Online Program

Role of literacy and education in global health: A study of India

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Jennifer Sulkowski, School of Public Health, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
Background: Globally, literacy rates are a national predictor of infant mortality rates, under-5 mortality rates, and GNP—all of which indicate and predict national health status. Local literacy and education programs provide a sustainable and empowering approach to the elimination of global socioeconomic health disparities, especially when these opportunities are provided for women in developing countries. Literacy status and education are strong predictors for national maternal health behavior and child mortality. Methods: Using data from the 2005 India Human Development Survey, descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses, and stratification were used to compare literacy and education status with health indicators and socioeconomic variables at the individual and household level among men and women in India. Results: Adult female education was found to be twice as impactful upon the reduction of child death as adult male education in the household. Women had a 50% reduced risk of losing a child after exposure to one year of education. Significant correlations were found (p < 0.001) between literacy and education, health behaviors, poverty status, caste, and reduced diarrhea incidence in the household. Conclusions: Female literacy and education fosters a woman's ability to create a healthy household environment for her family, utilize pediatric health services, obtain income, and raise children who live long and healthy enough to attend school and pass on the same standards of health and education to their own families. Therefore, local education and literacy promotion for women and children may be the most promising and sustainable tool in 21st century global health initiative.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Identify national health indicators affected by literacy and education status. Explain the impact of female literacy on local and national maternal, infant, and family health. Assess the sustainability of and justification for public health literacy and education promotion programs. Design local and sustainable literacy and education promotional programs focused on female recruitment and empowerment, domestically and abroad.

Keyword(s): Literacy, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a second year PhD student studying public and global health. I have contributed to the planning and organizing of several developing country community projects, including the launch of a 10-year Zambian dual village improvement program, sponsored by the World Vision. Although third world health and education are my passion, I am committed and determined to deliver ethically sound and culturally (religiously, economically, societally, etc.) competent and relevant research and programming.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.