Document Type : Original Article



BACKGROUND: Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over their
own health. Community involvement in social and environmental interventions tends to improve
people’s health and quality of life. Self‑help groups (SHGs) primarily focus on microfinancing, thereby
acting as a catalyst in bringing backward society to the mainstream. They possess huge potential
to influence the health of the community.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study is to assess the willingness among SHGs for the involvement
in health promotion activities and to assess their health information needs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A community‑based, cross‑sectional study was conducted during
September 2017 in rural Puducherry. All 86 SHGs in four selected villages were covered, and their
leaders were interviewed using a structured questionnaire on functioning of SHGs and their health
information needs. Willingness for health promotion activities was rated on an interest scale (1–100).
RESULTS: Among the 86 heads of SHGs interviewed, 81 SHGs (94.1%) were registered. They were
mainly involved in microfinancing. Health information needs expressed were cancer detection (45%),
diabetes (60%), hypertension (56%) and vector‑borne diseases (63%). When asked to rate
their willingness on an interest scale for health promotion activities, nearly 64% showed a great
interest (i.e., score > 60). Majority were willing to work for noncommunicable disease‑related activities
such as provision of drugs (86%) and for screening of various cancers (84%).
CONCLUSION: This study has shown that majority of SHG members have expressed willingness
for the involvement in health‑related activities, thereby can be utilized as an important resource for
health promotion in rural areas.


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