1 in 3 Malaysian Adults Have Low Health Literacy

art-283-011 in 3 Malaysian adults lack the knowledge they need concerning their health, according to the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019

As of 2019, 35.1 percent or one in three Malaysian adults are not highly literate when it comes to health.

This is among key findings by the National Institutes of Health from the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MoH) in the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019.

In detail, 28.0 percent of Malaysian adults – individuals aged 18 and above – have low health literacy in managing medical issues; 32.3 percent have low health literacy related with disease prevention activities; and 27.0 percent have low health literacy in health promotion and healthy lifestyle practices.

According to the survey, health literacy refers to one’s ability to find, understand and use health information and services required for everyday health decision making.

Having strong health literacy is important in understanding health information and medical instructions easily; organising health care appointments accordingly; and analysing treatment risks and benefits wisely.

Above all, being adequately literate in health allows an individual to understand health risk factors and subsequently practise a healthy lifestyle.

To enhance one’s health literacy, the survey recommends the public to always enquire from their respective health care providers concerning their health condition; disease prevention and management; and over-the-counter and prescription medicines, vitamins, supplements and herbal medicines.

Additionally, they should bring someone with them to a clinic or a hospital to help them take notes and recall important information, such as dates and appointments, as well as medical instructions.

Most importantly, they should know their medical history, which includes their current and previous health conditions; surgeries or medical procedures, if any; and medications. This is especially helpful when they visit a new clinic or hospital.

Comments are closed.