Health Promotion and Social Determinants of Health 

PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre Spotlight Series

Reference Number: BRA-68

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Healthy Cities and Health Promotion

Institution: Centre of Studies, Research and Documentation on Healthy Cities (CEPEDOC), School of Public Health, University of Sao Paulo

Reference Number: PUR-263

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Training and Research in Health Promotion and Health Education

Institution: Department of Social Sciences, School of Public Health, School of Public Health, Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico

Reference Number: USA-213

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Research on Healthy Settings

Institution: Center on Health in Housing, School of Public Health and Health Professions, State University of New York at Buffalo

 

Reference Number: USA-309

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Community Health and Development

Institution: Center for Community Health and Development, University of Kansas

Reference Number: COL-17

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Evaluation, Training and Advocacy in Health Promotion

Institution: Centre for the Development of Evaluation and Technology in Public Health (CEDETES), Universidad del Valle

Reference Number: USA-386

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Research and Training on Housing Related Disease and Injury Prevention

Institution: National Center for Healthy Housing

Reference Number: COL-16

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Health Promotion and Sexual and Reproductive Health

Institution: Institute of Interdisciplinary Programs for Primary Health Care (PROINAPSA), Faculty of Health, Santander Industrial University

Reference Number: CUB-16

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Health in Housing

Institution: Instituto Nacional de Higiene, Epidemiologia y Microbiologia (INHEM)

Program Area 3.4
Social Determinants of Health 

Dr. Gerry Eijkemans

Dr. Gerry Eijkemans, Unit Chief, Health Promotion and Social Determinants, is the PAHO staff member who acts as the Region’s focal point and also has a supporting role to the WHO focal point to coordinate the collaboration between the institution and the Organization.   

Dr. Eijkemans notes “the importance of having these Collaborating Centres is crucial, particularly now with a new strategy and plan of action on health promotion and the opportunity to align the work and products of the Centres.”

The main activities of these Centres include: (1) developing toolkits and workbooks; (2) evaluating the effectiveness of health promotion interventions; (3) providing technical expertise for courses, workshops, guidelines, policy briefs and publications; (4) maintaining the Network of Health Promoting Universities; and (5) conducting health impact assessments of radiation.

The Centre at the CEPEDOC participated in meetings to develop a document on the renewal of health promotion amongst the SDGs in Brasilia and held a course for managers of the Unified Health System in the State of Sao Paulo to discuss the implementation of the National Health Promotion Policy. The Centre also supports the Healthy Cities and Municipalities movement through several publications: Curitiba Statement on Health Promotion and Equity: voices from people concerned with global inequities; Rede intersetorial do Programa Saúde na Escola: sujeitos, percepções e práticas and Brazil’s Unified Health System and the National Health Promotion Policy: prospects, results, progress and challenges in times of crisis.

The Centre at the University of Kansas collaborated with PAHO in designing, developing, and implementing the Healthy Cities Action Toolkita resource that aims to enhance the reach and impact of capacity-building resources in the Americas. In addition to the toolkit, a related workbook was developed for cities in the Region to document their healthy cities’ efforts.

The Centre at the Santander Industrial University designed a protocol to map national networks promoting healthy school environments in Latin America. The Centre has also acted as the Technical Secretariat of the Latin American Network of Health Promoting and Development. In this role, the Centre in collaboration with other insitutions, designed, implemented and evaluated the Contest of Significant Experiences in Health Promotion in the Americas. This contest resulted in the submission of 467 experiences from municipalities, universities and schools. The Centre also published Theoretical and practices trends of health promotion in the school environment in Latin America. and its contents were shared with PAHO for the structuring of the Regional Strategy and Plan of Action on Health Promotion within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals 2019-2030 and the Health Promoting Schools action in the Region.

The Centre at the University of Puerto Rico has maintained the Ibero-Network of Health Promoting Universities and participated in national consultations for PAHO’s Regional Plan for Health Promotion and the VI Latin American Regional International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) Conference (2018).

The Centre at CEDETES collaborated with PAHO to design and deliver a health promotion evaluation module and provided recommendations for the module (course available on ther Virtual Campus in 2020). The Centre also organized the III and IV assembly of the REDLAC-PROMSA and made a rapid assessment of the operation of the REDLAC-PROMSA and its commissions to inform the Network’s future action plan. The results were presented during the IV assembly in Santiago de Cuba (November 2018).

The Centre at the Instituto Nacional de Higiene, Epidemiologia y Microbiologia has supported the health impact assessment of radiation in housing and urban environments using measurement devices and will provide recommendations for exposure limits. Similarly, the Centre is supporting the WHO Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Programme to assess the health impact of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation in tourist facilities.

The Centre at the University of New York at Buffalo supported the development of data collection methods and instruments to assess Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) related social norms, habits, and behaviors in five sub-Saharan African and South Asian countries and have provided technical expertise for the Core questions and indicators for monitoring WaSH in Schools in the Sustainable Development Goals 2016. The Centre also supported the development of the WHO Housing and Health Guidelines and is currently developing an evaluative framework of the household effects of community-led sanitation and related handwashing programs in sub-Sahara Africa. Lastly, the Centre produced a equity-related framework, santition-related framework and SDG related report specifically focused on people with disabilities.

The Centre at the National Center for Healthy Housing has developed and reviewed in collaboration with other institutions, an implementation guide for the WHO International Healthy Housing guidelines. The Centre also developed and tested radon sampling strategies to support WHO in providing advice to Member States for early detection of radon in multi-family housing (expected in 2020). The Centre also conducted an evaluation on the implementation of proactive health housing inspection programs in low-income rental housing in Chicago to help to inform similar processes at the global level. Lastly, the staff at the Centre have contributed to a publication focused on the comparison of healthy housing strategies in New Zealand, England, and the US to inform the WHO implementation guide for the International Healthy Housing Guidelines.

Webnotes such as these serve to inform on how CCs are contributing to the Organization’s priorities and mandates.