Health in all policies is an initiative of the World Health Organization that seeks to ensure that the public decision-making process, regardless of the sector in which it takes place, improves health conditions and access to health services. It was framed in the Nordic countries and has found an echo throughout the world. In the Americas, there is a very rich diversity of experiences of Health in All Policies. This site showcases some of these stories and demonstrates how this continent has taken ownership of this initiative.
In Pernambuco , Brazil, they have woven a strong network that involves leaders from the government, university and the community . Everyone collaborates by providing: courses, dissemination, volunteering, and specific plans to make municipalities a healthy experience. Everyone works as a network by meeting, coordinating and acting together. The goal is to develop health equity, social justice, cooperation and the preception of happiness.
In 2012, Medellin set out to transform itself into a healthy city. It assessed its past, reevaluating the achievements and developments of previous administrations. It studied its present, joining efforts with the University of Antioquia, assessing the challenges and possibilities of a healthy model for the city. And the city began to build its vision by joining citizens, their organizations and the private sector. These efforts have allowed that in the recent four years the city has invested its resources and efforts to improve its surroundings where people can either gain or lose health by acting on key determinants such as the environment, employment, education, housing and poverty. Since then the Ministry of Health not only runs the programs it is responsible for, it also coordinates and supports all of the health generating structure of the city.
After hosting the sub-region first Health in All Policies (HiAP) training, the government of Suriname requested support from PAHO and immediately moved towards implementation of the HiAP approach for addressing the social determinants of health. A dedicated team has worked under the leadership of the Ministry of Health on the sub-region first Quick Assessment of Social Determinants of Health to understand the underlying causes of major health problems and associated health inequities. This participatory and intersectoral process lasting six months has left Suriname organized and motivated, with 8 areas of specific action. These will make sure that the responsibility of the health of the population is not only a matter for the Ministry of health, but shared with other sectors, including eight Ministries working closely with non -governmental and community organizations, the private sector, academia and the entire civil society. The experience started in 2015.
PLANAL is an experience in Paraguay where a government and its citizens work together to respond with holisticpolicies and actions to fight the main causes of food insecurity. It is a global governance strategy to improve the efficiency of State action. In this case a strong intersectoral coordination seeks to overcome the fragmented efforts and reverse the unequal distribution of resources.
The Special Act to Regulate Tobacco in Honduras , has been active since 2011. This act regulates the production, distribution , marketing, import, consumption and advertising of tobacco. It was the result of an intense and intersectoral negotiation process to design it, promote it at the legislative level for its adoption as a policy, and subsequent coordination to familiarize citizens with it.
In Mexico, the numbers of overweight and obese people are increasing every year, as well as the diseases associated to these conditions . To meet this challenge, a National Agreement for Healthy Nutrition was proposed. Different sectors promote food regulation, changing the family diet and creating awareness of eating habits, and increasing physical activity. Each sector has a specific agenda that is coordinated with the rest.