Acting together – WHO National Health Literacy Demonstration Projects (NHLDPs) address health literacy needs in the European Region

Mark Bakker, Polina Putrik, Anna Aaby, Xavier Debussche, Janis Morrissey, Christine Råheim Borge, Dulce Nascimento do Ó, Peter Kolarčik, R. Batterham, R.H. Osborne, Helle Terkildsen Maindal

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The burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) is increasing worldwide with the European Region of no exception. This poses economic and social challenges, which contribute to persisting health inequities. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.4 specifically focuses on reducing premature mortality from NCDs by a third through prevention and treatment, and promoting mental health and well-being. The promising role of health literacy is increasingly recognized in relation to the prevention and treatment
of NCDs throughout the life course. In support of this, WHO has initiated National Health Literacy Demonstration Projects (NHLDPs) in the European Region to generate evidence and accelerate NCD intervention development. The current European NHLDPs use the OPtimising HEalth LIteracy and Access (Ophelia) approach. This manuscript presents the methods, aims, status and preliminary outcomes of the seven flagship European NHLDPs, which cover a broad scope of settings (such as schools, hospitals and communities), health conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, renal failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and life stages. While the long-term impact of these NHLDPs on the NCD curve is too early to predict, the processes of engagement and action in each of the projects are promising.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-243
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Health Panaroma
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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