Since old times, the binomial health/illness has been analyzed from different perspectives and with, at the very least, interesting outcomes. Currently, the approach of the determining fact of health has helped to take into consideration crucial aspects of first order, in order words “health and its circumstances”, on which Dr. Juan Gervas and Dr. Mercedes Pérez Fernández talk about, writers of the book entitled “Sano y salvo” (Safe and Sound) where the y show their clinical experience to treat health and illness and run from how much medical care take with them the loss of wellness which, far from improving our health, we see it damaged.
In fact, in the quoted book we can find the chapter “Health and its circumstances” on which they acknowledge that health depends on a serial of determining factors: “Health depends on our diet and our mother’s conditions before and during the pregnancy, and beyond. (…) Education is crucial in health care, personal and our parent’s (specially the mother). One of the basic steps to promote health is achieving that girls go to school and at least finish the primary mandatory period of schooling”
The writers state conclusively that “having a mother that has received formal education is a treasure for health care” (…) having access to education, depurated sink water, work and housing is as important as vaccines and antibiotics in order to treat infections”.
I have allowed myself to start off this post with quotes that we can find in the book “Sano y salvo” because I find interesting to establish that, from different perspectives, we reach the same conclusions on the inherent relationship existing between education and health, a relationship that, in this case, support two eminent representatives of the Spanish medical field.
Health and education have in common that both unfold and strengthen through processes that involve the transformation of people, processes that become the engine of the human sustainable development. This brought to light the 2015 World Education Forum, specifically the Incheon Declaration. In fact, looking at 2030 horizon and gathering the proposal of the forth Sustainable Development Goal, the future is faced from education, tackling with worry that, currently, a great part of the world population that is out of school lives in conflict affected areas and shaken by disturbing phenomenon, among them, pandemic that put in high risk education and human development.
In such contexts, the need of promoting education in “safe learning environments” becomes essential.
As far as health is concerned, in order to reach it we also need to tackle a process in which, in the first place, we must analyze the causes and effects of the social inequalities that have gripped important sectors of the society, among them we can find the inequalities on the field of education. Obviously, in that process we search for necessary transformations to achieve the highest level of health, which is the acknowledgment of the right to health.
The transforming processes on the field of education and health that gathers the 2030 Agenda should not be left in printed words because real transformations we not only find them written but also in the spirit and will of people. The real transformations go beyond the printed word.
Mª Teresa de Febrer
Awareness department of the PROSALUS NGO which mission is the respect, protection and assurance of the human right to food, health, water and sanitation.