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 2013 the Chilean Ministry of Health studied the experiences developed since 1998 with the Communal Plans for Health Promotion. The careful review of the evidence gave rise to the Healthy Municipalities, Cities, and Communities strategy. New focus was put on the municipalities that are leading on the territorial participatory assessments, with strategic plans for the next three years and that are strengthening the ability of its people to understand and act on their context. This allows finding solutions to territorial problems using local resources and capabilities, strengthening intersectorial action and at the national level. The local - community - national dialogue is one of the strengths of the strategy, because the policies, actions, and decisions are not going in different directions, but are in constant dialogue with each other.
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 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.
In Sao Paulo , Brazil, this initiative is born to face the dismantling of policies and build an environmental management with active community participation . It empowers environmental managers who work in coordination with health promotion . They train people , help them identify needs and develop projects in areas such as tree planting, water, solid waste, healthy food, and the revitalization of public spaces, among other projects. It is an example of intersectoral strength and community participation.
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.
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.