Comprehensive analysis on social determinants of health. Using General Comment No 14 and the WHO framework for action on SDH as your starting point
The right to health as a legal standard and the social determinants of health have emerged in the past two decades as powerful frameworks for action in public health. However, they do not necessarily begin from the same perspectives, and while there are commonalities, there are also important differences.
Using General Comment No 14 and the WHO framework for action on SDH as your starting point, write an essay comparing and contrasting these two frameworks and discussing their implications for public health work
Generally (and briefly) introduce the two documents, what they present, and where they have come from.
Identify commonalities and differences that interest you and critically reflect upon them. You won’t be able to be comprehensive, so be selective based on what you noticed when reading/in the lectures/in the literature seminar. For example, discuss 2 commonalities and 2 differences (you wouldn’t have space for more than this without being very shallow in your discussion).
Be critical and reflective: Which approach makes sense to you from your discipline and why? Which approach do you think sounds more realistic or feasible (practically, culturally, politically) and why? What’s missing from one or both that you think is needed? What are the relative strengths and limitations? etc.
Social determinants of health (SDOH) have a major impact on people’s health, well-being, and quality of life. Examples of SDOH include:
SDOH also contribute to wide health disparities and inequities. For example, people who don’t have access to grocery stores with healthy foods are less likely to have good nutrition. That raises their risk of health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity — and even lowers life expectancy relative to people who do have access to healthy foods.
Just promoting healthy choices won’t eliminate these and other health disparities. Instead, public health organizations and their partners in sectors like education, transportation, and housing need to take action to improve the conditions in people’s environments.
That’s why Healthy People 2030 has an increased and overarching focus on SDOH.
One of Healthy People 2030’s 5 overarching goals is specifically related to SDOH: “Create social, physical, and economic environments that promote attaining the full potential for health and well-being for all.”
In line with this goal, Healthy People 2030 features many objectives related to SDOH. These objectives highlight the importance of “upstream” factors — usually unrelated to health care delivery — in improving health and reducing health disparities.
More than a dozen workgroups made up of subject matter experts with different backgrounds and areas of expertise developed these objectives.