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.
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.
Ecuador established the National Plan for Good Living as a way to plan and generate actions. The Plan permeated the entire state structure, integrating Health, Education, Labor and Social Inclusion sectors , among others. It created opportunities for citizen participation, from the national to the local level with a focus on rights. The plan has its own resources and it has Presidential and legislative support. It is a clear example of intersectoral action to build sustainable development.
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.
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 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.
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.