MSD Public Health Education
The ability of patients to read and understand healthcare information is vital to ongoing and effective health management, however that is not always as straight forward as it might seem. Research suggests that people with low health literacy make more mistakes with medication or treatment, are less able to follow treatment instructions, have difficulties negotiating the healthcare system, and are more likely to be hospitalised than people with adequate health literacy. We recognise that as a leader in healthcare we have a role to play in helping address this vitally important issue.
In 2007, we formed a partnership with the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) with the specific aim of increasing public awareness of the health literacy issue, and to engage with healthcare professionals. Over the past six years this partnership has helped Ireland become an internationally recognised centre of excellence in health literacy. The highly successful annual Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Awards is just one high profile element amongst a number of initiatives. MSD also provides information to the public on a wide range of health topics in collaboration with partner organisations and through health education programmes in such areas as women’s health, hepatitis C, HIV, diabetes, osteoporosis and gastroenterology.
For more information visit www.msd-ireland.com
The innate immune system is always ready to fight infection while the adaptive (or ‘specific’) immune system is activated when the innate system fails to stop infection. Inflammatory disease can be caused by an autoimmune response in which the body’s immune system attacks normal healthy tissue mistaking it for a pathogen.
Interferon inhibits cell proliferation and so has anti-cancer properties. In order to make it DNA coding for interferon is introduced into E. coli bacteria which multiply and produce commercial quantities of interferon. The cells are regularly harvested and the interferon extracted. Genetic modification of the bacteria is necessary as otherwise they would destroy the interferon, a protein foreign to them.