Dr. Prakit Vateesatokkit, general secretary of Thailand’s Smoking and Health Foundation Thailand; Dr. Don Eliseo Lucero Prisno III, a Dutch academician who researched the health benefits of sailing for the University of the Philippines; and Dr. Gene R. Carter, former managing director and CEO of the Associate for Supervision and Curriculum Development in the U.K. received the first-time IHUPE awards during the meeting’s closing ceremonies at the Royal Cliff’s PEACH Convention Center Aug. 29.
Thailand, the Netherlands and United Kingdom won the first-time IHUPE awards for the best health promotion programs at the 21st International Union for Health Promotion and Education conference in Pattaya.
“I believe that, during five days of the meeting, more than 2,200 participants from 81 countries around the world could share their experience and apply the knowledge to their countries,” said Dr. Udomsilp Srisangnam, advisor to the Thai Health Promotion Foundation. “This meeting revealed that the society, community and private sector need to take part in formulating the country’s health policy, which will improve the better wellbeing of world population. Moreover, health promotion is the responsibility of everyone, not just the academicians, operating officers or decision makers.”
Udomsilp said that the best health promoter award aimed to show the individuals and organizations the role models in health promotion. The award winners were among 13 nominated by the IUHPE, Rockefeller Foundation, ThaiHealth and conference attendees.
Prakit said smoking-related illnesses can be easily prevented if people simply stopped smoking. “The challenges, he said, are understanding decision makers, access to equal medical treatment, and people’s understanding of the diseases and budget for sustainable health promotion.”
Prisno said he was inspired to work in health promotion because of his aspiration to improve other people’s wellbeing. “Still, there were some challenges of turning research into policy and execution. For many times, the research has clearly provided the knowledge that can be applied. Therefore, the research needs to be linked with the implementation,” he said.
Carter said that children’s health would affect their learning ability. “Therefore, investment in children is the crucial foundation. Their families and school play an important role in promoting their health and wellbeing. However, it is challenging to change the attitude of the related parties. They should be aware that health promotion is the strongly related to the education system, with the educators leading the idea of this topic.”