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Students lead way in health education

By Louise Errington

Pharmacy student Rejoice Ramotswetla plans to use her new peer educator skills to improve health outcomes in her home country of Botswana Pharmacy student Rejoice Ramotswetla plans to use her new peer educator skills to improve health outcomes in her home country of Botswana

A new peer-led anti-smoking asthma education program could help reduce the number of Territory youths who take up smoking.

Pharmacy students recently attended a leadership training workshop, where they learned peer-led education techniques to pass on to Year 10 students from next year.

The Year 10 students will in turn take on the role of peer educators to take the anti-smoking message to Year 7 students.

Fourth-year Pharmacy student Rejoice Ramotswetla said the game-based and interactive activities included in the program would deliver health education resources to young people who may be experiencing peer pressure to smoke.

“It’s important that young people are equipped with the right health information and are aware of ways to say ‘no’ to smoking,” Rejoice said.

“Through the Anti-Smoking Asthma Program, middle and high school students will learn about asthma self-management, avoidance of triggers, the dangers of smoking for asthmatics, and strategies to resist peer pressure to smoke.

“We believe that youngsters will be more receptive to health information that is delivered by their peers.”

Rejoice, who is from Botswana, hopes to take the peer educator skills she has learnt through her studies at CDU back home after graduating.

The project is a collaboration between CDU, the University of Sydney, Menzies School of Health Research, and Asthma Foundation NT.