"In a world flavored by the past with little hope for change in the future, it can be a challenge to identify and implement what is needed to make a difference to improve daily living. Yet, investing in health literacy to achieve health and wellbeing can be the game-changer for individuals, for families and communities as well as societies at large.
"Across developed and developing countries, the improvement of health literacy is highlighted as a cornerstone for health and sustainable development in the coming decades. Health literacy is closely associated with literacy and entails the knowledge, motivation and competency to access, understand, appraise and apply information to make decisions concerning healthcare, disease prevention and health promotion in everyday life to maintain and promote quality of life during the life course1.
"Hence, health literacy includes being able to speak the local language (or the language of health authorities), having adequate vocabulary, ability to read, write and add up, and then a range of higher order abilities around navigation, critical appraisal, and empowerment.
"Whereas knowledge and awareness, culture and language have been identified as barriers for health, it is evident that an investment in health promotion and health literacy as an asset can help bridge inequality and leave no one behind. According to the Ottawa Charter4 of the World Health Organization, health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. To reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realize aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment. New avenues of thinking are necessary to make people flourish and develop their potential. We need to re-design societal systems to break down barriers and to become more responsive to people´s needs."
Dr. Kristine Sørensen, Founder Global Health Literacy Academy
European Health Award 2012 and International Health Literacy Award 2017
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