Effects of Improper Planning of Community Health Assessment
According to Selig (1975), the process of developing a community health plan should involve five main steps that include value orientation, problem identification, goal setting, goal-measuring, program planning, program implementation, program assessment, and feedback. Improper planning could have significant implications in the implementation of our selected public health program – Ebola Awareness Campaign.
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For example, it could make it difficult for health care service providers to identify the most important issues to address in the public health program. This outcome could lead to the pursuit of a misguided approach for addressing the health issue – the Ebola epidemic, thereby leading to the poor deployment of health resources, or a mismanagement of the same (Selig, 1975). Improper planning could also make it difficult for health care service providers to measure the efficacy of the program because it would be difficult to identify which metrics to use when doing so. Similarly, poor planning of the community health program would ultimately lead to its failure to have any meaningful impact on residents of Sierra Leone (Baatiema, Skovdal, Rifkin, & Campbell, 2013).
Strategies for Improving the Community Health Plan
Improving the community health plan for Ebola awareness in Sierra Leone is an important step in its execution because the program needs to be tweaked periodically to improve its efficiency and to make it easier to meet its objectives (Sakeah et al., 2014). One way of improving the community health plan hinges on the eighth step of Selig’s (1975) community health planning process –feedback. By getting feedback from community members and other stakeholders in the Sierra Leone health sector about the program, it would be possible to have the right information to make improvements to it.
The process would involve using the feedback to increase the effectiveness and outreach of the program for better delivery and execution (Sakeah et al., 2014). However, applying the feedback in the community health plan should happen as an iterative process, as opposed to a one-time undertaking, which is often inadequate to accommodate the dynamism required in such a process. The iterative process should also contain structures that allow the free flow of information among all community health stakeholders because their input is valuable in developing complementary structures that would aid in the implementation of the community health plan (Baatiema et al., 2013).
Another strategy for improving the plan would be based on reviewing past health programs that had a similar focus and refraining from making the mistakes made in the past. At the same time, borrowing from the successes realized throughout the entire process would be integral in improving the plan.
How to Integrate the Community Health Assessment into the Program Planning Process
The community health assessment is supposed to outline areas of improvement, or focus, which should guide the program planning process (Scott County, Iowa, 2016). The process of integrating the community assessment findings into the program planning process could involve tweaking the program guidelines and policies to reflect the recommendations of the community health report. Through this process, the program’s guidelines would be better aligned with the community needs and health assessment requirements associated with the public health issue, thereby becoming an effective tool for guiding health resources to increase the awareness of Sierra Leone residents about Ebola, as a public health issue (Scott County, Iowa, 2016).
Baatiema, L., Skovdal, M., Rifkin, S., & Campbell, C. (2013). Assessing participation in a community-based health planning and services programme in Ghana. BMC Health Services Research, 13, 233.
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Sakeah, E., McCloskey, L., Bernstein, J., Yeboah-Antwi, K., Mills, S., & Doctor, H. V. (2014). Is there any role for community involvement in the community-based health planning and services skilled delivery program in rural Ghana? BMC Health Services Research, 14, 340.
Selig, A. (1975). Program planning, evaluation, and the problem of alcoholism. AJPH, 65(1), 72-75.
Scott County, Iowa. (2016). Community assessments. Web.