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On-Call - Lay Community Health Adivsors

Health literacy is the capacity of people to access, understand and apply information, so that they can make informed choices related to their health. In a Report by the European Health Forum in 2014 an alarming 47% of the population in eight EU Member States were reported to have insufficient levels of health literacy; 43% of adults surveyed had difficulty in grasping the notion of disease prevention and 51% of adults were found to struggle with the concept of health promotion or the ability to advance their own health.
Health literacy levels have an impact on the efficiency of healthcare systems. People that have low health literacy tend to go to the doctor more often, to be hospitalized more often or to take inappropriate treatment or prescriptions. Furthermore, they are less inclined to take preventative measures. Fostering health literacy of all citizens is beneficial for society at large as it reduces costs for public health systems which can, then, work more efficiently for those really in need of care.
Nowadays, the internet provides not only a vast array of health related websites, but increasingly also becomes the first information point for health issues. It eventually leads to self-diagnoses of illnesses and diseases based on this information. However, the information provided in fora and on online consultation websites has to be dealt with carefully, as not all information on diseases, illnesses, their symptoms or their treatment is correct and corresponds to the scientific state of the art in medicine.
There are 4 intellectual outputs planned over the 27 month implementation period as follows:
IO1- a bespoke Lay Family Health Advisor curriculum to train local residents as health literacy tutors
IO2 - an Induction Training Programme to support the delivery of the new Lay Family Health Advisors curriculum
IO3 – a digital toolkit of health literacy resources addressing positive mental health promotion; diet and nutrition and preventative measures for healthy living
IO4 - a suite of online tools and resources to include an e-learning portal and a suite of social media platforms facilitate interaction between the newly trained lay family health advisors
• Ballybeen Women's Centre (Northern Ireland) – project coordinator
• Future in Perspective Ltd (Ireland),
• INNEO (Poland),
• AKLUB (Czech Republic)
• DANTE (Croatia),
• KAS HALK (Turkey)
• Hub Karelia Oy (Finland),
• ISQ (Portugal)