Decision-making based on awareness or knowledge about a health issue is about people's ability to choose healthy behaviours and practices from a range of alternatives. To do this people need to understand their health needs and the different options available for meeting them. Health education is a very important way that people in your community can develop decision-making skills for themselves.
Read Case Study 2.2 below, and after you have done so, think about an occasion when health education messages have helped to change the attitude of someone you know.
Case Study 2.2 Abebe
Abebe is 18 years old and attends high school. Due to influence from his friend Tadese, he smokes cigarettes. You frequently go to his home and tell him that he is damaging his lungs due to smoking and he is at risk of lung cancer, and that his girlfriend will probably think it is dirty. At first he refused to listen to you, however one day he told you that he believes that smoking is harming his health. After a few days he completely stopped smoking cigarettes.
Why do you think Abebe stopped smoking?
Abebe changed his attitude and now he believes that smoking is harmful because he was given enough knowledge and information to help him in his decision-making. For example, smoking causes cancer and heart disease he also probably changed his mind because of the effect it might be having on his girlfriend.