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Worldwide Health Diplomacy: Advancing Health Literacy

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  1. Global Health Diplomacy:Advancing Health Literacy World Health Communication Associates World Health Organization - Geneva 18 May 2009 Scott C. Ratzan, MD, MPA Vice President, Global Health Government Affairs Johnson & Johnson

  2. Our Goal: Health for the public good “The extension to all peoples of the benefits of medical, psychological and related knowledge is essential to the fullest attainment of health.” World Health Organization Preamble to the Constitution

  3. Issues likely to cost society can be addressed with health diplomacy Pandemics Chronic disease in developed countries Developing world disease

  4. Apply our evidence-based approach with Communication • Over 12 years of research in the peer reviewed Journal of Health Communicationhad measurable outcomes with communication affecting: • Knowledge • Attitudes • Awareness • Practices • Perceptions • Intentions • Behavior change, and • Social Change

  5. The Opportunity to Advance Health: Health Literacy for the public good “Informed opinion and active cooperation on the part of the public are of the utmost importance in the improvement of health of the people.” World Health Organization Preamble to the Constitution

  6. Health Literacy Health Literacy is “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” Ratzan and Parker, NLM Complete Bibliographies of Medicine, 2000 USDHHS, Healthy People 2010 Institute of Medicine, 2006

  7. Health Literacy Framework Health Literacy

  8. Pediatric health literacy -- US • “Most children and their caregivers [could] benefit from a set of health literacy skills adequate to meet common preventive needs (e.g nutrition, development, home safety, vision and lead screening, immunizations.) AND • common acute health needs (e.g. Fever, dehydration, upper respiratory tract infections, sexually transmitted infections)” • Source: Source: Sanders LM et al., Literacy and child health: a systematic review. Archive of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Feb. 2009 • And Benard Dreyer, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009

  9. Health Literacy – OECD, EU, US • What do we do to stay healthy? • Key areas and numbers: immunizations, blood levels (glucose, cholesterol), weight, blood pressure), etc. • If we are sick, how can we get better? • Can you do quality self care; screening? • Do you rely on the system for health decisions • If we are living with illness, how do we get effective medical care? • Knowledge, information and practice

  10. Health Literacy Scorecard: Globally- Developing and transitional economies • What do we do to stay healthy? • Key areas and numbers: body mass index in range, mineral/salt, immunizations, weight, blood pressure, etc. • Do I or my family/friends smoke cigarettes? • If we are sick, how can we get better? • Can I recognize and understand signs/symptoms? • When do I seek a health service worker advise? • If we are living with illness, how do we get effective medical care? • Knowledge, information and practice

  11. Measure Health Literacy “what gets measured gets done” Health Literacy • Incorporate health literacy with measurable items • Link to global, regional and national efforts to measure health quality, disparities, and cost

  12. CONCLUSION..Efforts to impact global health requires health diplomacy • Government • Health Ministry, Public Health Officials, State and local governments • Legislation and policy • Direct funding • Medical sector and research institutions • Academic institutions, physician associations, individual doctors • Testing and patient diagnosis • Appropriate treatment and care • Disease management • hospital and pharmaceutical firms • Research • epidemiology • scientific and clinical • social • Foundations, NGOs • Financial support • Grass roots intervention • initiate and sustain community action • Lobbying and advising government • Service delivery Heqlth diplomacy for children’s health • International health associations and organizations (WHO, IDF, World Economic Forum, etc) • International standard setting • guidelines, protocols • best practice • Technical assistance • Funding • International coalition building • Private sector • Funding, individuals • Corp. employee engagement - education and financial support • Corp in-kind support • Mass media • Press outlets (TV, Radio, Newspaper, Magazine) • Online outlets (Yahoo, Message boards) • Public forum and information • data dissemination • public feedback and discussion

  13. Possible engagement with the United Nations and health literacy - 2009 ECOSOC Outcome Report at General Assembly for action under provisions of a resolution on “Global Health and Foreign Policy” (September 2009) ECOSOC Meeting on Promoting Health Literacy (Beijing, 29-30 April 2009) + ECOSOC Meeting on NCDs in the Middle-East (Qatar, 10-11 May 2009) + ECOSOC High Level Segment on Global Health (Geneva, 6-8 July 2009) Monograph (September 2009) WHCA UN General Assembly High Level Discussion on Health (New York,June 2009)

  14. Our suggested engagement with health diplomacy For more information: Scott Ratzan MD Sratzan2@its.jnj.com THANK YOU!