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.
The law of Social Prevention of Violence and Crime was issued by the State of Chihuahua, Mexico in 2010. It is an example of intersectoral cooperation implemented at a regional level. The most important aspect of this case is that the State System of Public Safety took leadership and handles criminal situations from a public health perspective, going beyond the criminal approach.
When classes end, the children in Costa Rica go to school stores to buy food. The Ministries of Health and Education saw the daily need for food and drinks as an opportunity to promote healthy eating habits and proposed regulating which products are sold in school stores. In the midst of a national debate led by the food industry, the decree was finally passed. The importance of health was proven to be more important than the economic interests of corporations.
In Bolivia , a Life Point is a mobile tent located in a public place . Anyone can come and learn to prevent the risks of contracting non communicable diseases . The program began in La Paz and has spread to all nine departments of Bolivia . The initiative was started by a civic organization that has achieved to mobilize certain government sectors. The long queues in front of the tents speak of the warm reception that citizens have given to the project.
A joint-effort between those responsible for preventing sexual and domestic violence and those caring for their victims was key for the work done in Campinas, in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil . The coordination was made possible when domestic violence was considered a public health issue, not only a concern for the police force. Today the care for victims is quick and protective; education on this topic increases awareness by teaching people how to identify cases of violence, and to aid in the prevention and reporting of cases when they occur.
The CONSATUR experience in the Dominican Republic was born in 1998 motivated by the need to bring together two engines of national development: Tourism and Health of its inhabitants and of those who visit. They have gradually been shifting from specific coordination actions to consolidate a space of alliance seeking a common goal: to create favorable conditions for health of people and to foster tourism as an important economic activity. It is a good example of practices previous to the HiAP initiative, since back then it was incorporating already many of its criteria.
A law that seeks a tobacco-free country, was the result of a hard negotiation process that mobilized the health sector in Suriname. From the beginning this sector knew it could not act alone . It is based on a collaborative effort with contributions from different sectors. It included lobbying with political leaders and the private sector, as well as a creating awareness and mobilizing citizens. The law was passed in 2013 with an absolute majority.