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Manuela Malaguti

Congratulations to SPLS

From infancy on, we receive information that gives form to our thinking and problem solving.

The choices we make in the collection and use of information for health will determine our effectiveness in detecting problems, defining priorities, identifying innovative solutions, and allocating resources for improved health outcomes. 

Despite those fundamental realities, there has been little awareness to date of the ramifications that greater information use can have for advancing health, and even less attention has been given to systems needed to provide timely, accurate, and relevant information. Health information is required for strategic planning and the setting of priorities; clinical diagnosis and management of illness or injury; quality assurance and quality improvement for health services; detection and control of emerging and endemic disease; human resource management; procurement and management of health commodities (including drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics); regulation of toxic exposures; program evaluation; research; and other types of policies and interventions. Citizens require such information to choose healthy behaviours, to demand effective policies and services, and to hold their governments accountable for the allocation and use of resources for health. Health literacy has a significant role in providing the tools for an effective and sustainable health communication. Health literacy is a cross-cutting issue that affects all efforts to improve the healthcare system and delivery methods. It is widely recognised to be based at the intersection of a person’s skills to navigate the health care and education system, and the broad social and cultural factors at home, work and in the community. Fundamentally, health literacy is about health equity and as such it aligns with the primary health care model of health, which not only approaches health on an individual level but also considers families, communities, schools and workplaces as well as media influences and health policies”. (Malaguti Boyle, M. 2022).

With a vast academic background in Public Health (MPH), Health Science (MHSc.) and High Degree Research (MPhil), I have dedicated my professional career to supporting health promotion, health determinants, global governance, policy analysis, and social prescribing. For population health determinants, it is known that one’s socioeconomic status shapes health inequalities, education, income level, living conditions or the physical and built environment conditions of one’s place of residence. Given that these factors are preventable through policies and the allocation of resources and variations, they are deemed inequitable and thus recognised as injustices. Social justice has been shown to be strongly dependent upon health literacy at individual and population levels. Health literacy is about improving the social determinants of health equity and well-being by tackling personal behaviours and addressing life course stages, the broader society, and the wider macro-level context, along with governance, delivery, and monitoring systems. I am especially interested in educating and empowering people to make informed choices about their health and health care, promoting better health through evidence-based clinical practice. I firmly believe that to understand health inequities one needs to appreciate that the concept of health is complex and holistic, requiring that ‘what’ and ‘why’ be measured. To understand the health of a society, the fundamental question to be asked is, “how are we doing – and how can we do better?”. I am an expert advisor to WHIS (UK) on national and international public health policies concerning SDG3 and SDG4. For the last five years, I have collaborated with WHIS on various projects for the WHO, UNGSII, the Vatican Covid-19 Commission, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD), and WHIS Talks. I have recently been elected to be part of the Research Standards Committee of the International Health Literacy Association (USA). I am a clinical with a Board Certification with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFMCP): a published author, and a national and international keynote speaker.

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