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Health literacy is a political choice. A health literacy guide for politicians.

The health literacy guide for politicians describes what health literacy is about and why it matters based on the newest evidence. It provides concrete examples on health literacy policies from around the globe and it describes the need for leadership to bridge the health literacy gap, which is a neglected public health challenge that governments need to face on the route towards health for all. It is deliberately made short and concise in its format to make it an easy and fast read. For more details and a wider platform of knowledge the list of references can serve as a starting point.

At the WHO World Conference on Health Promotion in Shanghai in November 2016 politicians at all levels from cities to governments discussed health literacy. It was a scoop to see how much the discourse on health literacy has changed in the recent years - from niche to mainstream. However, it was also clear that many were not fully familiar with the term and its meaning in its broadest potential.

Health literacy is a political choice. It is related to the whole-of-society approach and the whole-of-government approach as well as the inter-sectoral approach for good governance. But how can politicians and policy-makers become active players in advancing health literacy when they often only know little about what it is? To build the capacity of politicians and to prepare them for a much more active role I have developed the brief called "Health literacy is a political choice. A health literacy guide for politicians".

Political health literacy leadership is vital for the creation of health literate societies; and with this guide politicians are encouraged to become health literacy trailblazers paving the way for others to follow them on this specific policy mission. Hopefully, this health literacy guide can initiate the spark to facilitate the impact of making health literacy the political choice towards an inclusive and sustainable society where no one is left behind.

Face the challenge. Be the change. The health literacy guide for politicians can be downloaded here.

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