Strategies for Health Literacy

The Centre for Global Health is pleased to welcome you to the first of a series of seminars on the new boundaries in digital health. Join Professor Josef Noll and other experts as they examine strategies for health literacy.

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Photo: Colourbox


Health literacy: What does health mean in the digital age and situated contexts? What does it mean in the fight against infectious disease? How can digital public goods play a role?

These are pertinent questions to ponder in global health and to help contribute to SDG 4: Good Health and Well-being. Besides the absence of diseases, we approach good health as the knowledge and everyday practices by individuals and their community to stay healthy - physically, mentally and socially. Arguably, in the context of South of Sahara Africa (SSA) and other developing regions, increasing health and digital literacy is critical to achieving and staying healthy. The exciting opportunities due to digital usage, as well as the challenges in reaching out to every single human, needs novel strategies. Let us come together, consider health and digital literacy, draw on lessons from the SSA, and discuss potential strategies. Together we can leverage opportunities and address challenges so that no one is left behind.

This open seminar is organized by the Digital Global Health Crosscutting Theme at the Centre for Global Health (CGH), University of Oslo (UiO) led by Professor Josef Noll. Join us in-person (in Oslo) or digitally - registration is required.

Time Title Speaker
12:30 Welcome Image may contain: Glasses, Forehead, Hair, Smile, Cheek.Jeanette H. Magnus | Director, Centre for Global Health, UiO
Introduction Image may contain: Tie, Clothing, Forehead, Hair, Nose.Josef Noll | Digital Health Crosscutting Theme Leader and Professor, Department of Technology System, UiO
12:35 What Does Health Literacy Mean in the Digital Age - An African Perspective  Margaret Kaseje | Professor of health policy and Director for research & programmes, Tropical Institute of Community Health and Development (TICH)
Tuberculosis Literacy in Tanzania 

Monika Sawhney | Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health and Human Services, University of Northern Carolina Charlotte (UNCC)

Edmund Rutta | Senior TB Technical Advisor, USAID

Best Practices and the Way Forward for Digital Health Literacy  Mahima Venkateswaran | Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Bergen and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Strategies for Health Literacy from a Norwegian Perspective Paul Fife | Assistance Director, Section for Global Health, Norad (TBC)
14:00 Panel discussion “Strategies for Health literacy” and open Q&A
14:20 Closing remarks: Call to action (projects, policies)
14:30-15:00 Light refreshments and mingling

Speaker bios

Monika Sawhney

Dr. Monika Sawhney is presently working as a Tenured Associate Professor at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, NC, USA. Dr. Sawhney previously served as an Associate Professor and Director of the Bachelor of Public Health Program at Marshall University. She also served as a Clinical Associate Professor with Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine (Department of Cardiology Services). Dr. Sawhney serves as an adjunct and visiting professor with the Global Institute of Public Health across reputed academic institutions in India. Currently, Dr. Sawhney is collaborating with organizations in India, Rwanda, and Tanzania. These assignments focus on an overall aim to eradicate diseases and improvise healthcare outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. During her professional career, Dr. Sawhney also worked as a consultant for UNICEF, WHO, and John Snow Inc. in program implementation and evaluation projects. Working in Ethiopia with WHO and CDC, she managed the measles immunization campaign and coordinated POLIO surveillance assignment. Dr. Sawhney also worked with the ministry to help strengthen their health system by focusing on designing and implementing training programs for their health staff working at different levels.

Dr. Monika’s professional and research interests primarily focus on reducing the disease burden from Neglected Tropical Diseases and their association with non-communicable diseases and their interaction with communicable diseases, more so across low- and low-middle-income countries. Working on various projects in her areas of interest, Dr. Sawhney has developed and sharpened her skills for program/project management and administration, monitoring and evaluation, research and human resources management for the health sector, and communication, training, and presentation skills. Some of the recent Public/Global Health assignments Dr. Sawhney has been involved with focus on – (i) Assessing determinants of preeclampsia in Rwanda, (ii) Evaluation of Effectiveness of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Interventions with a focus to achieve a continuous reduction in new HIV infections, (iii) Gender dimensions of Tuberculosis in Tanzania, (iv) Facility-based assessments (mainly in African countries), (v) Health systems strengthening to improve the burden of disease from non-communicable and communicable diseases across low and low-middle income countries,(vi) Health services and outcomes research for specific health conditions, (vii) Human Resources Management/Development for the health sector, (viii) Training of health workers/staff, and (ix) Focus groups to measure area-specific health outcomes. Dr. Sawhney has a teaching, research, field, and program-related experiences in the varied areas of International/Global Public health in countries such as Austria, Bangladesh, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, and the United States of America. 

Edmund Rutta

Dr. Edmund Rutta is a global health expert with over 20 years of experience. He currently serves as a Senior Tuberculosis (TB) Technical Advisor for the USAID Global Health Infectious Disease Office in Washington, DC, where he provides strategic advice to countries’ TB program implementation and scale-up of various TB care services. Prior to joining USAID, Dr. Rutta worked in managerial and leadership positions for HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB, Maternal and Child Health, and Refugee health programs in developing countries. A focused and dedicated team player, Dr. Rutta earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and a Master of Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. 

Mahima Venkateswaran

Mahima Venkateswaran is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Bergen and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, where she works with the eRegistries group. Her research interests include digital health interventions and global maternal and child health. Mahima has hands-on experience in large-scale implementations and evaluations of digital health interventions in Palestine, Bangladesh, Rwanda, and Uganda. A medical doctor from India, Mahima has a Master of Science in Global Health from Maastricht University, the Netherlands, a Graduate Diploma in Politics from the London School of Economics, and a PhD in Global Digital Health from the University of Bergen.

About this seminar series

The “New Boundaries in Digital Health” is a seminar series that aims to contribute to the uptake of the digital transition in global health. To do so, these interactive seminars will bring together guest speakers from UiO and other universities, development organizations, in addition to, policy advisors and practitioners to address specific perspectives of the topic. Furthermore, we aim to foster the exchange through conversation with the audience.

Through the series we aim at facilitating collaborations, identifying research topics, establishing new research projects, promoting best praxis in digital health, and last but not least, creating policy recommendations. “New Boundaries in Digital Health” is jointly organized by the interdisciplinary researchers of the Digital Global Health Crosscutitng Theme at the UiO Centre for Global Health.

Published Nov. 23, 2022 1:40 PM - Last modified Nov. 30, 2022 2:17 PM