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Health Literacy in the Development of Kidney Transplantation Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Health Literacy in the Development of Kidney Transplantation Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
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Author(s): Jennie A. L. Jewitt-Harris (Transplant Links, UK) and Andrew R. Ready (University Hospital Birmingham, UK)
Copyright: 2018
Pages: 14
Source title: Optimizing Health Literacy for Improved Clinical Practices
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Vassilios E. Papalois (Imperial College, UK) and Maria Theodosopoulou (Imperial College, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4074-8.ch013

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Abstract

The need to introduce complex medical technologies in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) is increasing, to improve quality of life and life expectancy. Despite improvements in medical infrastructure, many countries do not have the skills required to implement such technologies and need support from overseas organizations. Transplant Links (TLC) is a UK charity supporting the development of sustainable kidney transplant programs in LMIC countries. TLC's experience demonstrates health literacy challenges encountered in introducing a complex medical technology, of which transplantation is a good example. Such challenges were found to be wide-ranging, in a specialty already associated with low levels of health literacy. Nevertheless, such challenges need to be addressed and measures undertaken to improve the level of understanding of renal failure and transplantation by patients, families, healthcare workers, and other stakeholders including politicians, healthcare managers, and the media. These measures may be transferable to the development of other complex medical technologies.

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