The Ojibway are an indigenous group of people who reside in Canada. These individuals share similar beliefs with the people from the neighboring Cree region. Their culture and traditions have persisted despite efforts to modernize the region. They hold a peculiar belief about food where they have grouped foods into two categories. The first category is the Indian food which they perceive to be healthy. The other group is the white mans food which they believe is unhealthy (Gittelshon et al., 1996, p. 365).
In a bid to understand these beliefs and their relation to diabetes, Gittelshon and his team embarked on a research study which will be the focus of this text. After analyzing these beliefs, we will develop a health intervention plan that best suits this group of people. Lastly, the student will establish the levels of the social-ecological model that the intervention would operate. Public Intervention Plan Diabetes is prevalent in aboriginal populations worldwide.
The problem is especially rampant in Canada where studies indicate that indigenous groups have a prevalence rate that is 3-5 times higher than the rest of the population in Canada (Ho, 2006, p. 88). Similarly, these studies indicate that these groups have a higher chance of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. In their research, Gittelshon and his team attributed these high risks to the beliefs and attitudes that these indigenous groups especially the residents of Obijway-Cree have developed and simultaneously refused to let go. The researchers applied qualitative research methodology and were able to gather a significant amount of information. Diabetes in this region is perceived to result from the consumption of white mans food.
However, they believe that by eating traditional foods, the disease can be avoided. While eating junk food has been linked to diabetes, physical activity is important in regulating body mass and reducing the risks of diabetes. However, physical activity is not part of the diabetes prevention model among people in this community. While health care professionals have tried to develop health intervention models, most of them have failed due to lack of formative research. But from Gittelshon research, the student would recommend a preventive intervention plan more specifically an education and behavior change plan. The Ojibway Cree study shows that these people have a flaw in their perception of food and diseases. This flaw is based on their cultural beliefs. Therefore, to change their mentality, one has to target their psychological perception on such matters.
It is important to recognize that all health intervention campaigns have an educational component. However, what differentiates these campaigns is the effort required in the provision of information (Smith, Ross, & Morrow, 2015, p. 3). Education is important in increasing knowledge and impacting new skills. However, education is not sufficient to promote behavioral change. There must be a willingness from the recipients to accept the change offered. Therefore, for the education and behavior health intervention to prove successful, careful investigations must be done in the target population. An example of an agency that has tried to come up with an intervention plan is the Sandy Lake Health and Diabetes Project (SLHDP).
The objective of the programs developed by this SLHDP was to promote physical activity and changing diet among the indigenous groups. As such, the public health intervention model proposed in this text would operate on the community level. In this level, the presence of a disease in a specific community is determined. A framework is developed on the amplification of the disease on the society and helps in shaping the risks (Kumar et al., 2011, p. 239). In conclusion, come up with an effective intervention program, relevant stakeholders must maintain culture appropriateness. They should utilize the target community output and engage community members.
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