In the event of the ailment epidemic in the society, many people cannot manage the risk that comes with the spreading of the illness. Therefore, doctors should study the attitude of people towards the disease. They should answer the questions whether they treat people with the illness and whether the society accepts these people. The answers should show clearly how these people feel about the outbreak. For example, if the people suffering from meningitis do not receive enough compassion, they might hide their status about meningitis, which may lead to the significant spread of the disease. Therefore, there is a need to change the attitude of the people.
Q1. Using an ECOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK, identify and explain the SOCIAL/BEHAVIORAL factors that may be contributing to the high incidence and prevalence of meningococcal meningitis in this community.
1. One of the elements that might have made these people have and spread meningococcal meningitis could be the individual or interpersonal factors. They include knowledge and attitudes of people towards the disease. Probably, these people do not have enough knowledge on how to prevent meningitis from spreading greatly. They also do not know the vaccination methods.
2. Relationships are also some of the major social factors affecting the high prevalence of the disease in the community. They include relations between families, friends, acquaintances, and other members of social networks, including all the people with whom the individuals at risk interact. Therefore, these relationships greatly affect people’s behaviors in relation to health.
3. The religion of the people can also affect their behavior, as well as their beliefs and social norms. For instance, some religions may not believe in vaccination, and it would make the spread of the disease greater. Therefore, these people should be wisely handled without criticizing their religion, but by explaining to them how important vaccination is.
Q2. Propose (2) TWO interventions using MODELS OF BEHAVIORAL CHANGE that you think will be effective to address (1) ONE of the social/behavioral factors identified in question 1.
1. Interpersonal factors can be addressed with the assistance of the families and close people, who greatly affect people’s behavior when stricken by the disease. For instance, the family can offer therapy and take care of the sick, especially the children. Therefore, parents can be trained on how to handle the sick in order to prevent the spread of meningitis. The community as a whole can also be trained on the same preventive measures just in case the disease strikes some of the family members. In other words, such training will ensure that they are ready to handle the sick and that they are aware of what kind of food to feed them. In addition, they can be taught about the symptoms of the disease so that they can take immediate precaution before the disease spreads.
2. Organizations, government, and various institutions can also help in ensuring that the disease does not spread rapidly. Organizations can greatly influence health since most people spend most of their time in various institutions in the society, including places of work or schools. Therefore, medical staff (nurses and physicians) can visit various institutions in an effort to help ensure the awareness of the disease of these people. Consequently, most of the people in institutions will be well-educated people, and can in turn help greatly to control the spread of the disease. In this regard, they will be made aware of how to treat the infected people in the same institution. Thus, these people are impacted with enough knowledge about the disease, and, therefore, spread the same information to their friends and families. Moreover, doctors should inform the people about vaccination and its importance.
Behavior change and empowerment are two of the approaches that can be used to deal with interpersonal factors. Behavior change kind of approach uses theories to help change people’s behavior through persuasion. The empowerment approach, on the other hand, involves the participation of the victims in the change process.