BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Archive for December, 2016

Technology is the science of creating, applying and using devices, machines and techniques for productive purposes, processing actions and extracting materials. It is a widely used term which means different things to different people and has proven to be a never ending adventure for man. Technology has transformed from the mere manufacturing of automobiles needed to speed up transportation to the creation of diverse kinds of social networking platforms that aid man’s deep craving for a sense of belonging. When technology is applied or used in health, it is referred to as health technology. According to World Health Organization (WHO), health technology is defined as the application and use of organized knowledge and expertise for the creation and development of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems in order to solve health problems and improve the quality of life.

The relationship between health and technology is complex, and can be positive or negative. As suggestive of WHO’s definition, technology positively influences health and healthcare in various ways. For example; computers, electronic health records and other gadgets which are used in hospitals and for storing patients’ medical records greatly improve work and care efficiency as well as the safety, quick access to, and sharing of medical information. Secondly, the advent of sophisticated medical machines, devices, technology-assisted interventions and medicines facilitate the treatment of several health conditions and recovery of many patients. Additionally, the internet presents a platform where people easily access medical information and see health trends while mobile phone make communication between health care professionals and their patients’ faster.

Despite the much progress made in health through technology, human health has remained a victim of technology. According to an article by digital responsibility, excessive attachment to the tools of technology can result to psychological issues like distraction, narcissism, expectation of instant gratification, and even depression. The author explained how dependence on the seemingly harmless proceeds of technology can make an individual’s mind become a pool of imaginations, battle field and gross discontentment. This is very true because a survey which was recently carried out on young African students, showed that most of the students who had considerably comfortable lives became quite discontent about their lives and status after they had seen the sheer display of flamboyance in the lives of fellow students. Furthermore, a study from the University of Illinois found an association between technology addiction and anxiety or depression in college-age students.5 This association was not present in students who used technology less frequently.

Regrettably, technology also affects our physical health negatively through exposure to electromagnetic waves from mobile phones, x-rays from scans, excessive light from television and device screens, loud noises from turbines, vibrations from subway trains,  chemicals from battery, oil spillage from refineries, emissions from nuclear weapons and through the inhalation of polluted air released into the environment by automobiles. There is also an increased risk of chronic diseases such as obesity due to the sedentary lifestyles and reduced physical activity associated with technology.

In conclusion, technology is a beautiful aspect of life which is not intended to deteriorate health, yet it almost always does. Therefore, we owe it to ourselves to take control of our lives- choices and actions so as to ensure that the very tools meant to help us are not unfortunately harming us.


Edutainment is defined as the means and method of educating, teaching or impacting knowledge through various forms of entertainment. Many scholars agree that edutainment originated in Latin America where it was mostly used in Tele dramas. The term is fairly new to a lot of people; however, we experience its influence when we watch and learn from movies, documentaries and shows. Edutainment is an effective teaching strategy used to describe the acquisition of knowledge through a medium which individuals can connect to as fun or exciting. The major aim of edutainment is to catch and keep the attention and interest of participants while passing relevant life changing knowledge and lessons that have the potential to inspire behavior change and improve health.

There are many different forms of Edutainment. Programs that are “edutaining” include television (TV.) productions, movies, museum exhibits, games and computer software; the most common being the use of games and technology to educate children. As we know, it’s a tough job to get and keep the attention of many children; therefore, edutainment provides a means of strategically and effectively holding their interest while teaching. Additionally, edutainment has been successfully used in the adult population to address some health and social issues including obesity, poverty, substance abuseimmunizationteenage pregnancyHIV/AIDS and cancer. Reputable universities in the United States such as, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have also used edutainment initiatives. Furthermore, Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government agencies such as Population Communications International (PCI) Media Impact and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) respectively have created and used materials with edutainment content effectively.

Edutainment has been used in different countries and its benefits are convincing. Examples include East Los High, a trans-media program targeted towards young Latin Americans. Since studies have shown that this population has a high risk of sexually transmitted infections and adolescent pregnancies, the program promoted sexual and reproductive health using educational messages in entertainment narratives across digital platforms. At the end of the program, findings from online analytics tracking, viewer surveys and laboratory experiments showed that it had a positive emotional and social impact on sexual and reproductive health in the population. Another study in Belgium proved that students who watched edutainment series of TV cooking shows and dramas significantly demonstrated more knowledge about fruit and vegetable recommendations compared to a control group.

Despite the many benefits of using edutainment, some people argue that some activities emphasize entertainment much more than education, hence, undermining the importance of education. Also, learning is a cognitive process which requires attention by concentration and active thoughts rather than entertainment. That said, it is important to understand and use the appropriate combination of education and entertainment in any edutainment program in order to achieve effective results. Moreover, changing a behavior requires more than just the knowledge acquired through edutainment; therefore, efforts should be made to concurrently address the social and structural factors that hinder behavior change.


Education is a social determinant of health because whether or not we are educated and the level of our education can affect our health. In the same way, our health can influence our level of education because healthy children and individuals are more likely to remain in school and complete their education compared to the unhealthy ones.

There are many ways by which education can influence health; First and foremost, going to school increases our chances of getting better paying jobs and higher incomes and as a result, we can easily afford our health needs. In addition, education is empowering in itself since educated individuals are more likely to take control of their health, promote and sustain healthy lifestyles and positive choices, proactively seek options for healthier lives and support or nurture their personal development, human relationships and personal, family and community well-being.

As stated by World Bank, Health and education form the basis for human development and without either, it becomes increasingly difficult to survive. Without health and the relevant skills and knowledge acquired through education, one cannot hold a job or care for a family. Therefore, increasing access and reducing associated costs to health and education services is an important factor for any strategy in order to eliminate poverty and reduce inequalities.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that road injury is one of the ten leading causes of death worldwide, killing about 1.3 million people in 2012. Road accidents occur in every country but much more in developing countries due to bad roads.
Globally, Nigeria has the second highest rate of road accidents among 193 countries of the world. In 2012, at least 473 people died from a total of about 1,115 road accidents nationwide. These accidents have become a constant daily re-occurring phenomenon, rather than an emergency that requires immediate response to rescue possible casualties. The toll that traffic accidents exact in Nigeria has attracted global concern, as Nigerian roads have been adjudged the most dangerous in Africa by W.H.O. According to the report titled “Road Safety in the WHO African Region”, more than one in four traffic accident deaths in Africa occur on Nigerian roads.
The need for a reliable and fast response team cannot be overemphasized as many lost lives could have been saved, if there was a response to the accident that claimed their lives. It’s really unfortunate that a Nigerian who finds him or herself in an emergency situation would not have access to an emergency response team. Countless Nigerians have also watched their loved ones cry to death due to delay in the arrival of rescue teams. Although road accidents are a part of life and can happen at any time, the resulting effects can be controlled and mitigated so as to have no or minimal number of casualties.
The recommended option to increase road safety and reduce road traffic accidents in Nigeria is to first, improve the quality of the roads and effect the use of traffic lights and road signs. Then, assemble have a reliable stand-by emergency response team, with an active phone number to call, in case of road accidents.