Health

Health:

As per WHO definition, “ Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

In Ayurveda, Health is defined as “Soundness of Body (Shrira), Mind (Manas) and Self (Atman). Each of these must be nurtured if the individual is to create Health.”

According to Buddha, “ The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

Health Promotion:

“ The Science and Art of helping people to change their lifestyle to move towards a state of optimal health.” American Journal of Health Promotion (1986).

The Bangkok Charter for ‘Health Promotion in a Globalized World’ (WHO,2005) as “ The process of enabling people to increase control over their health and its determinants and thereby improving health in addition to the methods to change their lifestyles.”

Health Promotion is an integral part of Public Health. Health Promotion interventions contribute to control ‘communicable’ and ‘non-communicable’ health problems as well as injuries at the individual and community level.

In a Global Report for preventing Chronic Diseases, it was confirmed that while 60% of all the deaths in the world are due to chronic diseases and 80% of these occur in low and middle income countries, a major part of which is preventable.

The major causes of chronic diseases are known and if these risk factors (unhealthy diet, sedentary life and tobacco use) were eliminated, at least 80% of the cases of heart diseases, stroke and type-2 diabetes mellitus would be prevented.

For prevention of ‘communicable diseases’, the health system has direct interventions like vaccinations, chemoprophylaxis, etc. but, for preventing ‘non-communicable diseases’ Health Promotion is the only direct approach.

 

The basic principle of Health Promotion Program remains consistent with the Ottawa Charter (1986) that prioritizes (WHO, 2005):

1.  Building healthy public policies

2. Creating supportive environments

3. Strengthening community activities

4. Developing personal skills

5. Reorienting Health Services

 

Health Promotion is also the promotion of healthy ideas and concepts to motivate individuals to adopt healthy behaviors.

 

Social Determinants of Health (SDH):

These are the social and economic conditions that shape the health of the individuals and communities as a whole. They are the Primary determinants of health. The SDH are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, including the health system.

SDH have been recognized by several health organizations such as the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization to greatly influence collective and personal well-being.

A list of SDH is given below:

  1. Educaion
  2. Social support networks
  3. Employment
  4. Working conditions
  5. Health literacy
  6. Social environments
  7. Physical environments
  8. Health practices
  9. Biology and genetics endowment
  10. Health care facilities

The SDH presented in National Conference in Canada, given below. Specifically focus on public policy environment (e.g. income and its distribution) rather than characteristics associated with individuals (e.g. income and social status). Some of the SDH are:

  1. Early life
  2. Education
  3. Employment and working conditions
  4. Food security
  5. Gender
  6. Health care services
  7. Housing
  8. Income and its distribution
  9. Security
  10. Social exclusion