The Health Promotion Report
Swedish Organization for Global Health’s recently released Health Promotion Report was developed to emphasize the current global health challenges that pose a significant threat to both the environment and human health. The objective of the report, as well as this blog, is to raise public knowledge of environmental sustainability and global health challenges, and offer individuals opportunities to prevent and reduce their exposure to these concerns. With only one world and no alternative planet, even simple actions count for the benefit of everyone. We can all play a part in preserving the world’s health, ensuring that our children and future generations can experience the same quality of life we have or even better.
The report addresses five global health concerns, which you can read more about in our blogs or report:
Global Health and Environmental Health Promotion
The field of global health has seen a marked increase in interest due to several trends, including the growing burden of diseases, climate change, and heightened awareness of health disparities throughout the world. Despite the importance of sustainability in global health efforts, the role of the environment in healthcare is often overlooked. The negative impact of environmental pollution on human health and overall quality of life for individuals, communities, families, and tribes remains a significant, yet often times ignored, concern. Chemical pollutants like pesticides, mercury, and PCBs have contaminated the food supply and disrupted subsistence activities such as fishing and tribal hunting.
Global health and environmental health promotion are concepts that are interconnected and aim to improve the overall well-being of individuals and communities globally. Global health refers to the universal efforts to prevent and control diseases, improve access to healthcare, and promote healthy living standards.Environmental health, on the other hand, is concerned with preventing adverse health effects caused by environmental factors such as air and water pollution, toxic compounds, and climate change. These two areas interact to address health inequalities and improve health outcomes for all people, regardless of where they live, their ethnicity, or their socioeconomic situation. Improving access to clean water and air, limiting the use of hazardous chemicals, promoting sustainable practices, and supporting community-led projects that promote health and well-being are just a few examples. Connecting health and the environment is the concept of “Environmental Health Promotion“—a process that utilizes comprehensive health promotion methods to identify, assess, regulate, and prevent environmental factors that could have negative impacts on current and future generations’ health and well-being. Health promotion aims to empower people to take charge of their health through initiatives that enhance environmental and societal conditions, reducing the underlying causes of illness instead of focusing solely on treatment and cure.
What can we do?
It is our responsibility to ensure the health and habitability of our world while taking into account the hard work of previous generations, present responsibilities, and future generations. Despite the emergence of global health issues and ongoing harm inflicted on the environment by industries and individuals, everyone can make a positive impact through small contributions. With only one world and no alternative planet, action counts for the benefit of everyone. We can all play a part in preserving the world’s health, ensuring that our children and future generations can experience the same quality of life we have. To do so, we must continue our education, mentor others, and actively engage in our communities. Even if you are not personally impacted by the global health issues discussed here, you may share it with your network and remind those who may be affected. Through your own knowledge and experience, you have the power to assist the most vulnerable and in need.
Author: Fion Chan*
Edited by: Jasmine Therese Arcilla
*Fion is SOGH’s Environmental Sustainability Manager. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and is pursuing a Master of Medical Science in Global Health at the University of Gothenburg.