Action on Social Determinants of Health

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3 years 9 months ago - 3 years 8 months ago #24 by lwilson

This discussion was initiated by Francesca Ramondetti, Medical Doctor with specialisation in Public Health on 16/09/2013.

As well as health equity, social determinants of health (SDH) are becoming a key topic for policy-makers worldwide. SDH are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age –known as key determinants of health equity, too.

SDH affect health status and life expectancy and fall under several broad categories, including policymaking, health services, individual behaviour and genetics. Yet, despite accumulating evidence on the SDH and its causes, there is very little understanding about how public policy can address such an issue. This summary aims to raise awareness of the complexity of the issue and to find ways in which public health consultants and health promoters should address SDH.

As well, according to Michael Marmot, Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants on Health, World Health Organization, we can state that SDH are the causes of the causes of the social gradient in health. Health becomes progressively better as the socioeconomic position of an individual and community becomes higher. When we talk about inequity in health, we do not mean inequity in health care. The common meaning we refer to when we mention access to health is “access to health care”. Lack of access to health care is, of course, of vital importance to health, but it is only one of the social determinants of health. Of all the SDH, gender equity is maybe the most important – all of them may affect the genders differently. In addition to biological sex differences, there are fundamental social differences in how women and men are treated and the assets and resilience they have.

It is important to design policies that act across the social gradient and to address the people at the bottom of this gradient and the most vulnerable ones. Evidence suggests that addressing the causes of the causes is the right way to proceed on these –ensuring that people have control over their lives to be able to change behaviour, so that a health improvement in poor populations becomes possible.

So far, action on social determinants of health appear to be the only way to tackle the social gradient in health between and within countries.

We hereby invite your opinions, thoughts and questions for action on the SDH through the lens of health promotion.

References
1. WHO Regional Office for Europe. Report on social determinants of health and the health divide in the WHO European Region. Executive summary. 2012. Available at www.euro.who.int/en/who-we-are/governanc...n.-executive-summary
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Achievements in public health, 1900–1999 motor-vehicle safety: A 20th century public health achievement. MMWR Weekly. 1999 May 14;48(18);369-74. Accessed 2010 Aug 27. Available from: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4818a1.htm
3. American Lung Association. State of the air 2010. Washington: American Lung Association. Available from:http://www.stateoftheair.org
4. Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2008. whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2008/WHO_IER_CSDH_08.1_eng.pdf [PDF - 4.3 MB]
5. Wilkinson R, Marmot M, editors. Social determinants of health: The solid facts. 2nd ed. Copenhagen: World Health Organization; 2003. www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/98438/e81384.pdf [PDF - 470 KB]


Posted by Helga Bjørnøy Urke


Lianne Wilson
Last Edit: 3 years 8 months ago by lwilson.

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3 years 9 months ago - 3 years 9 months ago #25 by lwilson

The response was posted by Sri on 16/09/2013.

Addressing Gender equity and specific issues is essential Health Equity. Water and sanitation needs of women in developing countries have to be overcome for improvement in their health. Fulfillment of these basic needs go a long way with improvement in socio-economic conditions and over all well-being of the family.

Health departments and non-profits have been working on livelihood issues of women for too long and now are looking at the basic needs.

Replication and sharing of successful models among states and countries can help health professionals to promote health equity and overall development.


Lianne Wilson
Last Edit: 3 years 9 months ago by lwilson.

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3 years 9 months ago - 3 years 9 months ago #26 by lwilson

This response was posted by Francesca MR on 05/10/2013.

I agree with you that Gender equity is a very important issue here. I dare say it is first of all a human right. Empowering women is an essential tool for advancing development and reducing poverty that governments and public policies cannot ignore any further.Yet, discrimination against women, as for instance gender-based violence, reproductive health inequities or harmful traditional practices such as infibulation- remains the most persistent inequity. Gender inequity can be avoided by giving every one, man and women, equal opportunities starting from early childhood.


Lianne Wilson
Last Edit: 3 years 9 months ago by lwilson.

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3 years 9 months ago - 3 years 9 months ago #27 by lwilson

This response wad posted by Sri on 07/10/2013.

Francesa, what you said is right and I think the equality should begin with prevention of female infanticide and giving girls a chance to live, then comes nutrition and education. The equality can be brought in stage by stage and it is important to promote these among communities repeatedly.


Lianne Wilson
Last Edit: 3 years 9 months ago by lwilson.

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3 years 9 months ago #28 by lwilson

This response was posted by stone on 26/09/2013.

Amazing! Thanks for your sharing.


Lianne Wilson

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3 years 9 months ago #29 by lwilson

This response was posted by Raghav on 03/10/2013.

These are pertinent issues, but they must be solved with reason.


Lianne Wilson

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