Research policy

Research for health carried out by non-health sectors to support Health in All Policies

Current trends in the health situation of the world make it imperative that new ways be found to improve the health of the population. Infectious diseases are still highly prevalent, particularly in developing countries. Cancer is a major cause of death in poor as well as rich countries. Although mortality rates due to cardiovascular diseases are falling in developed countries, they are rising in many developing countries. Moreover, resources for health care and public health programmes are being squeezed even while the cost of delivering health care are rising, partly as a result of high cost technology.

The first step in finding the new ways to improve population health is by acknowledging that health problems and challenges are multi sectoral in nature. Health development needs the involvement of the disciplines in other sectors that have bearing on health. These sectors include, among others, economy, security and justice, education, economy, environment, infrastructure, housing and transportation.

For example: Healthier people can increase their household savings and are more productive at work, less unemployed since they can adapt more easily to work changes, and can remain working for longer hours. In the other hand, work and stable employment opportunities improve health for all people across different social groups

Ill health of children impedes educational attainment, reducing educational potential and abilities to solve life challenges and pursue opportunities in life. In other hand, educational attainment for both women and men directly contributes to better health and the ability to participate fully in a productive society, and creates engaged citizens.

Research is one critical element of health development. Promoting research that has bearing on health which was carried out by non-health sectors would give high leverage to health development.

Country in South East Asia Region, such as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Thailand has conducted research that has bearing on health carried out by non-health sectors.

In agriculture sector, there are four key areas of research for health: (a) Food safety problems, particularly on the contamination of foods with fertilizer and pesticide residues, (b) Food security, particularly study to increase production capacity for food security mainly targeting the staple food, (c) Nutrition content of the food product, and (d) Environmental sustainability, particularly on agriculture practices that could affect human health.

In environmental sector, three main research areas of the research for health carried out by non-health institutions are: (a) Water pollution/ contamination problems, freshwater quality degradation, and effluent treatment. In India and Bangladesh, many research conducted to study arsen in the ground water, (b) Air pollution problems from fossil fuel burning and exposure to traffice-related air pollutants, and (c) Hazardous waste management and recycling.

In industry, research for health mainly covers areas of: chemical hazards, ergonomy, and Occupational safety

In housing sector, research for health mainly focus on:sanitation, ventilation, and disaster prevention

Evidence from research for health carried out by non-health sectors could be used to inform policy making to support Health in All Policies.