The social determinants of health (SDH) are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. These forces and systems include economic policies and systems, development agendas, social norms, social policies and political systems.
As a core function, WHO’s SDH Unit is responsible for coordinating WHO support to countries to take action on SDH to address health inequities. The SDH Unit works to support, guide and strengthen the capacities of countries to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate initiatives to promote health equity through addressing the SDH. The WHO SDH Unit currently focuses on four priority areas, shown below.
13-15 July 2015
Housing and the built environment have a profound impact on human health. Healthy, safe, energy efficient housing can significantly decrease the risks of communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Based on the evidence WHO has scaled up activities to address health inequities due to substandard housing conditions and developing WHO Housing and Health Guidelines. The WHO Guideline Development Group met on 13-15 July and formulated the first draft recommendations of these guidelines.
25 May 215
Social Determinants of Health Progress Report at 68th World Health Assembly
In May 2012, the Sixty-fifth World Health Assembly adopted resolution WHA65.8 on advancing the social determinants of health and health equity agenda. This report provides the requested update of the report noted by the Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly in May 2013.
Political commitment to and action on social determinants of health and health equity have steadily increased. The widely recognized need to integrate social determinants and health equity in global health and development agendas is an area of particular focus in the post-2015 sustainable development goals and universal health coverage processes.