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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.
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).
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.
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 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 some schools in Havana, there are boys and girls who have classes that do not seem like classes, because there is no one dictating things but the narrative comes from the children experiencing and starring in them. In their classrooms children learn to use the" gender glasses" which help them to understand how they learn to be men or women, to play these roles, and how they can decide what to keep, discard or transform from that social inheritance. This program was initiated at the National School of Public Health in Cuba, which involves different disciplines and sectors, and includes faculty and families. This is the story of an action research project focusing on the Social Determinants of Health.