Poverty and Health
Through the work of researchers such as Sir Michael Marmot, we now understand that good health does not lie solely with medical interventions but also with living conditions and personal choices (4, 5). Determinants of health are lifestyle-based properties affected by broader social, economic, and political forces that influence quality of personal health. These attributes include but are not limited to education level, employment, income level and distribution, housing, childhood development, food security and nutrition, race, gender, and stress. Such factors have been shown to have marked associations with risks for different illnesses, life expectancy, and life-time morbidity. In recent decades, increasing health disparities in developed countries and between developing and developed countries have been associated with these social factors. While public health workers and policymakers seek to reduce this divide, they face challenges in designing and implementing programs that are comprehensive enough to address issues that have complex, long-term, causal relationships with specific disease pathways. However, both the motivation and action to develop effective research and intervention methods continue to grow in this field of public health (1).
Documents and publications
Areas of Work
The below figures demonstrate that improved social conditions and better health status often have a positive, step-wise, incremental gradient association (2). Click on the figure to enlarge:
Obesity and diabetes are major public health problems in many countries in the World. The interaction of several factors, including socioeconomics characteristics of the population, access to food services, food consumption, and lifestyles among others impacts on both health problems. Interaction among obesity and diabetes determinants is a theme for research and analysis in order to evaluate intervention programs and orient public policies to improve population health.
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has collected a core set of indicators, which are accessible and documented in the Food Environment Atlas. We have used these data to produce an interactive visualization to explore the situation of obesity and diabetes in Unites States of America.
This Country-level approach to surveillance of Chronic Non Communicable Diseases (CNCDs) uses a step-wise method through the reporting of minimum, optimum, and optional data sets. The PAHO Inter-programmatic CNCD surveillance working group developed it during the period of March 2007 to June 2008. The scope of the work is based on WHO’s principles for risk factor surveillance and PAHO’s Core Health Data Initiative.
This meeting and the materials prepared in conjunction with it fall within the framework of the topic “Elimination of Neglected Diseases and Other Infections Related to Poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean,” which was presented and approved by the 144th Session of the Executive Committee, June of 2009, and will be presented in the next Directing Council of the Organization in September 2009.
Objective of the Meeting: To inform the technical counterparts of the Ministries of Health in greater detail regarding the proposal that has been presented to the Governing Bodies of PAHO, indicating rationality, indicator goals and terms.
Participants: The participation of representatives of the Ministries of Health is expected. On the part of PAHO, the technical group preparing the proposal will be present, as well as some of the regional advisers responsible for the subjects that are part of the draft proposal.
Date: 15-17 June 2009.
For the agenda, technical notes, and 10 presentations on the proposed resolution and the current situation of various neglected and poverty-related diseases, see below.
- Resolutions, guides techniques et plans au sujet de l'élimination des maladies négligées ... 2009-08-04 10:35:51
- Women and Children Must be Shielded Against Impact of Global Food Price Increase 2008-04-27 19:00:00