Latest updates from the Institute

IHE involved in new WHO Special Initiative for Action on the Social Determinants of Health for Advancing Health Equity

WHO Special Initiative COVID-19 is reinforcing that social injustice is killing on a grand scale

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 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 (12.05.2021) included Dr Naoko Yamamoto, Dr Erika Enrichette (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation), Sir Michael Marmot, Professor Patrick Bodenmann of the University of Lausanne/UNISANTE.

These experts, joined by a panel of countries participating in the Initiative, discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted and increased the need to for urgent action and why this initiative is important.

The launch event was 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.

Watch  the recording of the launch event 


Voices for Health Equity through Action on Social Inequality

The film linked below describes the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the health of migrant domestic workers in Costa Rica. If you can’t work you don’t earn, and if you don’t earn you can’t feed yourself or your children. Regular work is essential for our health and well-being.

Costa Rica is one of nine countries leading the new WHO initiative  to address why action on the broader social determinants of health is needed to advance health equity and how to strengthen partnerships for action.

Watch the Voices for Health Equity video in full

Read about IHE's series of works relating to COVID-19 and  #BuildBackFairer