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WHO Director-General Calls For Sustainable Development, Investment To Address Social Determinants Of Health

“Representatives from more than 100 governments around the world, health experts, civil society organizations and other stakeholders are converging in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for three days” at the WHO-convened World Conference on Social Determinants of Health “to discuss how social, economic and environmental conditions could be improved to reduce the health gaps within and between countries,” a WHO press release states (10/19). “The conference is expected to produce a political declaration expressing the commitment of WHO Member States to address the social determinants of health through national action plans and strategies,” European Hospital writes (10/20).

In her remarks at the conference, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan “stressed the importance of sustainable development and of governments coming together to address the social determinants of health” and “stated that a country without equity and good access to social services, including education, health, water and sanitation and proper housing, is not a good society,” according to the Global Health Council’s “Global Health” blog (10/20). “She said governments should put their citizens’ health before that of businesses, especially when the crisis is deepening” and “added that more than 30 billion U.S. dollars should be spent in curing chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes in the next 20 years,” Xinhua reports (10/20).