Health Education in Kenya: Present Perspectives and Challenges
Waswa, L. M.
Waudo, Judith N.
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The demand for Health Education in Kenya has been made possible by the vast improvement in the knowledge of methods of prevention and control of diseases as well as the pressing need to find solutions to the aggravated problem of providing medical services. To respond to this need, the concept of Health Education has emerged and schools have been considered excellent places to carryout Health Education because among all organized institutions set up by the society, the school is one through which the largest mass of a given age range pass and also because they present the broadest and deepest channel for putting information at the disposal of a country’s citizens. Although health education is a special case, it is often not a recognized school subject and is taught as a component of other subjects. In the highly competitive struggle for timetable space, Health Education is usually seen as being in conflict with the timetabling requirements of other subjects; as such it risks losing integrity and impact. The methods used to teach Health Education in Kenya lack an interactive approach and are basically theoretical, with minimal practical experiences. Health Education promotion has also been hampered by lack of teaching, learning materials and facilities, insufficient integration into the school curriculum, and lack of policies that place a high priority on Health Education. This, therefore, calls for collaboration among health and educational officials, teachers, students, parents and community leaders in fostering health and learning through improvement of school environment, policies and practices.