Local residents' health awareness improves

Local residents' knowledge about health issues improved greatly over the past decade, but overall health awareness is still low.

The health quality and awareness of local residents increased greatly over the past decade, but there are still many misunderstandings which the city's hospitals need to address, health authorities said.

The findings detailing Shanghai residents' awareness of health issues have been released to coincide with Shanghai Health Education Week, which kicked off on the weekend.

According to the survey, about 25.36 percent of residents are equipped with adequate knowledge on health care, rising from 6.97 percent 10 years ago.

Shanghai Health Promotion Center, who carry out the survey every year, said that having adequate knowledge of health issues meant scoring 80 percent or more in the survey's questionnaire. 

Local health authorities said most residents know that hypertension patients need regular blood pressure checks, and that patients with chronic diseases can’t switch medications on their own accord.

Only 44.3 percent of residents know the meaning of "OTC" (over the counter) in medicine, while just 24.2 percent are clear about the function of the liver.

About 38.2 percent of Shanghai residents know the proper measures for infectious disease prevention and 72.2 percent are aware that hepatitis B is spread through sexual behavior, blood transfusions and mother-to-baby infection.

To further improve local residents’ health awareness, the city’s 148 district and city-level hospitals are required to improve health education during out-patient services, the health authority said.

New media tools like WeChat and microblogging were stressed as important tools for reaching the public.

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