Covid-19 and health inequity
Pre-COVID-19 pandemic health inequities within and between countries, regions and communities was as much as 18 years….now it’s likely to be much more – COVID-19 is reinforcing that social injustice is killing on a grand scale.
Health inequities are majorly impacted by our social circumstances (where we are born, grow, live, work and age: the social determinants of health, SDH), for example, in COVID-19 – cases and deaths in deprived areas are double those of more advantaged areas.
WHO’s Special Initiative for Action on Social Determinants of Health for advancing Equity
WHO’s Special Initiative for Action on Social Determinants of Health for advancing Equity is the first of its kind to rally global, regional, national and local actors to come together around a common approach to dealing with the social determinants of health to advance health equity.
Public health leaders at the launch of this Initiative include:
- Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, Deputy-Director General, WHO
- Dr Naoko Yamamoto, Assistant Director-General, UHC/Healthier Populations Division, WHO
- Dr Erika Placella, Deputy Head, Global Program Health, Federal Dept of Foreign Affairs, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
- Sir Michael Marmot, Director, Institute of Health Equity, University College London
- Professor Patrick Bodenmann, Chair of Medicine for Vulnerable Populations, University of Lausanne/UNISANTE
- Ms Maria del Carmen Cruz Martinez, General Secretary, Latin America Domestic Worker’s Confederation
- Dr Kumanan Rasanathan, Head, Equity and Health Unit, Social Determinants of Health.
These experts, joined by a panel of countries participating in the Initiative, will discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted and increased the need to for urgent action and why this initiative is important.
This event is open to all including representatives of Governments, academia and research institutes, multilateral system partners and members of international professional organizations, civil society and community groups working to build a fairer, healthier world for everyone, everywhere.
The event will take place on Wednesday, 12 May 2021 at 16:00-17:00 CET (Geneva).