Approaches to increasing health equity
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Chair of WFPHA Oral Health Working Group
Chair of WFPHA Tobacco Control Working Group
Chair of WFPHA Women, Adolescent and Children’s Health Working Group
co-Chair of WFPHA Indigenous Working Group
co-Chair of WFPHA Professionals Education and Training Working Group
co-Chair of WFPHA Global Health Equity and Digital Technology Working Group
Chair of WFPHA Students and Young Professionals Working Group
member of WFPHA Environmental Health Working Group
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A2086
Health is a fundamental human right, so every human being should be able to attain her full potential for health and well-being. Notwithstanding, most human beings do not have the conditions to enjoy this right. Health conditions vary significantly across population groups. Indeed, health inequities are a major ethical problem worldwide. Health inequities have increased due, in part, to the Covid-19 pandemic. People in more vulnerable social situations, or Black and Indigenous people, have experienced higher rates of Covid-19 cases and deaths. In Africa, in 2018, the Infant Mortality Rate was 52 per 1,000 live births, more than seven times higher than in Europe, where it was 7 per 1,000 live births. In 2022, while nearly half of the world population (3.3 billion people) lived below the poverty line on $5.50 a day, billionaire wealth experienced the most significant increase in history, with the top 10 wealthiest men in the world having doubled their fortunes. In this context, promoting health equity must be the principal commitment of any organisation active in the health field. Health equity is officially a priority of the United Nations and all States who signed the Agenda 2023 - Sustainable Development Goals. It is also part of the World Federation of Public Health Organisations (WFPHA) mission. Considering these recent setbacks in health equity, the approaches to promote it must be rethought. Maybe it is time to move away from the aid and charitybased model, focused on controlling diseases and patients in poor populations, to a technical-political approach that seeks to overcome inequities through interventions in the social process of health determination, including the public and communities as permanent partners in organising services with people, rather than for people. How to make this move? This World Leadership Dialogue session aims to discuss this general question, focusing on the role and strategies that the WFPHA can accomplish. Members and chairs of its eight working groups - Tobacco Control; Women, Adolescents & Children; Public Health Professionals Education & Training; Indigenous People, Students & Young Professionals; Environmental Health; Digital Technology; and Oral Health – will share their experiences and reflect about specific questions such as: • How can a more representative and diversified international community be created to improve global health equity? -- How to involve historically minority groups and perspectives from the global south in the Public Health field? -- What is health equity from the Indigenous Peoples’ perspective? -- How can youth voices be equally involved and represented worldwide? • What should Public Health do to be prepared to deal with climate change impacts? • How to ensure Public Health trainees gain the required competencies to promote equity and health equity in their practice? • How are WFPHA workgroups collaborating to promote health and health equity? -- What are the future opportunities for collaborations within the WFPHA? -- What are the opportunities for collaborations external to the WFPHA?
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