We value health equity: people and groups working together to create equal opportunities for health and development for all people. This requires collaborative action and coordination across different sectors—including health, housing, food, transport, and education.
Health inequities—differences in health and development outcomes among particular groups–are unjust and avoidable. Population health and health opportunity are influenced by the conditions in which people are born, live, grow and age.
These conditions are referred to as social determinants of health. They can be seen in the policies, governance structure, political and economic factors, as well as the environmental and developmental issues in countries and communities.
In the African Region, there is a commitment to reducing health inequities by working together across sectors—health, education, housing, for instance—to address social determinants of health. This includes intersectoral action to address health and development goals; including wider socioeconomic and structural factors that cause disease and limit development.
To ensure healthy lives and wellbeing for all, we need improvements in all aspects of community life—including social, economic, environmental, and political conditions. By addressing these social determinants, we can make progress on all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For more information on social determinants of health and intersectoral action:
- Action SDG
- WHO Regional Office for Africa (2017). Leave no one behind: Strengthening health systems for UHC and the SDGs in Africa.