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The term “health literacy” was coined by Ratzan et al. in the 1970s providing the minimal health education required in schools, however this term is almost new and in the early phase of development. Though many attempts have been made in the past to define health literacy, WHO construed it as “the cognitive ...

The term “health literacy” was coined by Ratzan et al. in the 1970s providing the minimal health education required in schools, however this term is almost new and in the early phase of development. Though many attempts have been made in the past to define health literacy, WHO construed it as “the cognitive and social skills which determine the motivation and ability of individuals to gain access to, understand and use information in ways which promote and maintain good health.”

Health literacy not only focuses on the individual behaviour oriented communication but also on the various determinants of health such as environmental, social, and political factors, thus it is ahead in the concept of health education. If health education methods go beyond the bounds of “information diffusion” and bring about interaction, participation, and critical analysis, such kind of approach will lead to improved health literacy, personal aid, and social benefit by enabling adequate community action and contributions to the advancement of social capital.

We believe that nowadays, health literacy is limited to topics such as non communicable diseases and maternal and child health care, and health education can often be seen as a bureaucratic formality rather than serving its real purpose. It can also be presented in a fragmented approach when the concept of a holistic approach is completely missing in health systems.

A “Multisectoral approach” (MSA) (incorporating health department, education department, industry, civil society education, mass media, legislations, and many more) aims to fulfil all these aspects and escalate health literacy. MSA largely relies on the collaboration of stakeholders within other sectors, not only for policy and decision making but also for its implementation. By dovetailing the expertise of different sectors, the health outcome can only be enhanced as they all work together to achieve a shared goal. MSA also focuses on the social determinants of health as well as people’s behavioral aspects, which if not taken care of could lead to many health inequalities.

The scope of this Research Topic is to publish evidence helping to gauge and enhance health literacy among the public regarding disease prevention.

We are interested in research surrounding the following themes in relation to disease prevention:
• Health Literacy and the COVID-19 pandemic;
• Health Literacy and non-communicable disease prevention, management, and treatment;
• Health Literacy and communicable diseases – using knowledge of infectious diseases to inform protective behaviors;
• Health Literacy and high-risk populations – improving health literacy in these groups to prevent health inequalities;
• Health literacy and health inequalities.

Topic Editors will accept the following article types for submission:
• Original research;
• Community Case Study;
• Brief Research Reports;
• Review articles;
• Opinion;
• General Commentary.

Keywords: Health literacy, health communication, education, disease, multisectoral approach


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