Ottawa Charter

6 June 2016

Good morning Mr. Anderson and class. Today I will be talking to you about my perspective on the effectiveness of Health promotion campaigns that have been implemented in Australia in order to address the National Health priority issues, concerning cancer, cardiovascular disease and injury. Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve their health. In my opinion, for a campaign to be successful it must address all areas of the Ottawa Charter in accordance with cost to an individual and community, social justice principles and priority population groups.

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The reason why a health campaign works so effectively is due to a multi-faceted approach, which encapsulates all areas of society including the individual, community, government and non-government agencies who have been able to work in correspondence with one another to formulate and achieve the required goal.

Firstly, The National Tobacco campaign is a very successful campaign in my opinion as it is able to effectively facilitate all areas of the Ottawa Charter enabling people to increase control over, and to improve their overall health. As a result of this campaign both mortality and morbidity rates have decreased. Evident through a recent epidemiological study, there has been a drastic reduction in prevalence of adult daily smoking from 15.9 percent currently, which will lower to an estimated 10 percent or less by the year of 2018. The National tobacco campaign incorporated a segment aimed at smokers between the ages of 18 and 40, promoting a message quote “Every cigarette is doing you damage.”

These advertisements were created specifically to portray the damage smoking inflicts upon a human in the most grotesque and hard hitting way possible. Non-smoking laws that have been implemented by the National Tobacco Campaign act as a catalyst in directing society to become aware of the decisions they make and the health consequences associated with them. An example includes the regulation of tobacco tax, where there is an apparent increase in prices, to make them less affordable to smokers hence helping build public policy and enhance social justice principles. In addition, the regulation of place of use, including ensuring that all indoor areas of the workplace and the public are covered by legislation smoking prohibitions. In affect, this has created a very strong supportive environment that has halted the “social smoking” stereotype which is a major area of the Ottawa charter and a reason for why this campaign is so effective.

Secondly, one of the most prominent and leading causes of both mortality and morbidity rates in regards to the national health priority issue of injury is that of road and traffic accidents. The implementation of the Ottawa charter within the “No one thinks big of you” campaign designed by the RTA (Roads and Traffic Authority) has influenced the obvious reduction in road related injuries. The key approach, which in my opinion is the reason to its success, is that the campaign incorporates speeding as its number one priority area and is specifically aimed towards young males. In 2002 before the introduction of the campaign there were 256 deaths in NSW but by 2007 it had reduced to a total of 120 deaths.

The “No one think big of you” campaign has effectively addressed community support and education by decreasing the susceptibility of people speeding. It is targeted at young males to get age appropriate information about both the harsh realities of car accidents and provide help in developing skills. As a result of this there has been a deterrence of excessive speeding caused by the education provided by schools, the RTA and NSW police, irrespective of their socioeconomic and sociocultural environments and to be equipped with the refusal skills to assert their perspective on dangerous driving towards the rest of their peers. The campaign created a social stigma making speeding socially unacceptable and provides evidence for why I think this campaign is so successful.

Thirdly, the way in which the Ottawa charter has been embedded into the heart disease foundation campaign is the key to its success. The campaign revolves around the employment of the Tick program, which labels products with a tick that has allowed the food industry to be challenged to lower amount of sodium, saturated fat and kilojoules, whilst increasing the fibre content since 1989. Cardio vascular disease is the largest health and economical burden on Australia but since the creation of the tick program there has been a recent decline of CVD fatalities.

The heart foundation campaign is unique in its approach, as it places focus on two precise areas of the Ottawa charter. It is specifically aimed at people who consume a high fat diet mainly due to factors of poor education or lower socioeconomic status that are most at risk. Therefore, the area of Building Healthy Public Policy is able to encapsulate the empowerment of population groups and various communities to take control of their health status and reduce health inequities. For example, with the compulsory legislation of putting all nutritional contents of the product on labels enable the buyers to not only know what’s inside it but also to be empowered to purchase the product. With the influence of this campaign, an individual is able to develop personal skill through dietary information, further health information service links and weekly newsletters as a way to improve participants knowledge and skills to easily plan, shop, budget and prepare healthy meals and snacks.

In conclusion, in my opinion the health campaigns that have been implemented to address the national health priority issues in Australia, concerning cancer, cardio vascular disease and injury are all very effective. In all cases, the target population group is compelled to change their harmful behaviours and is credit to the structure and format of the Ottawa charter. Through the group effort of a multi faceted approach it has enabled all campaigns spoken above to obtain the required goal.

This is evident as all trends involving cancer, cardio vascular disease and road and traffic accidents are declining at a steady rate, reducing pressures on the individual and community, increases social justice principles and lowers health inequities in Australia. I think that these health promotion campaigns must continue to use the same techniques and methods in relation to the National health priority issues and health determinants in order to further improve the overall health of Australians for the future.

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