Opinion: The Necessity of Peer Health

By Richard Wembe Johnson, San Quentin Prison

In some prisons there are self-help courses that teach inmates health and communicable disease issues. Unfortunately, not all of the prisons can afford this educational access.

Given this situation the idea of peer health, which employs the concept of “each on teach one,” is used to teach about good health practices in a simplified one-on-one manner.

Our communities, which are continuously ravaged by senseless and brutal violence on a daily basis, are also subjected to the deadly effects of transmitted diseases, that endanger us due to ignorance. When we learn health principles and apply them through peer health education we can prevent the spread of these silent killers.

Peer health taken to a higher level can be of great assistance and enlighten those in prison as well as in communities to help halt the transmission of viral and bacterial diseases as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Ignorance  of and complacency about safe health practices can be as threatening as a dangerous lethal weapon because either could end your life.

It is quite encouraging that Peer Health courses are being offered to the prison population across the state. However, what is done with this helpful knowledge is yet to be manifested in action.

Everyone should learn as much as possible concerning the prevention of diseases. Fortunately this knowledge can be obtained from various sources, including the internet, books or even word of mouth from credible sources. We are never too young or old to learn about preventable health issues.

You can reach Mr. Johnson by letter: Richard Johnson K-53293, S.Q.S.P. 3 W 2, San Quentin, CA  94974.


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