Lack of health literacy

Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar. Picture: SUPPLIED/FILE

MINISTER for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar has requested participants at the Pacific Society for Reproductive Health symposium to consider challenges faced by people when it came to reproductive health care. Ms Akbar said one of the challenges included the lack of health literacy among the people.

“They need information to be able to make informed choices, therefore reaching the hard-to-reach population and raising awareness on reproductive health services is critical,” Ms Akbar said.

“Competing priorities among our target population, we need to improve our health promotion and social mobilisation strategies to improve uptake of reproductive health services.

“Sometimes we think of the hard-to-reach as only the ones who are isolated and far from us, but the reality is there are also the hard-to-reach who are very close to us who need information, direction and options to make healthy choices, therefore we need to be more accessible and user-friendly to our clients.”

She encouraged participants to be agents of change and also prevent violence against women and children and any form of sexual violence and abuse.

“The need for clinical research and audit in the Pacific needs to be highlighted. We need to make sure that all our actions will bring about good clinical outcomes and are in line with best practice. As such the focus on audit and research is timely and very beneficial,” she said.

“We need a regional approach that allows us to collaborate and support each other to reduce the burden of suffering incurred to our women,” she said.

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