“Each Home a Health Center” to be piloted in 3 provinces

November 25, 2019 - 16:5

TEHRAN – A scheme called “Each Home a Health Center” will be piloted in 3 provinces of the country on Tuesday to promote public health literacy and improve health culture in the society, Mohammad Eslami, head of health plans management department at the Ministry of Health has announced.

The pilot project will be implemented in three cities of Semnan, Kashan and Mohammadieh, he stated, YJC reported.

The national self-care program was prepared by the Ministry of Health to educate volunteers from each family, neighborhood, and training center as health ambassadors, he noted.

Under the scheme, one person in each family is selected as a household health ambassador (a volunteer passed at least school’s 8th grade) and is trained by a health team that includes a physician, midwife, health care provider, and health worker to take care of their health, family, peers and community, he explained.

He pointed out that a set of self-care guides, including a self-care guide on minor illness, cancer, heart and brain stroke risk guide, was developed to guide health ambassadors in this regard.

The project does not require much funding because it runs with the help of volunteer forces, and only a small amount of money is spent on training and producing educational content, he said. 

“We even tried to reduce training costs so that instead of printing on paper, we've designed an app that health ambassadors will have access to.”

Referring to 20 topics to be taught to each family's health ambassadors, he said that carbon monoxide poisoning, oral and dental health, physical activity and inactivity, sugar intake reduction, salt and fat intake reduction, cutting smoking and tobacco use are among the topics. 

Contact with emergency and medical services is one of the most important training courses for health ambassadors, he highlighted.

Shahram Rafiei-Far, head of education and promotion affairs at the Ministry of Health, said in early October that over 5 million health ambassadors will be trained and educated in the country to help eliminate diseases or reduce the burden of illnesses on the society.

A study on the non-communicable disease and its risk factors conducted in the Iranian calendar year of 1395 (March 2016- March 2017), shows that 11.9 percent of the population suffers from diabetes, 27.9 percent have high triglycerides and the prevalence of hypertension in Iran is 26.4 percent that is caused by high salt intake.

Some 10.4 percent of Iranians consume a high amount of salt, which will increase hypertension, and myocardial infarction, he said, adding, by reducing salt intake to less than 5 grams a day, the risk of stroke can be reduced to one third in society.

Also, the results of the survey showed that 56.3 percent of the people are physically inactive, while 22.7 percent are suffering obesity.