Health Education Waec Syllabus

Below is this years Waec Syllabus for Health Education. Note that this syllabus is for both internal and external candidates.

Aims and Objectives

  • acquire basic knowledge of the human body and necessary skills for the maintenance of health
  • acquire positive health practices in the school and community
  • identify and show the ecological relationship between man and his environment as a basis for preventing diseases
  • make observations and draw inferences from practical experiences that may have implications for health
  • develop readiness necessary for professional training in health-related careers

Scheme of Examination

There will be three papers – Papers 1, 2, and 3, all of which must be taken. Papers 1 and 2 will be a composite paper to be taken in one sitting.


It will consist of fifty multiple-choice objective questions, all of which must be taken in 1hour for 50 marks.


It will consist of two sections, Sections A and B.

Section A will consist of six short-structured questions, all of which must be answered for 30 marks.

Section B will consist of three essay questions, out of which candidates will be required to answer two questions for 40 marks.  The paper will last 1 hour.


Paper 3 will be a practical test for school candidates and an alternative test of practical work for private candidates.  The paper will last for 1¾ hours and carry 80 marks.

Detailed Health Education Syllabus


  1. Meaning and setting for Health Education
    • Meaning
    • Setting
      • home-based;
      • school-based;
      • community-based;
      • health facility-based;
      • workplace-based.
    • Meaning of health promotion
  2. Notes

    Students should visit to observe the community, health facility and work place base, health education programmes and services.


  1. Cells and tissues of the Human Body
    • Types of cells
      • somatic cells
      • sex cells
    • Cell division
      • Mitosis
      • Meiosis
    • Cell differentiation
      • Formation of tissues
      • Organs and Systems
    • Growth and development
  2. Sense Organs
    • Structure and functions of the following sense organs
      • eye
      • ear
      • skin
      • nose
      • tongue
  3. Systems of the Body
    • Skeletal system and muscles
      • The general plan of the axial and appendicular skeleton
      • Functions of the skeletal system
      • Joints: Structures and types
      • Structures and types of muscle tissues
      • Movement
    • Circulatory System
      • Structure and functions
        • Heart
        • Blood and lymph vessels
      • Composition of blood and lymph
      • Blood and lymph circulation
      • Process of blood clotting
      • Blood groups, rhesus factors hemoglobin, genotype
      • Diseases disorder of the circulatory system and their causes; sickle cell anaemia, leukaemia, haemophilia arteriosclerosis, hypertension, coronary thrombosis and stroke.
    • Digestive system
      • Organs of the digestive system and their functions.
      • Process of digestion
      • Absorption, assimilation and metabolism.
      • Diseases/disorders of the digestive system and their prevention
    • Excretory System
      • Structure and functions of the kidney and skin.
      • Process of urine formation
    • Respiratory System
      • Structure and functions of the respiratory system
      • Process of respiration
        • Mechanism of breathing
        • Gaseous exchange.
        • Tissue/Cellular respiration
      • Diseases/disorders of the respiratory system and their control
    • Nervous System
      • Structure and functions of the components of the nervous system
      • Voluntary and involuntary actions
      • Diseases/disorders of the nervous system
    • Endocrine System
      • Location of the different endocrine glands, the hormones produced and their functions
    • Homeostasis
      • Physiological factors affecting homeostatis
  4. Posture and Postural Defects
    • Definition
    • Characteristics of correct posture
    • Determination of correct postures
    • Types of postural defects: Flat foot; scoliosis, kyphosis and lordosis
    • Effects of incorrect posture on physical appearance, position and functions of body organs.


  1. 1.      Meaning and importance of physical health
  2. Personal hygiene
  3. Promotion and maintenance of health
    • Definition
    • Factors and their roles in the maintenance of health
  4. Health Screening
    • Eye defects and their corrections
      • Myopia;
      • Hypermetropia;
      • Astigmatism;
      • Presbyopia;
      • Squints (cross eye)
    • Auditory defects
    • Conductive impairment
      • Neurosensory impairment
      • Disorder of the skin
      • Care of the eye, ear and skin
  5. Dental health education
    • Meaning and types
    • Types of human teeth
    • Teeth diseases

    Dental caries and gingivitis should be mentioned.


  1. Community health services
    • Definition
    • Providers
      • Orthodox services e.g. primary health care
      • Traditional services e.g. bone setters, birth attendance
    • Community efforts in health promotion
  2. School health programme
    • Definition
    • Components
      • Skill-based health education
      • Healthful school environment
      • School feeding services
      • School health and nutrition services
      • School, home and community relationship
    • Goals and Objectives
    • Linkages for promotion (initiatives)
      • Health Promoting School (HPS)
      • Child-Friendly School (CFS)
      • Focusing resources on Effective Schools Health (FRESH)
      • Life Skills (LS)
      • Education for All (EFA)
  3. Family Health
    • Meaning
    • Different aspects of family health: Maternal and child health
    • Family size and budgeting
  4. Ageing and death education
    • Definition and features of the elderly
    • Ways of relating with the elderly
    • Meaning of grief and death
    • Common causes of death
  5. Epidemiology and vital statistics
    • Definitions
    • Components of vital statistics
      • Birth rate
      • Mortality rate
      • Morbidity rate
    • Uses of the major components of vital statistics.
  6. Other Stuffs to Note About the Above Sections

    Candidates should examine the heart of a dissected mammal.

    Pulse rate should be counted. The web of a toad/frog should be examined with a hand lens to observe the capillaries. The importance of lymph nodes should be mentioned.

    Prepared slides of blood should be observed under microscope.

    Pulmonary and systemic circulation should be emphasized.

    The relevance of these factors in relation to blood transfusion should be mentioned.

    (1) Heredity aspect of sickle cell andhaemophilia should be discussed.

    (2) Prevention of anaemia and arteriosclerosis should be discussed.

    Candidates should examine the alimentary canal of a dissected mammal.The location and function of accessory organs of digestion should be emphasized.

    Digestive enzymes should be discussed in relation to substrates and end-product.

    (1) Mentioned should be made of tissue respiration in relation to metabolism.

    (2) Osmosis and diffusion should be demonstrated and their importance in absorption should be emphasized.

    Importance of proper eating habits and the effects of over-eating and under-eating should be discussed.

    s(1) Candidates should examine the parts of the urinary system of a dissected mammal.

    (2) Candidates should examine prepared slides of the skin under the microscope.

    Reference should be made to the excretory functions of the lungs. The use of dialysis machine for kidney failure should be mentioned.

    Candidates should examine the respiratory organs of a dissected mammals.

    Experiment to demonstrate the inhalation and exhalation of air should be performed.

    Total, compIemental and residual air should be explained.

    Experiment to show that expired air contains more carbon dioxide and water vapour should be performed.

    The brain, spinal cord and nerves should be discussed.

    The reflex arc should be studied.

    (1) Characteristics of endocrine glands should mentioned.

    (2) Charts/models should be used to study the location of the glands.

    (3) The effects of over- and under – secretion of hormones should be emphasized.

    (1) Body temperature, blood sugar level, water balance, electrolytes balance, pH and blood pressure should be highlighted.

    (2) Candidates should test urine with litmus paper and also, count pulse rate.

    (3) Mention should be made of the positive and negative feed back control system.

    Posture should be related to the following: sitting; standing; walking and lifting.

    The roles of nutrition and exercise as determinants of correct posture should be discussed.

    (1) The causes of postural defects e.g. habits, accidents, heredity and diseases should be discussed.

    (2) The roles of orthopaedichospital and physiotherapy unit in the correction of postural defect should be mentioned.

    Care of body parts including the teeth, mouth, hair, hands and nails should be discussed.

    The use of snellen chart for vision screening should be mentioned. The roles of eye specialist in the correction of the defects should be discussed.

    Otitis media should be mentioned

    The use of tuning fork; audiometer, guitar strings and wrist watch in auditory screening should be mentioned. Also, mention should be made of the sign languages

    Structure and functions of the different types of teeth should be discussed.

    Advantages and disadvantages of traditional medicine should be mentioned.

    Awareness campaign should be discussed.

    Both physical and biological environment should be discussed.

    Antenatal care, immunization, oral rehydration therapy (ORT), breast feeding and safe motherhood should be discussed.
    Candidates should be able to define epidemiology, vital statistics and population dynamics.
    The importance and use of health records should be stressed.


  1. Housing
    • Criteria for good housing to include siting, ventilation, lighting and sanitation
    • Components of a standard house
  2. Water supply
    • Definition and sources
    • Purification and uses
  3. Waste disposal
    • Meaning
    • Types
      • refuse
      • Sewage
    • Methods
  4. Pollution
    • Meaning
    • Types: air, water, soil and noise
    • Meaning and sources of pollutants
    • Health consequences of pollution
  5. Industrial occupation
    • Meaning
    • Programmes: Industrial health services
    • Occupation hazard
  6. Pests and vectors control
    • Meaning
    • Habitats of pests and vectors
    • Harmful effects and control


  1. Nutrition
    • Classes, sources and functions of food nutrients
    • Caloric value of food nutrients
  2. Balanced/adequate diets
    • Definition
    • Classification
    • Nutritional problems
  3. Factors influencing feeding habits/choice of foods
  4. Water
  5. Nutritional processes: ingestion, digestion, absorption, assimilation and metabolism and defecation/ejection
  6. Beverages
    • Definition
    • Types and effects
  7. Diet for different groups of people
    • children, male adolescents; female adolescents; athletes; pregnant women; adult and the aged
  8. Food hygiene, preservation and storage
    • Meaning and Principles of food hygiene
    • Effects of methods of food preparation on nutrients
    • Methods of food preservation
      • Smoking/drying/dehydration,
      • Freezing/refrigeration, addition of chemicals/sugar salts,
      • Bottling/pickling/canning


  1. First Aid
    • Meaning/aims and principles of first aid
    • First aid kit
    • Specific emergency conditions cuts
      • Wounds; bleeding dislocation; fractures; burns; scalds; shocks; asphyxia/suffocation; poisoning
    • Agencies providing First Aid Services
    • Disaster
      • Meaning and types
      • Disaster relief activities
    • Accident
      • Types and causes
      • Prevention
    • Disability and rehabilitation
      • Meaning
      • Types and prevention


  1. Drug Education
    • Terminologies in drug education
    • Classes of drugs commonly abused
    • Ways of taking drugs into the body
    • Drug abuse and consequences of self medication
  2. Behaviour altering chemicals
    • tobacco
      • Components
      • Effects of smoking on health
    • Alcohol on health
      • Effects of alcohol on health
    • Drugs
      • Effects of drug on health
  3. NOTES
    • Mention should include drug abuse, drug dependence, drug misuse, drug addiction, self medication, alcoholism, rehabilitation
    • This should include oral, injection, inhalation, topical and anal.
    • Prevention of drug abuse should be highlighted.
    • Reasons for smoking and the methods of controlling smoking should be discussed.
    • Reasons for drinking alcohol and methods of controlling drinking should be discussed.


  1. Diseases
    • Meaning and classes of diseases.
  2. Communicable diseases
    • Definition
    • Classification of communicable diseases
      • Air-borne/Respiratory diseases
        • Common cold, measles, whooping cough, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis and cerebrospinal meningitis, and diphtheria.
      • Water/food-borne diseases: Dysentery, cholera, typhoid fever and schistosomiasis, guinea worm
      • Insect-borne diseases: Malaria, yellow fever, trypanosomiasis and filariasis
      • Worm infection
        • Ascarislumbricoides (round worm)
        • Taeniasolium (tape worm)
        • Ancylostomaduodenale (Hook worm)
        • Dracunculusmedinensis (Guinea worm)
      • Animal-borne diseases rabies,leptospoirosis
      • Contact diseases; Gonorrhoea, syphilis, Tineapedis (athlete/foot), Taeniacapitis (ringworm), leprosy, scabies and Acquired immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
    • Factors necessary for communicable diseases to  occur
      • Causative agent
      • Susceptible host;
      • Transmission route (environment)
    • Non-communicable diseases
      • Types
        • Deficiency (scurvy, pellagra, rickets, Kwashiorkor, anaemia, beriberi etc)
        • Diseases due to growth in cells, heredity and normal disorders (cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, haemophilia, heart disease, hypertension. Ulcer, mental illness, sickle cell, rheumatism, infertility, asthma, albinism etc


  1. Human Reproduction
    • Definition of terms:  Reproduction; sex gametes; ovulation; menstruation; fertilization; pregnancy and gestation
    • Structures and functions of male and female reproductive organs
    • Conception, pregnancy, foetal development and childbirth
    • Diseases disorders of the reproductive system
  2. Human Sexuality Education
    • Meaning and importance
    • Life skills (Assertive Negotiation and communication skills)
  3. Family and family member roles
    • The family – Meaning and types
    • Family size
  4. Family life challenges:  widowhood; single parenthood, pre-marital and extra-marital affairs, in-laws etc
    • Agencies promoting healthy family living
  5. Family planning and safe motherhood
    • Meaning and need for family planning
    • Birth control methods
    • Safe motherhood
  6. Population Education
    • Meaning of population and population education.
    • Census and its problems
    • Small and large population


  1. Interrelationship
  2. Attributes
    • Definition of personality and  personality traits
    • Personality problems and solution
  3. Mental health
    • Definition
    • Promotion
    • Types and Prevention
    • Importance


  1. Consumer health products and services
  2. Laws protecting the consumer
  3. 3.      Factors influencing choice of consumer products; Authencity; cost; availability; accessibility; availability and advertisement.
  4. Consumer healthcare services
  5. Quacks and quackery meaning and types
  6. Health insurance and advertisement of health products and services
  7. Nostrum
    • Definition and types
    • Reasons for avoiding nostrums.

Materials needed in Health Education Laboratory/Examination

    1. Models of various organs of the body;
    2. Models of various parts of the body e.g. tooth;
    3. Human skeleton;
    4. Bones of the body;
    5. Contraceptive devices;
    6. Reagents for testing of starch, protein, fat;
    7. Road safety signs;
    8. Different types of safety elements;
    9. Posters/charts of systems of the body e.g., reproductive, digestive, excretory;
    10. First aid box and kits;
    11. Fire extinguisher;
    12. Sand bucket;
    13. Photographs of health facilities and workers e.g., doctors , nurses, dentists at work;
    14. Photographs of methods of sewage and refuse disposals;
    15. Microscope
    16. Stethoscope
    17. Preserved worms;
    18. Preserved pests and vectors
    19. Photographs/posters of various types of communicable and non-communicable diseases;
    20. Model/poster showing parts of the body;
    21. Materials for personal hygiene e.g., toothpaste, comb, toothbrush;
    22. Dissecting set
    23. Photographs/posters of accident scenes;
    24. Photographs/posters showing methods of food preservation
    25. Photographs/posters showing disaster scenes;
    26. Safety;
    27. Photographs/posters of drugs commonly misused/abused
    28. Tobacco products;
    29. Hand lens;
    30. Real objects/photographs/posters/charts of classes of food;
    31. Photographs/posters showing correct postures
    32. Photographs/posters showing postural abnormalities;
    33. Poster/real object of sphygmomanometer, thermometer, litmus paper Snellen chart.

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