Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health

Group of women in a training workshop in Indonesia

WHO releases Innov8 approach for reviewing national health programmes to leave no one behind

November 2016 -- Innov8 is a new WHO resource to support operationalization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), progressive realization of universal health coverage and the right to health. It is an eight-step analytic process undertaken by a multi-disciplinary review team to identify ways to take concrete, meaningful and evidence-based action to leave no one behind in health programmes. It provides recommendations for specific entry points and actions to make the health programme equity-oriented, rights-based and gender responsive, while addressing critical social determinants of health influencing programme effectiveness and outcomes.

Logo COP 22

Health topics at COP22, Marrakech

WHO will lead a series of events at COP22, bringing together health, climate and environment stakeholders to showcase how the health community is already addressing this threat, and the health opportunities of more ambitious action.

Logo of Breath life campain

BreatheLife campaign: protecting health and the climate by improving air quality

The equation is simple: 7 million people a year die from air pollution related diseases. And many air pollutants also damage the climate. So reducing air pollution would save lives and help slow the pace of near-term climate change.

This new campaign is being led by WHO in partnership with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).

International lead poisoning prevention week of action

From 23 to 29 October 2016 the international lead poisoning prevention week of action will take place, with a particular focus on eliminating lead paint. Lead poisoning is entirely preventable, yet the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has estimated that in 2013 lead exposure accounted for 853 000 deaths and 16.8 million disability adjusted life years (DALYs) due to long-term effects on health, with the highest burden in developing regions. Of particular concern is the role of lead exposure in the development of intellectual disability in children. Even though there is wide recognition of this problem and many countries have taken action, exposure to lead, particularly in childhood, remains of key concern to health care providers and public health officials worldwide.


PHE health topics

Group photo of adolescent boys fishing by the sea

An estimated 12.6 million deaths each year are attributable to unhealthy environments - nearly one in four of total global deaths. Environmental risk factors, such as air, water and soil pollution, chemical exposures, climate change and ultraviolet radiation, contribute to more than 100 diseases and injuries.

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PHE campaigns

BreatheLife campaign: protecting health and the climate by improving air quality

PHE events

Commentary highlight

Environments should improve not harm our health

Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health

More commentaries

Publication highlight

Preventing disease through healthy environments

A global assessment of the burden of disease from environmental risks

Global Strategy Overview

More publications

About us

By focusing on reducing environmental and social risk factors, nearly a quarter of the global burden of disease can be prevented. Examples include promoting safe household water storage, better hygiene measures, safer management of toxic substances in the home and workplace.

Environmental health in WHO regions


Statistical information

Quantifying environmental health impacts

The environmental burden of disease quantifies the amount of disease caused by environmental risks.

Public health and environment in the Global Health Observatory (GHO) data

Mortality and burden of disease from unhealthy environment


Statement by Dr Maria Neira on International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action 2016

Medias resources