Health promotion is integral to, and helps advance, WHO's corporate strategy

Health promotion helps reduce excess mortality, address the leading risk factors and underlying determinants of health, helps strengthen sustainable health systems, and places health at the centre of the broad development agenda.

Most countries are experiencing unprecedented societal transformation as a result of population growth and urbanization together with environmental and other changes. This process is often accelerated by globalization in trade and communication, and complex emergencies. New approaches are required in the light of these changes in order to address the broader determinants of health.

Within the context of primary health care, health promotion is critical to improving outcomes in the prevention and control of both chronic and communicable diseases, and in meeting the health-related Millennium Development Goals, particularly among poor and marginalized groups. In order to accomplish these aims, WHO applies health promotion techniques to health and related social systems, and to a variety of risk factors, diseases and health issues, including oral health. Carrying out health promotion in settings where people live, work, learn and play is a creative and effective way of improving health and quality of life. Health promotion has a crucial role to play in fostering healthy public policies and health-supportive environments, enhancing positive social conditions and personal skills, and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Dr Suvajee Good
Programme Coordinator
Health Promotion and Social Determinants of Health