Over the years, PAHO has contributed to developing Health Promotion as one of the key cross-cutting issues within the Organization’s institutional restructuring (that also includes the following mainstreaming areas: human rights, gender, ethnicity, social protection and primary health care). The current endeavour of tackling the pending agenda of neglected diseases, non-communicable diseases and linking health to development, calls for a rigorous, up to date and strong response based on the best practices of health promotion. This event is a statement in such direction.
PAHO’s Self-Instructional Virtual Course on Health Promotion – Mandatory for all PAHO staff
A course has been developed to mainstream Health Promotion approaches and methodologies throughout PAHO’s work in the Americas. This course will be offered through PAHO’s Virtual Public Health Campus and is focused on building a common understanding of the basic elements of health promotion by all PAHO staff in headquarters and country offices. It is widely recognized that incorporating health promotion strategies into public health work can go a long way in improving conditions for people to be healthy, as well as in preventing and ameliorating health problems. For this reason, incorporating health promotion strategies, approaches and methodologies into all of PAHO’s work is an essential part of PAHO’s mandate and its opportunities for effectiveness.
The Course includes multiple resources, concepts, recommendations, case studies, documents and references. It responds to an assessment conducted by PAHO and its partners of the competency needs for Health Promotion in Latin America and the Caribbean. It seeks to motivate and renew the commitment of all PAHO staff and in turn among relevant stakeholders and sectors to the practice of Health Promotion by applying a health promotion and equity lens to public health practice in the Americas.
Using an innovative, enriching and collaborative way to produce a course, people and PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centers from multiple countries and institutions in the Americas contributed to its development. The use of cost-effective, web-based learning tools helped to strengthen international cooperation, building partnerships and making maximum use of the best expertise in the Region. Also, key people from throughout PAHO were consulted and filmed, and the resulting videos and case studies form an integral part of the course.
PAHO/WHO Guide for Documenting Health Promotion Initiatives
It is well recognized that there is an extremely rich experience base in health promotion, determinants of health and health equity in the countries of the Americas. Regrettably, most of the time these initiatives go undocumented, they are not systematically organized and disseminated, and they therefore go unnoticed. The PAHO/WHO Working Group on the Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Health Promotion wanted to meet this challenge by developing and making widely available an instrument that would facilitate the documentation of such initiatives around the Region and the world. As a result, an electronic template/Guide was born, tested, refined and posted on PAHO’s Web site in English and Spanish. It is expected that through the use of this instrument by practitioners in the field and then posting the results on PAHO’s Web site, it will not only facilitate the capturing of local and national experiences, but it will lay the ground work for an interchange of critical information about what approaches are effective, how key challenges are overcome, and what it is about the context in which these initiatives are carried out that make them successful. This will also help to strengthen health promotion networks in the Americas and around the world. Once the PAHO site has been populated with experiences, it will also serve as a data base for informing the field, for providing examples that practitioners can emulate, and for offering a rich data source for researchers to analyze and draw conclusions. http://www.paho.org/hpd
AGENDA FOR THE LAUNCH
11.30-11.40 Welcome– Dr. Carlos Santos-Burgoa (Moderator)
11.40 – 12.00 Overview of PAHO Mainstreaming of health promotion strategy and the importance of health promotion for PAHO – Dr. Socorro Gross Galiano
12.00 – 12.45 Review of the PAHO virtual course on health promotion: Process used for developing, testing and finalizing the course – Ms. Marilyn Rice
Overview of the virtual course
Spanish version – Dr. Sergio Meresman and Dr. Raúl Mercer (via Elluminate)
English version and role of PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centers – Dr. Suzanne Jackson, PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center on Health Promotion, Canada
Overview of PAHO’s Virtual Public Health Campus– Dr. Jose B. Jardines (via Elluminate)
12.45 – 1.15Overview of PAHO’s Virtual Community for Documenting Health Promotion Initiatives
Overview of PAHO’s Virtual Community for Health Promotion Initiatives and the process used for developing, testing and finalizing the Guide for Documenting Health Promotion Initiatives – Ms. Marilyn Rice
Overview of PAHO’s Guide for Documenting Health Promotion Initiatives – Dr. Stephen Fawcett and Dr. Jerry Schultz, PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center, USA
1.15 – 1.30 The future of health promotion in the Region of the Americas – Dr. Carlos Santos-Burgoa
1.30 – 2.00 Open discussion, questions and answers
Health promotion is defined as a process of enabling people to increase control over their health and its determinants. The primary means of health promotion occur through developing healthy public policy that addresses the prerequisites of health such as income, housing, food security, employment, education, and quality working conditions. More recent work has used the term Health in All Policies to refer to the actions to incorporate health into all public policies.
This idea is put into practice using participatory approaches; individuals, organizations, communities, and institutions working together to create conditions that assure health and well-being for all. In its simplest terms, health promotion fosters changes in the environment that help promote and protect health. These include changes in communities and systems—for instance, programs that assure access to health services or policies that arrange for public parks for physical activity and spending time with others. Health promotion involves a particular way of working together. It is population-based, participatory, intersectoral, sensitive to context, and multi-level.