Our vision is to be a leader in creating a healthy and equitable European city

Healthy Cities 21st Century

Health Literacy

Health Literacy

Health LiteracyThe Solid Facts

The World Health Organization defines health literacy as ‘linked to literacy and entails people’s knowledge, motivation and competences to access, understand, appraise and apply health information in order to make judgements and take decisions in everyday life concerning health care, disease prevention and health promotion to maintain or improve quality of life during the life course’. (WHO, 2013)

Health Literacy is a core theme for Belfast during Phase VI (2014-2018) WHO Healthy Cities Network. The concept is highlighted within government policy in the Northern Ireland Executive’s Making Life Better - a whole system framework for public health (2013-2023).

Health Literacy Case Studies

Positive health literacy outcomes are included in many examples of existing policy and practice.

Case studies on health literacy work and best practice have been submitted by community and statutory organisations.

Are you already considering health literacy in your work?

Use the criteria and template to add your work to the case study resource.

Test Your Health Literacy

It takes 3 minutes to find out your level of health literacy using the Newest Vital Sign.

How did you score?

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Health Literacy in a Healthy City: Making the Case and Taking Action

40% of Irish people have limited health literacy
(EU Health Literacy Survey, 2012)


43% of English adult working-age population cannot fully
understand and use health information containing only text

(Royal College of General Practitioners, 2014)