It is not every day that you encounter someone who is selfless, and shows concern not just about their own health but that of others as well. This is a very novel endeavor, and should be encouraged. Yes, there is lots you can do to improve the health status for the community as a whole.
But you must start with your own health first. You can only help others improve their health status if you are already in good health yourself. This means leading a healthy lifestyle that includes maintaining a normal weight, being physically active, avoiding ingesting toxic stuff, and being up to date with all screening tests. Such initiatives must be combined with ready access to healthcare in terms of well-equipped facilities and affordability.
Once you make yourself a model for health, you readily qualify to be on the lookout for others. Your starting point can be whatever you want. You may choose an initial personalized approach to family and friends who are closest to you. Putting in a word here and there for the benefits of, say cancer screening, can bring about behavioral change and motivate some to get screened. You can then work your way up to promoting healthy behavior in other social forums. This could be social media groups, investment clubs, or a multitude of other social forums.
As your confidence grows in helping others achieve their health goals, you could elevate yourself to some sort of health champion or advocate. You don’t really need the resources that other health champions, like the First Lady, have. Your voice and activities in carefully selected audiences will do. You can for example lobby your County to increase budget allocation for health. Such activities can be rewarding in terms of improving healthcare facilities, hiring healthcare workers, and ensuring healthcare commodities are always in good supply.
Who benefits from your initiatives? Well, almost everybody. Personalized efforts will often have a ripple effect, and health benefits will go far beyond your immediate family and personal contacts. Broader efforts, like advocacy, will translate into better healthcare for the most deserving. Those down at the community level hardly have any healthcare choices, they make do with what is available. And contend with inevitable poor outcomes when they get ill. Having a voice for them, and encouraging them to embrace healthy behavior will surely get some of them on the right side of health.
What’s in it for you? You could view it as a personal social responsibility, or a calling to do good. The rewards may not be immediately obvious, but they are bountiful. Both for you, and importantly, for other people’s health as well.
Dr Alfred Murage is a Consultant Gynecologist and Fertility Specialist.firstname.lastname@example.orgTake a fertility test today