From words to action: measuring health inequalities to “leave no one behind”

Mújica et al.

Health equity is a guiding principle for public health action. Its noble purpose is to build healthier, sustainable societies that are also more just and inclusive. This is reflected in the global commitment to “leave no one behind”, expressed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, although none of the Agenda’s 169 targets focuses on reducing health inequalities, either conceptually or quantitatively. Recognizing the urgency to go beyond words and move forward decidedly in the design and implementation of pro-equity social and health policies at both the local and global levels, this special report reviews the conceptual and methodological framework for tackling health equity. Concepts and methodology are explicitly linked in a practical proposal that promotes the analytical use of subnationally disaggregated administrative data to inform decision-making in that area. This report concludes by proposing the need to institutionalize the measurement, analysis, and monitoring of social disparities in health to create effective national capacity to act on the social and environmental determinants of health and ensure accountability in the commitment to “leave no one behind” on the road to sustainable development, universal health, and social justice.

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Special report