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Experts from around the world discussed Health Literacy in Lisbon

Publicado a 18/01/2019

More than 500 people participated in the Health Literacy Interventions for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases International Conference, held at the Rectory of NOVA University, on the 16th of january 2019. The Portuguese Secretary of State of Health delivered a speech at the opening session.

The event that gathered internationally renowned experts, was co-organized by the NOVA National School of Public Health (ENSP-NOVA) and the Diabetes Portuguese Association (APDP), with the World Health Organization (WHO) support.

The opening lecture was held by Isabel Loureiro, ENSP-NOVA Full Professor, and focused on the concepts and state of the art of health literacy, a set of skills and knowledge that lead people to make substantiated decisions about their health and to improve the self-management of their diseases.

Because it is a critical health and well-being determinant, WHO supports the development of initiatives that leverage health literacy, including National Health Literacy Demonstration Projects (NHLDP), and this event was chosen to launch the first Portuguese health literacy demonstration project for prevention and control of Diabetes.

Health Literacy promotion for prevention and control of Diabetes“is a partnership between ENSP-NOVA, APDP, Portuguese Healthy Cities Network, with the support of WHO. Its public presentation was made by Dulce do Ó, from APDP, and it was preceded by a 2 days workshop, heald on ENSP-NOVA, with the suport from Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs da OMS and WHO Europe.

Isabel Loureiro explains that “This projects integrate a diagnosis, design, planning, implementation and evaluation phases, always in partnership with local agents, in order to respond to health literacy needs, improve information and access to services, contributing to the control of noncommunicable diseases”.

The Conference Program included the presentation and the sharing of experiences from other NHLDP in other european countries, that were also presented in a 2 day european workshop, a co-organization between WHO and Directorate-General of Portugal, that gathered  23 countries from EU and CIS. ENSP-NOVA was invited to participate and Isabel Loureiro held a lecture in the opening session.

According to a 2015 study from ENSP-NOVA, 61% of the Portuguese population had an insufficient or problematic level of health literacy. João Filipe Raposo, Clinic Director of APDP says that “only by creating synergies between different actors representing civil society, academia and government, we can reverse the catastrophic picture of noncommunicable diseases, which is closely linked to the low levels of health literacy of our population. This is a challenge that Portugal has to embrace”.

 

Conference Presentations:

 

The Conference and Workshops photo galleries are available here.