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New Life for Primary Health Care: the Social Determinants of Health.

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{mosimage}Vancouver, Canada. 7-9 June 2007.- Director presentation at the 8th Commissioners' meeting of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Any approach to improve health should be linked within a broader economic, social and political context, and should allow for the inclusion of multiple actors and sectors. PAHO understands Primary Health Care (PHC) as an integral part of the development of Health Systems.

{mosimage} The 8th Commissioners' meeting of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health is taking place in Vancouver, Canada this week from June 7 to 9. The meeting is focusing on the Commission's interim statement which will be published in July 2007 for wider consultation.

As part of the commissioners' meeting activities, Dr. Mirta Roses, Director of the Pan American Health Organization delivered a presentation this Saturday, June 9, entitled: "New Life for Primary Health Care: The Social Determinants of Health" which focused on The Social Determinants of Health in the Americas, noting that is the most unequal region of the World with 220 million people living in poverty.

The Americas' Region is characterized by a demographic transition with high population growth, and rapid and unplanned urbanization.

In her presentation, Dr. Roses indicated that any approach to improve health should be linked within a broader economic, social and political context, and should allow for the inclusion of multiple actors and sectors.

Research has shown the complex relationships between the social, economic, environmental, political and culture conditions – known as the social determinants of health – in the health of the population and communities.

New focus on the SDH and human development recognizes that health should be central to the development agenda because:

Health is a basic human need
It is indispensable in the establishment of democratic societies
It is a fundamental human right

PAHO understands Primary Health Care (PHC) as an integral part of the development of health systems and that the most appropriate path to produce equitable and sustainable improvements in the health of the people of the Americas is to build health systems based on PHC.

Main PHC Principles for Technical Cooperation were addressed by Dr. Roses which include: responsiveness to peopleâ€ââ€Å¾Â¢s health needs, government accountability, social justice, sustainability, and social and individual participation among others.

The Director of PAHO highlighted that one of the most effective answers is to consider PHC in its broader form, emphasizing health promotion and prevention, as well as active citizen and community participation to achieve better health.

{mosimage} Dr. Mirta Roses concluded by discussing Faces, Voices and Places of the Millennium Development Goals, a regional initiative that targets the poorest and most vulnerable communities in Latin American and the Caribbean to help them achieve the MDGs from the perspective of health. The initiative analyzes local realities, develops critical interventions, and provides targeted technical assistance with the support of PAHO/WHO technical units and other UN Systems Agencies.


The 7th meeting took place in January at WHO Headquarters in Geneva. The purpose of the meeting was to assess the findings of the interim reports from the global Knowledge Networks established to advise the Commission on policy approaches that effectively address the social, political and economic conditions, contributing to poor health and inequities.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 March 2008 15:31
 

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