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The Essential Public Health Functions (EPHF) are the fundamental set of actions that should be performed in order to achieve public health’s central objective: improving the health of populations.

The Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), through the Public Health in the Americas Initiative, defined the eleven Essential Public Health Functions necessary to strengthen public health practice, and developed a methodology that allows countries to evaluate their public health capacity.

The Essential Public Health Functions are the following:

Monitoring, evaluation, and analysis of health status
Surveillance, research, and control of the risks and threats to public health
Health promotion
Social participation in health
Development of policies and institutional capacity for public health planning and management
Strengthening of public health regulation and enforcement capacity
Evaluation and promotion of equitable access to necessary health services
Human resources development and training in public health
Quality assurance in personal and population-based health services
Research in public health
Reduction of the impact of emergencies and disasters on health

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
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