January 02, 2014
Picture books to tackle literacy lack
Low levels of national health literacy, especially among Maori, are being blamed for New Zealand having one of the highest rates of childhood skin infections in the Western world.
A study by Workbase for the Ministry of Health released late last year found more than half of New Zealand's adult population struggle to understand health information and do not follow doctor's orders.
That reduces the effectiveness of treatments such as antibiotics.
It said between 1990 and 2007, serious skin infection rates doubled, with more than 100 children a week being admitted to hospitals for treatment.
Many needed intravenous antibiotics and a third required surgery.
As a result of the study, Workbase has published simple booklets, posters and information sheets advising parents how to treat their children's skin infections.
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