Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Informing people about maintaining good health and preventing the most common diseases is one of the established and long-term lines of work of the Ukrainian Red Cross.
For over 100 years, the Ukrainian Red Cross has focused on informing people about caring for their health. From the very beginning of its existence in the 1920s, the Ukrainian Red Cross fought against typhus and smallpox epidemics by informing people about these diseases and prevention methods, vaccinating against them, distributing information materials, etc. All these years, the Society has supported the country’s healthcare system, spread knowledge about healthy lifestyles, and responded to outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases and humanitarian and environmental disasters.
During the Chornobyl tragedy, the Ukrainian Red Cross was one of the first to launch humanitarian emergency response and assistance to the victims. It conducted medical examinations and provided the victims with the necessary humanitarian aid. A comprehensive Chornobyl program was established under the initiative of the Ukrainian Red Cross, which included hundreds of thousands of dosimetric screenings and informing people about the radiation hazards. Since the 1990s, the Society has launched comprehensive programs to combat tuberculosis and HIV infection: volunteers educated the public about the transmission and prevention of these infections, provided assistance to infected people, and devoted significant efforts to reducing the stigma surrounding these diseases. In times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukrainian Red Cross mobilized all its resources to combat this infection. The Society’s volunteers regularly conducted awareness-raising activities about COVID-19 in different parts of the country, educated people on how the coronavirus infection spreads, how to reduce the risk of contracting it, etc. In 2021, the Society launched information campaigns on COVID-19 vaccination. Printed posters and brochures informing about COVID-19 were distributed throughout the country, and a number of videos featuring famous Ukrainian stars were created.
Since the beginning of 2023, the Ukrainian Red Cross has been implementing a new project called ‘’Health Promotion and Disease Prevention’’, which aims to develop people’s skills in daily care for their health. The project intends to inform people about the following:
- Basic healthcare skills;
Behavioral habits that can improve a person’s health;
The most common diseases, their causes, and methods of preventing their development.
Volunteers of the Ukrainian Red Cross inform people about health-bolstering practices, mostly in remote communities. In group sessions, community members gain new knowledge and skills to care for their wellness. Volunteers also conduct individual motivational consultations to help people change their behavior to improve their health.
Under the project framework, volunteers conduct the following activities:
Teach basic skills of taking care of one’s health: measuring blood pressure, monitoring the state of one’s health, introducing the habit of regular physical activity, regular and balanced nutrition, etc.;
Inform about a healthy lifestyle, its components, and wholesome behavioral habits;
Conduct motivational consultations with residents of the community who need assistance to change their behavior and improve their health. For example, to quit smoking, to follow a balanced diet, etc;
Educate on the most common nontransmissible diseases (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc.), risk factors for these diseases, and methods of prevention;
Disseminate information about dangerous infectious diseases (tuberculosis, HIV, viral hepatitis, etc.), their transmission and prevention methods.