Literacy crucial to promoting better health conditions worldwide
There are many important links between literacy and health. Literacy skills and practices are powerful instruments enabling women and men to develop the necessary capacities and self-confidence for improved health. Children have more opportunities to grow up healthy and to receive an education when they are raised by literate mothers. Literacy thus benefits the health not only of individuals, but also of families and whole communities.
(PressZoom) - The theme of this yearís International Literacy Day -- health and literacy -- highlights the crucial role of literacy in promoting better health conditions worldwide.
There are many important links between literacy and health.¬ Literacy skills and practices are powerful instruments enabling women and men to develop the necessary capacities and self-confidence for improved health.¬ Children have more opportunities to grow up healthy and to receive an education when they are raised by literate mothers.¬ Literacy thus benefits the health not only of individuals, but also of families and whole communities.
Health care and educational opportunities can be promoted at one and the same time.¬ For example, paediatric practices have proved to be useful for providing guidance on literacy and for helping parents prepare their children for schooling.¬ Literacy programmes with a health dimension can play a critical part in creating and sustaining a healthier world, as can health initiatives with a literacy component.
This year marks the halfway point in the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012).¬ Yet today, there are an estimated 774 million illiterate adults, two thirds of whom are women.¬ More than 72 million children are not in school.¬ These figures remind us how much remains to be done to ensure that peopleís rights to education and literacy are fulfilled.
This year is also the midpoint in our race to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.¬ One of the Goals is to achieve universal primary schooling -- where literacy begins.¬ Higher literacy rates, in turn, would advance our efforts to improve maternal and child health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, and reach the other Millennium Development Goals.¬ Overall, literacy sustains development.¬ It helps eradicate extreme poverty and increases opportunities while promoting gender equality and environmental sustainability.
The global literacy challenge remains formidable.¬ It is a challenge that belongs to all of us -- Governments, the United Nations family, other international organizations, the private sector, civil society, local groups and individuals.¬ Each can make a contribution.¬ All can be part of the solution.
Acquiring literacy is an empowering process and is essential to development and health.¬ On this International Literacy Day, let us redouble our efforts to improve literacy rates around the world, as we work together to reach our ultimate goal of literacy for all.
* *** *
UNITED NATIONS UN
This news item was released on 2007-08-24. Please make sure to visit the official company or organization web site to learn more about the original release date. See our disclaimer for more information.
(c) PressZoom.com - Press Release Distribution Service - All Rights Reserved