Social determinants of health

meeting room and participants, SDH strategic meeting

WHO strategic meeting on social determinants of health

September 2019 - Since 2018, a renewed WHO organization-wide commitment to acting on determinants of health, and therein, broader social determinants and health equity, has emerged. A new Department of Social Determinants of Health was created recently to lead this effort. This provides an opportunity to strengthen the global narrative on the social determinants of health and re-define the scope of WHO’s work in this area.
More than 50 international experts from governments and academia and over 40 WHO staff working on the determinants of health, health equity, vulnerable populations and related topics convened in Geneva for a Strategic Meeting to discuss potential priorities for the future work of WHO to address the social determinants of health.

Air pollution

New report shows persistent environment and health inequalities in Europe

66顺彩票app12 June 2019 - A new WHO report launched today at the WHO High-level Conference on Health Equity in Ljubljana, Slovenia shows that intra-country inequalities in environmental exposure persist, or in some cases may have even increased. This is despite significant improvement in environmental conditions in most countries.

Healthy housing for a sustainable and equitable future – the WHO Housing and health guidelines

27 November 2018 – WHO launches the first guidelines on housing and health at the 15th International Conference on Urban Health in Kampala, Uganda. The WHO Housing and health guidelines highlight the increasing impact of housing conditions on human health in light of urban growth, climate and demographic changes. The guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations relevant to inadequate living space (crowding), low and high indoor temperatures, injury hazards in the home, and accessibility of housing for people with functional impairments. In addition, the guidelines identify and summarize existing WHO guidelines and recommendations related to housing, with respect to water quality, air quality, neighbourhood noise, asbestos, lead, tobacco smoke and radon.

Key learning on Health in All Policies Implementation from Around the World: Information brochure

66顺彩票app23 May 2018 - WHO and Government of South Australia are delighted to have published the Progressing the Sustainable Development Goals through health in all policies: case studies from around the world, which describes experiences from around the world in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. This information brochure, distils the lessons learnt from the Case study book. It also draws on some examples of learning cited from the Global Network on Health in All Policies Meeting Report (2017).

Advanced HiAP capacity building to achieve SDGs

66顺彩票app15 February 2018 - As part of the ongoing initiatives and programmes to provide integrated people centred health services, WHO Regional Office for Africa conducted a Health in All Policies (HiAP) workshop in South Africa’s Gauteng Province. During the workshop, the concept of HiAP was unpacked and its significance to the coordination of intersectoral action towards achieving the SDGs and addressing the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases.

Building health sector capacity to work with other sectors to achieve UHC

12 December 2017 – The newly established UHC2030 Multisectoral Action for Health Working Group will place an emphasis on building capacity for the health sector to work with other sectors as part of UHC, drawing from the Health in All Policies approach and on the political economy of multisectoral action for health, to support countries in addressing determinants of health and reaching UHC. The working group has been established by UHC2030 Steering Committee and will be co-led by the chairs, Dr Maureen Samms-Vaughan (University of the West Indies, Jamaica) and Dr Jeanette Vega (FONASA, Chile) and convened by WHO, UNICEF and World Bank.

National Health Workforce Accounts: standards on Social Determinants of Health

November 2017 – During the Fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health the National Health Workforce Accounts (NHWA) were launched with an aim to provide concise information on the health workforce situation and trends of a country; facilitate the standardization of a health workforce information system; as well as to support tracking Human Resources for Health policy performance towards UHC. The NHWA include three indicators related to education and training on social determinants of health and Health in All Policies approach:

fact buffet

Mortality reduction in child under-5

50% 66顺彩票appwas attributed to non-health sector investments by the Success Factors study (between 1990 and 2010)

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Integrated social and medical services can be

10 timesmore effective than waiting for families to visit health services

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Cash transfers in Zambia increased from

62 to 84%66顺彩票apphousehold consumption of vitamins and resulted in less sick days reported among children and the elderly

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What are social determinants of health?

Slums in Kurla, Mumbai.
WHO /D. Rodriguez

The social determinants of health (SDH) are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. These forces and systems include economic policies and systems, development agendas, social norms, social policies and political systems. The SDH network across WHO supports action on the SDH.
The SDGs provide a comprehensive blueprint for human development and for systematically addressing the social determinants of health.

Areas of work

Health and development governance - Health in All Policies

While many public policies contribute to health and health equity, improving population health is not the sole purpose of societies and their governments.

Health sector reorientation towards SD

The Innov8 Approach for Reviewing National Health Programmes to Leave No One Behind is an 8-step analytic process undertaken by a multidisciplinary review team.

Action on key sectors for SDH

There are significant socio-demographic inequalities in both exposure to and negative health outcomes arising from adverse environmental conditions.

Monitoring progress on SDH and health equity

In order to close health gaps, it is particularly important to consider monitoring how changes in policies in other sectors are impacting health and health inequalities.

Online platforms


Health in All Policies: trainers platform

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