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Information inequality and health inequalities: joined at the hip Lorraine Fahy (IPH)

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Information inequality and health inequalities: joined at the hip
Lorraine Fahy (IPH)

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Information inequality and health inequalities: joined at the hip Lorraine Fahy (IPH)

  1. 1. Information inequality and health inequalities: joined at the hip Lorraine Fahy Institute of Public Health in Ireland 1
  2. 2. Inequalities 2
  3. 3. Health inequality • The right to health – meaning that governments must generate conditions in which everyone can be as healthy as possible (WHO) • Health inequalities unequally distributed in society – social gradient • Societies that enable all citizens to play a full and useful role in the social, economic and cultural life of their society will be healthier than those where people face insecurity, exclusion and deprivation. 3
  4. 4. Information inequality • Access to information muted as a fundamental freedom • Access remains unequally distributed in society • Leads to limited engagement and participation • Access to information can strengthen education, training, empowerment and human development 4
  5. 5. Relationship between Health and Information Inequalities 5 Health / Social Inequalities Information Inequalities Open access (for all) ▷ Preventable ▷ Unjust ▷ Experienced by certain population groups
  6. 6. Working towards meaningful participation Healthy Ireland ▷ actions designed to empower individuals and communities to make healthier choices ▷ Strengthen participation in decision making for health and wellbeing at community level. ▷ Address and prioritise health literacy 6 Making Life Better ▷ Empower people to make healthier choices and informed decisions about their health by improving health literacy ▷ Improving health literacy – address the determinants of health
  7. 7. Working towards meaningful participation 7 Health 2020 ▷importance of participation and responsiveness, with the full engagement of people ▷Investing in health through a life-course approach and empowering people The Solid Facts ▷makes the case for policy action to strengthen health literacy ▷Strengthening health literacy: • builds individual and community resilience, • help address health inequities and • improve health and wellbeing
  8. 8. “ “Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay.” Sherlock Holmes The Adventure of the Copper Beeches 8 Information, information, information…
  9. 9. • Empower people to contribute to society • Encourage lifelong self-learning • Spur continued research and innovation • Assist with linking the evidence base • Improve health literacy • More knowledge leads to better outcomes How OA might contribute to Information Equality 9
  10. 10. ▷ Non-academic sector ▷ Community & Voluntary sector ▷ Health and Social Care services ▷ Organisations with restricted library services ▷ Disadvantaged groups Who might benefit from Open Access 10
  11. 11. ▷ Issue of ‘Technocracy’ – technical elite ▷ Only technological savvy persons will benefit ▷ OA initiatives could increase information inequality Therefore increasing health inequalities ▷ Need to ensure OA initiatives benefit all ▷ OA initiatives recognise unequal access and help to target those with reduced access Cautions……… 11
  12. 12. ▷ ...if want to effect social change ▷ Build capacity such as training e.g. awareness and education for behaviour change ▷ Knowledge mobilisation/translation use and understand messages; contextualise it; then use Beyond access… 12
  13. 13. IPH Open Access Policy ▷IPH believes that current unequal access to information, contributes to existing social and health inequalities ▷Making information more broadly available will make a significant contribution to tackling inequalities www.publichealth.ie/site-page/iph-open-access-policy 13
  14. 14. ▷ IPH Corporate website www.publichealth.ie ▷ The Health Well www.thehealthwell.info • Exploratory tools o IPH Community Profiles Tool • All Ireland Public Health Repository http://repository.thehealthwell.info/ How IPH implements Open Access 14
  15. 15. Open access – helping to “Close the gap” Improving equal access 15
  16. 16. Thank you Any questions? Email : lorraine.fahy@publichealth.ie Web: www.publichealth.ie www.thehealthwell.info www.twitter.com/publichealthie www.twitter.com/thehealthwell 16
  17. 17. Working towards meaningful participation Healthy Ireland Theme 3 – Empowering People And Communities ▷ actions designed to empower individuals and communities to make healthier choices ▷ Address and prioritise health literacy in developing future policy, educational and information interventions ▷ Strengthen participation in decision making for health and wellbeing at community level. 19
  18. 18. Working towards meaningful participation Making Life Better ▷People Are Better Informed About Health Matters ▷Health literacy empowers people to make healthier choices, decide to change their lifestyle and take action ▷health literacy as a set of individual capacities that allow the individual to acquire and use new information. 20
  19. 19. Is access to information a human right? WHO ▷Health literacy: The solid facts ▷Health literacy – a key determinant of health ▷Health 2020, the European health policy framework adopted by Member States in 2012 ▷Strengthening health literacy has been shown to build individual and community resilience, help address health inequities and improve health and well-being. 21
  20. 20. Joined at the hip… Some things are just inseparable… 22
  21. 21. Is access to information a human right? ▷ Information inequality  limited engagement and participation ▷ Unequal access  unequal dialogue ▷ Non-meaningful participation in dialogue and health & wellbeing ▷ Health literacy  empowers people to make healthier choices ▷ Weak health literacy  further reinforce existing inequalities 23

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