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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.