Route of the Americas
When PAHO’s Directing Council approved the first Regional Plan of Action in the world for Health in All Policies in September 2014, it took the lead in implementing an innovative and ambitious approach to the formulation of public policies. HiAP was first defined in the Adelaide Declaration of 2010 and then in the global framework for action by the countries in the Helsinki declaration. The prompt action of the Organization reveals the promise of this new approach to health promotion and the broad support of its goals and objectives.
At the same time, the HIAP incorporates many elements of health promotion and the formulation of health policies that have been developed and debated for decades. It is based on the widespread view of health and well-being defined by Alma Ata (1978) and addressing the public health policies established in the Ottawa Charter (1986). It also recognizes the important contributions of the movement in addressing the social determinants of health and health equities identified by the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (2008).
In the context of the 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion, Health in All Policies is defined as "an approach to public policies across sectors that systematically takes into account the health implications of decisions, seeks synergies, and avoids harmful health impacts, in order to improve population health and health equity”. In the framework for country action, PAHO’s Action Plan on HiAP was based on six strategic areas identified in the Declaration of Helsinki as well as on elements from the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health and the Rio + 20 Conference on Sustainable Development, which required dynamic approaches to policymakingacross sectors to address growing inequities, particularly in the area of health.
Due to its importance, a strategy to move the Plan of Action on HIAP into effective results was put into action. Given its innovative nature, expert guidance was sought and experiences have been studied both in the Region of the Americas and elsewhere. With these objectives in mind, the Special Program on Sustainable Development and Health Equity organized an Expert Consultation on HiAP in Washington, DC, from March 31 to April 1, 2015. This meeting provided an opportunity to gather world leaders in the field as well as experts from academia and politics of the Americas and other countries with relevant experience in HiAP, such as Finland and Australia. The purpose of this meeting was to translate the Plan of Action on HIAP into a roadmap, identifying concrete actions that would be crucial for the Region to implement HiAP.
Joint-effort to give care for people living in violent situations
A joint-effort between those responsible for preventing sexual and domestic violence and those caring for their victims was key for the work done in Campinas, in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil . The coordination was made possible when domestic violence was considered a public health issue, not only a concern for the police force. Today the care for victims is quick and protective; education on this topic increases awareness by teaching people how to identify cases of violence, and to aid in the prevention and reporting of cases when they occur.
Intersectoral Health Commision (CISALUD)
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.
Cencinai: Education Centers, Nutrition and Holistic Care
A family living in poverty and vulnerability faces the risk of nurturing its children inadequately. A wide inter-sectoral response led by Health and Education was successful in providing this children in Costa Rica with holistic care as well as nutrition and education services. Working mothers are also given the support they need to succeed. This is an example of inter-sectoral coordination in the presence of a social determinant of health.
Health Promotion Through Community Radio AMORB / FM
In Porto Alegre , Brazil, an example of intersectoral information exchange has been launched through a community radio microphone. The radio program " In the Radio Waves " talks and raises awareness about health and its promotion . Speakers have a dialogue with the audience on how to empower themselves to achieve a better quality of life and to learn about disease prevention. This is a case study of community organization, in collaboration with different institutions.
Faces, Voices and Places in the Bolivian Chaco
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.
Health Promotion by Fighting Cholera
The Haitian Ministry of Health spearheaded the Strategy to Promote Health and Quality of Life in the Fight against Cholera in Haiti with support from the international community. This program grew out of the destruction and health challenges caused by the 2010 earthquake that devastated the island. An example of intersectoral action at the information sharing and cooperation levels, this strategy provides education and training to promote public awareness and community participation and empowerment to control the epidemic.