Adult female (15+) literacy rate (a determinant for uptake of health services)
There are numerous indicators of social and sociocultural aspects of a country's population. To properly receive health message and act accordingly, adequate literacy level of population is not only desirable but necessary for cost effective health delivery. Therefore, from health stand point, adult literacy (particularly the female adult literacy) is often considered for background to present health scenarios.
Since literacy and educational attainment build individual capabilities for achieving highest attainable level of health, data on three selected indicators of literacy and education (i) Adult (15+) literacy rate (ii) Mean years of schooling and (iii) Expected Years of schooling are commonly used.
Situation in SEAR
As shown in the graph below, although adult female literacy is increasing in all SEA Region countries, there has been a sharp rise from 1990 level in Nepal, Bangladesh, Timor-Leste, Bhutan, and India. However, these are the countries which are still below the world average of adult female literacy of 80%.