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Health Communication

Strategies for Developing Global Health Programs

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Edited By Do Kyun Kim, Arvind Singhal and Gary L. Kreps

Promotion of healthy behaviors and prevention of disease are inextricably linked to cultural understandings of health and well-being. Health communication scholarship and practice can substantially and strategically contribute to people living safer, healthier, and happier lives. This book represents a concrete step in that direction by establishing a strategic framework for guiding global and local health practices.
Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, the volume includes state-of-the-art theories that can be applied to health communication interventions and practical guidelines about how to design, implement, and evaluate effective health communication interventions.
Few books have synthesized such a broad range of theories and strategies of health communication that are applicable globally, and also provided clear advice about how to apply such strategies. This volume combines academic research and field experience, guided by past and future research agendas and on-the-ground implementation opportunities.
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Introduction: Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Health Communication Strategies for Global Health Promotion (Do Kyun Kim, Arvind Singhal, & Gary Kreps)

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Do Kyun Kim, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Arvind Singhal, University of Texas-El Paso Gary Kreps, George Mason University

The word Ubuntu, common to the Bantu languages of Southern Africa, represents a communicative ethic, a humanist philosophy, and a world view of interconnectedness. It essentially means “I am what I am because of what we all are.” For communication scholars, Ubuntu finds utterance in symbolic interactionism, Kenneth Burke’s dramatism, relational dialectics, and other theories that believe that an individual’s identity is defined through their interactions with others. This communicative foundation provides the reason for why the health of an individual, a community, a nation state, or the world is intimately intertwined. When one person experiences suffering, they do not suffer alone. When one individual is afflicted, we are all affected.

If we pose the question, “What do people suffer from the most?” political scientists may refer to “wars.” Economists may emphasize “poverty.” Postmodern critical thinkers may say “power inequality.” Others may say, ill-health, a condition that has been a constant companion in humankind’s journey. Infant mortality may be down by millions and life expectancies up by decades; however illness and suffering are an inseparable part of our lives. Modern and traditional medicine can fix what may be physically broken, but healing comes wrapped in a relational and communicative package—a compassionate touch, social support, or life-saving information. The present book, through its collection of diverse essays, takes a communicative route to healing and well-being.

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