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Achieving health equity for all

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 13 September 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:522
  1. Alan Maryon-Davis, president
  1. Faculty of Public Health, London NW1 4LB
  1. president{at}

    The Commission on Social Determinants of Health sets out its vision and goals

    This week the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), established in 2005 by the then director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), the late Lee Jong-Wook—has released an interim statement.1 It sets out a new vision to achieve what it calls worldwide “health equity”—fairness of opportunity to achieve and maintain good health. The intention is to kickstart a global movement to tackle, at all levels and in all sectors, the social, environmental, economic, and political factors that underpin inequities in health—the so called “causes of the causes” of ill health.

    Nearly 30 years ago, WHO brought the community of nations together to issue a call for “health for all by the year 2000.” The Declaration of Alma Ata2 focused on accessible and affordable primary health care worldwide, and on tackling the social and economic causes of ill health. It affirmed that health is a fundamental human right. And it called on governments, international organisations, and the world community to create the opportunity for everyone to attain a level of health that would enable them to lead socially and economically productive …

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