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 Zero Hunger Pact in Guatemala and its implementation in the municipality of Tajamulco, is a good example of how a national policy can be adopted and implemented locally through intersectoral cooperation. The Pact intervenes in the social determinants that generate malnutrition and inequality, improving access to food and nutrition of children in the municipalities and most vulnerable populations .
The case study from Uruguay describes the actions taken to control and reduce the prevalence of dengue in the country. This is a case of intersectoral action at the level of information sharing. While it does not meet many of the criteria to be considered a Health in All Policies approach, it is an example of a successful partnership between government institutions and the National Movement of Public and Private Health Users (NMPPHU), a nongovernmental organization that addresses public health issues.
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.
The Haitian Ministry of Health spearheaded the Strategy to Promote Health and Quality of Life in the Fight against Cholera in Haiti with support from the international community. This program grew out of the destruction and health challenges caused by the 2010 earthquake that devastated the island. An example of intersectoral action at the information sharing and cooperation levels, this strategy provides education and training to promote public awareness and community participation and empowerment to control the epidemic.
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.
Cuba exemplifies a process of incorporating the focus of health promotion in the national system that was initiated at the time of the Revolution, and adapted to the perspective of the social determinants of health over time. It is a case of inter-sectoral work that has been institutionalized and is reflected in the Constitution, where all relevant actor, including community representatives, are summoned to collaborate on the design, implementation and monitoring of policies and programs.