Objective: To evaluate the health education program in a large Primary Health Care Center, to find out the problems faced by the staff and to suggest the practical and relevant solutions.
Methods: This study was carried out at Wasat Abha Primary Health Care Center, Asir region during 1997. The files of diabetics who attended the center were evaluated for health education topics by using a checklist. The essential structure of diabetic health education program was assessed by using another check list designed by the investigators. Data entry and analysis was carried out through SPSS package. Chi-square test was applied wherever necessary.
Results: The total number of diabetics who attended Wasat Abha Primary Health Care Center was 198. The duration of diabetes mellitus was 7.7+5.8 years. Ninety percent of these were married, 50.5% were educated and 79% were employed. Compliance to appointment was good in 60% and poor in 30% of diabetics. About 73% of the diabetics received at least one health education topic while 27% did not receive any health education at all. Only 33% of diabetic patients had adequate health education. Ninety one percent were provided with diabetic identification cards, 80% were explained about diabetes and 77% were educated about the role of diet. Essential structure for diabetes education program was found to be unsatisfactory.
Conclusion: Effective diabetic health education program needs the availability of all essential structures, community participation and integration of the government and private sectors. The deficiencies in the structures and the process of health education programs in our practice are almost universal to other Primary Health Care Centers in the Asir region. Providing the Primary Health Care Centers with all essential structures and annual auditing are complimentary to a successful diabetic health education program.