Assessing the health literacy and health communication needs of Syrian refugees in Turkey

Author/s: WHO, IOM
Language: English
Publication Type: Technical Report(External)

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Health literacy in health care is crucial to achieving a reduction in child mortality, improving maternal health, combating infectious diseases, and improving health outcomes. However, refugees and migrants may have lower health literacy than the host community, most often due to poor access to educational resources and information programmes, and related to economic, social, and language barriers. Refugees may also have difficulty interacting with health information due to low literacy levels and cultural and language challenges. This publication presents an assessment of health literacy and health communication, including health information needs and sources of information, among Syrian refugees in Turkey. It describes health literacy and the factors that determine health literacy, health information needs, common sources and channels of health information, and barriers to health communication among Syrian refugees. The publication concludes with recommendations for improving health literacy and health communication, including targeted, culturally sensitive health communication through preferred and commonly used channels that are endorsed by trusted sources.