Promoting Health, a Worthy Profession

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National Referral Hospital, Health Promotion Officer Barbra Paiswio.

COMMUNITIES in the urban and rural population in the country will recognize the face, voice and smile of Barbara Pwaisiho. She has worked as a health promotion officer with the Department of Health Promotion, Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

She has the appetite and heart of working within the Health Promotion Department, Ministry of Health and Medical Services. Mrs Pwaisiho current role is the senior health promotion officer of the National Referral Hospital (NRH).

“I took up my new role with the (NRH) in 2016 but before that I worked with the Ministry of Health, Health Promotion Department. My basic role is to coordinates communications and media programs within the NRH.

“My role as the senior health officer in NRH was basically to work with communities, schools, workers/ employers especially healthy people in communities to help them to stop and avoid catching diseases,” she told Solomon Women.

Health promotion and disease prevention programs focus on keeping people healthy. Health promotion engages and empowers individuals and communities to engage in healthy behaviors, and make changes that reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases and other morbidities.

The passionate woman figure is from the province of Malaita in Solomon Islands.

“I have started my career in 1999 and served in Malaita province for 7 years and later worked at Malu station in north Malaita for 2 years.”

“After served in Malaita province, I was posted to Guadalcanal province and later worked with the Ministry of Health, Department of Health Promotion Department,” she recalled.

Health promotion officers plan and coordinate health promotion programs for various community groups. Assists health and community groups to improve the health of individuals and the community by raising awareness of healthy lifestyles, disease and disability, and other health-related issues.

Mrs Barbara said, as a health promoter, I plan and develop ways to help people improve and manage their health. We (Health Promotion Department) strategically plan policies and programmes for improving the health of everyone in the community.

“We want to empower the communities so that they would prioritize the main issues to deal with in their specific communities. However, as the senior health promotional at NRH, one of my immediate communication strategies is to help out with the dissemination of awareness in the respective medical wards at the Hospital.

“I often advise patients on how to look after their health and how to isolate and control infections. I believe health promotion is a process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behavior towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions,” she added.

Meanwhile, she is planning out of her box with the aim of improving the healthy setting of the National Referral Hospital.

“Health is everybody’s business and it is very important that everyone must look after their health and most importantly we must know our health status because after all it’s about time we look at our own health,” said Mrs Barbara.