Every stage of life influences the next.
The Healthy Life Course Project (FCH/HL) within the Family and Community Health Area of the Pan American Health Organization uses an integrated approach to address the health needs of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean throughout the life course. It also leads PAHO's technical cooperation efforts aimed at achieving key health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 1, 4 and 5. Because the MDGs are closely related, the project also supports the achievement of MDGs 3 and 6.
The life course approach is based on a model that suggests that health outcomes for individuals, families, and communities depend on the interaction of various protective and risk factors throughout the life course. These factors are related to psychological, behavioral, biological and environmental influences, as well as access to health services. The approach provides a more comprehensive vision of health and its determinants, which calls for the development of health service networks that are centered on people's needs at each stage of their lives and address the social determinants of health. By embracing this approach, the Healthy Life Course Project seeks to achieve positive, sustainable health impacts for the Region's current and future populations.