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 Intersectoral Health Commission of El Salvador is a space for horizontal dialogue where different sectors define health priorities. The sectors make recommendations and each focuses its decisions and resources to develop actions that affect the Social Determinants of Health and promote health equity.
Since the mid 1990s, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, presented a persistent increase in traffic accidents. In 2010, the Ministry of Health proposed " Life in Traffic ", an intersectoral strategy that developed a Local Action Plan. By having joint collaboration and coordination with other sectors, it coordinated actions in raising awareness through education, outreach, plans and policies. Strong evidence supports the effectiveness of this program.
In 2008 Rio de Janeiro received two important and contrasting news: it was selected as the host of the Olympic Games in 2016 and it appeared as the Brazilian city with the worst health indicators. The Municipal Government decided to link the two facts and intends to organize the Olympics where the main legacy that is left for its citizenship is a reform of Primary Health Care (APS) that benefits the development of competition as well as improving and dignifying life for the citizens of Rio. They have gone from coverage in APS of 150 thousand people in 2008, to 2.5 million people in 2012 , nearly 40 % of its target population. An example of an international sports event that was used as a motivation to produce results in Health with an equity 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.
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.
Since 2003, by presidential decree, Brazil created the National Commission for Implementation of the Convention for Tobacco Control (CONICQ). The Commission comprises 18 areas of government acting together; for example: Finance develops tax policy, and combats the illegal tobacco market; Justice elaborates materials on illicit drugs; Agrarian Development, carries out a national program to promote crop area diversification, among other actions. Different sectors are working together for Health in All Policies (HiAP).