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Readying the global population for self-care: Health literacy in the 2020s

24 July 2021

This event will explore the evolution in our understanding of health literacy and identify practical strategies to improve health literacy in community populations.  The role of the pharmacist in health literacy is also discussed.

Health literacy describes the skills that enable individuals to obtain, understand and use information to make decisions and take actions that have an impact on health.   Several countries now have well established national strategies and plans to improve health literacy through programs to improve the skills of patients and the public, and service changes to reduce the literacy demands on patients and the public.

Aim: To discuss health literacy, how it readies the global population for self-care and how pharmacists can contribute

Learning objectives:

  • Define health literacy.
  • Describe different rates of health literacy around the world.
  • Discuss challenges and opportunities for improving health literacy;
  • Critique the role of the pharmacist in health literacy.


  1. Welcome (5 minutes) – Dr Sarah Dineen-Griffin, Charles Sturt University (Moderator)
  2. Importance of health literacy and how health systems can support it: a pharmacy perspective (20 minutes) – Helen Ryan, National Adult Literacy Agency (Ireland).
  3. Improving health literacy (20 minutes) – Dr Anandi Law, Western University of Health Sciences (USA)
  4. The role of pharmacists in supporting health literacy (20 minutes) – Greg Duncan, Monash University (Australia).
  5. Panel Discussion (20 minutes) – Panel + Moderator
  6. Summary and close (5 minutes) - Dr Sarah Dineen-Griffin, Charles Sturt University (Moderator)

Target Audience: Healthcare professionals – particularly the pharmacy team, who support people to self-care.