8th Global Conference on Health Promotion

Global Conference

The 8GCHP, held in Helsinki, Finland, June 10 – 14, centered on how to promote health and equity by implementing the Health in All Policies approach.

The invitation- only event was co-organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland (MSAH) and attended by 900 delegates from around the world.

The key outcomes are a "Health in All Policies (HiAP) Framework for Country Action" and a Conference Statement. The participants expressed their common understanding and commitment in the Helsinki Statement on Health in All Policies that was put out on the final day of the event. The HiAP Framework will give countries concrete guidance on how to implement Health in All Policies and the Statement will call for action on HiAP to achieve improved health and equity.

ECSA Director Joanne Vincenten gave a presentation using child injury as an example of the need for and benefits of a HiAP policy approach. Using the examples of the child safety report cards and national action plans, she showed how development of multi- sectoral partnerships is critical for effective strategies to be implemented, and how the strategies in turn provide multiple benefits to reduce health inequities in areas including road safety, water safety, home safety, obesity and substance abuse.

Minister of Health and Social Services, Susanna Huovinen is pleased with the outcome of the conference.

"We have deepened our understanding on the ways in which we can strengthen our efforts to integrate health in all policy-making, and thereby to improve health and health equity, as well as to acquire other societal goals."

"We need to continue our efforts to bring about an understanding and will within our governments, politicians, other policy-makers, people and their organizations that health and health equity are important values and that they make a difference in the society. We may need to remind the government about their responsibilities for health", minister Huovinen says.

"Today, we start to see the true power of this approach to influence factors that go beyond but are ultimately linked to health: issues of poverty, water and sanitation, safety and security, sustainable economic and social development," said Dr Oleg Chestnov, Assistant Director-General, non-communicable diseases and mental health, World Health Organization.

"Putting health in all policies is the way to improve people's chances for a healthy life, while, at the same time, achieve policy objectives in other areas."

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