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 experience of Boca de Mao in the Dominican Republic is a local example that shows how the Health In All Policies (HiAP) approach may be present at a smaller scale. It showcases the level of coordination between a strong community organization that presents and manages its demands, and a holistic and coordinated response from various government sectors. The experience focuses its efforts on raising awareness through education and moving towards concrete actions on issues that concern the environment, food safety, health monitoring and nutrition.
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.
This experience is an example of local development and health in the communities of the Guarani in the Bolivian Chacoregion. The program approaches reality with a focus on the social determinants of health . It focuses on the coordination of national, subnational and local levels, as a strategy to improve the health of vulnerable people. The results are positive as the program manages to aid this specific population with its particular challenges and opportunities.
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.
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.
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.