ARCHIVED: Canada's Response to WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health – Country action


Country Action

The Commission is working closely with a group of countries where there is a commitment to advance action to address social determinants of health among political leaders, health officials, civil society groups and other stakeholders. The overall goal of country work is to facilitate and strengthen action across government to systematically tackle the socially determined causes of health inequities. Countries which are officially engaged as global partners include Canada, England, Sweden, Kenya, Chile, Brazil, Iran, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Mozambique.

The country work, as a key component of the Commission's implementation strategy, will build understanding of how social determinants of health inequities can be tackled in practice, drawing on experiences across countries, with a view to creating the conditions for good health for future generations. A common objective across all country work will be to position governmental policies and social agendas towards having health as a corporate priority.

The scope of country actions will range from:

  • strengthening interest in social determinants and developing a common vision and understanding of priorities among stakeholders;
  • adapting, scaling up and mainstreaming existing circumscribed programs, which have a proven positive impact; and
  • implementing comprehensive reforms to frame health as a corporate priority in public policies and intersectoral action.

The actions will aim for universal coverage with the purpose of addressing the health gradient across the full spectrum of socioeconomic positions .

The Commissioners, the Secretariat, the Commission's Knowledge Networks, and experts from countries will be involved at key points of the process. Together, these mechanisms combined with other components of the Commission, will contribute to building a network of actors and countries with the capacity necessary for sustaining longer-term action on social determinants of health globally.

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