies and legislation, to ensure that the policies change with the needs of the population. Through these legislations, it builds supportive environments for the population, making them feel empowered and supported in making healthy decisions. Through governments implementing legislation, funding and policies to help achieve good health, it allows the action area of building healthy public policy to be achieved, and for the social justice principles to be addressed.Reorienting health services involves moving away from traditional curative views of health to integrate health-promotion and preventative strategies into health care. Through this, the social justice principles are addressed. Strategies focused around reorienting health services help address ways to lower the prevalence and incidence of diseases. For example, the allocation of increased resources to address the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reduces the health inequity faced by this group. Programs such as the NSW Multicultural Health and Communication Service recognise that uniform approaches to health promotion doesn’t achieve positive health outcomes for the entire community; it tailors certain strategies to fit the diverse nature of the Australian population. This program ensures that linguistically diverse communities have access to health information in languages they understand, which prevents language barriers from existing.The Ottawa Charter is necessary for real and lasting change to be brought about. Through basing health promotion on all five action areas: developing personal skills, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, reorienting health services, and building public policy, it allows for the social justice principles of equity, diversity, and supportive environments to be addressed.
Have a look at the marking guidelines for this question from NESA and see what you think of her response.
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