11.11.2014 - UNESCO Office in Santiago

Latin America seeks new paths for Health Literacy

Photo: UNESCO/Brasil

Meeting organised by UNESCO in Panama

Panama City is the site of the Regional Health Literacy Task Force Meeting to be held 11-12 November 2014, where a panel of experts will agree upon a conceptual framework for health literacy that is appropriate for Latin America, based on the needs, perspectives and efforts made in the region. The meeting will be held at the Hotel Tryp Wyndam of Albrook, Panama.

Some of the main topics include a measurement instrument adapted to the Latin American context and the presentation of best practices for collaboration among the health sectors, as well as the identification of challenges and opportunities for the region.

Some of the expected results of this encounter are the development of further research, interventions and advocacy on this topic and the possibility of creating a regional consortium on health literacy with defined roles, timeframes and resources. This consortium will direct its efforts towards promoting, supporting and disseminating research projects and recommendations for public policy on health and education.  

Mary Guinn Delaney, regional advisor on Health Education at UNESCO Santiago, will attend this encounter. The specialist indicates the value of this diversity of perspectives in a region that requires more studies on this matter, as well as adequate agreements and policies: “there is very little research in the country and region which documents levels of health literacy among adults and their link to important public health problems. And like other issues present in the region, there are enormous socioeconomic gaps that hinder many people and societies from adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle”.

The meeting in Panama will be attended by academic representatives from the host country, as well as from Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Puerto Rico and Peru.

UNESCO is very interested in the generation and dissemination of knowledge regarding levels of health literacy in the Latin American region, as well as the empowerment of communities through active participation in order to resolve the problems that they face.

The generation of a Latin American collaborative network based on South-South cooperation, which shares manageable experiences by other countries in the region and generates solutions that are adapted to the Latin American reality, is part of the efforts made by <a name="_GoBack"></a>this specialised UN agency.

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