Health SA Gesondheid (Online)
On-line version ISSN 1025-9848
SRINIVAS, Sunitha C. et al. Obesity: A preliminary report of an introductory service-learning course on the role of pharmacy students in health promotion. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.1, pp. 75-80. ISSN 1025-9848.
Lifestyle diseases such as obesity have been neglected in developing countries partly due to a more urgent focus on infectious diseases in these countries. The incidence of obesity is on the increase in developing countries, with a marked rise in childhood obesity. A health promotion activity employing service-learning principles required final year pharmacy students to prepare a pilot-tested computer-based quiz, using a pre- and post-intervention test design, along with other learning material, for participants at the 2007 Sasol National Festival of Science and Technology (SciFest). Interactive models, posters and information leaflets were used in explaining the prevention and control of obesity to learners. The results showed that the pre-existing knowledge of the participants was good. There was a further improvement after the educational intervention. Activities such as this are important in heightening awareness of obesity in learners as it is likely to reduce the incidence of obesity later in life. Furthermore, the activity also served to increase awareness of the role of pharmacists in the prevention of lifestyle diseases such as obesity.
Keywords : obesity; health promotion; service-learning; pharmacy; chronic conditions.