Health Literacy for Citizens, Health Professionals and Government Officials
News post by AHLA Assistant, Allegra Kurtz-Rossi
Just prior to the 2019 annual conference, members of the Asian Health Literacy Association (AHLA) assisted the International Health Literacy Association (IHLA) and EDA Healthcare Group | I-Shou University, to promote health literacy and the first Global Health Literacy Summit 2020. A health literacy delegation which included AHLA Advisor Vincent Rollet from WenZao University met with the Vice President of Taiwan, Mr. Chen Chien-jen, to discuss the importance of health literacy for citizens, health professionals and government officials. Vice President Chen talked from personal experience about the positive impact health literacy has on communities. IHLA President, Kristine Sorenson, recognized Vice President Chen for his health literacy leadership and invited him to serve as a patron of the Global Health Literacy Summit in 2020.
After meeting with the Vice President, the health literacy delegation had dinner with the Minister of Health and Welfare, Mr. Shih-Chung Chen, and other members of the Health Promotion Administration. It is clear that Taiwan takes great pride in its ability to provide quality health care and promote a long and happy life for all its citizens. It is no surprise that Taiwan is a leader in the growing global recognition of health literacy which as vital to effective health care and public health. AHLA is proud to be part of the discussions with government officials in Taiwan and throughout Asia about health literacy and how it can be used to improve the lives of all people.
On Friday 8 November 2020, members of AHLA were involved in a press conference to promote health literacy and the work of the International Health Literacy Association (IHLA) and EDA Healthcare Group | I-Shou University to organize the first Global Health Literacy Summit 2020. The media plays an important role in people's lives and in disseminating accurate and much needed health information such as what to do in case of a public health emergency or how best to care for a sick child. “The media is able to reach so many people,” said Terence Tsai, former president of AHLA, “and we hope to work with the media to improve the health literacy of all people.”
To reach out to healthcare professionals, members of AHLA were part of E-DA's Hospital first International Health Literacy Symposium for medical students and attending physicians, funded by the Health Promotion Administration. Jurgen Pelikan (Austria), Kristine Sorensen (Denmark) and Sabrina Kurtz-Rossi (USA) presented on why it is important for doctors as well as patients to have good health literacy. For patients to get good treatment they need to have basic knowledge of the healthcare system and health care. For doctors to provide good care they must be able to communicate to the patients in the patient's native language and must make sure the patient really does understand any new diagnoses or treatments. IHLA has offered to expland their health literacy curriculum for their foreign medical students who can become health literacy ambassadors when they return home.