Public health professionals are community conveners and experts in data, with a deep understanding of population health policies, and therefore expected to lead efforts to improve people’s health. This is a unique position capable of using the evidence to call community members for action towards equity – helping them understand health determinants and risk factors and mobilizing them to take specific action steps so all people can be healthy and none are left behind.
LINKS TO SDGs:
Together, all the SDGs offer a broad framework to address public health concerns in a more holistic way, recognizing the interlinkages between, for example, poor health and climate change, inadequate housing, limited access to safe water and sanitation, and use of unclean energy. The SDGs are, therefore, an agenda for public health – for creating the conditions in which people can be healthy. This is a framework through which public health professionals can conduct their work and the broader global community can better understand the field’s multifaceted roles.
The British Medical Journal, in a paper by Donkin, Goldblatt, Allen, Nathanson and Marmot (see: https://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2017-000603) describes the central raison d’être of public health: that between 50 and 70 percent of health is created by factors that are not fully in the control of the individual or the medical services. The SDGs aim to address these widespread factors that so significantly influence health but are not directly focused on health itself; these are known as the determinants of health.
HOW DO WE ENGAGE WITH OTHER SECTORS:
KEY TOOLS AND EXAMPLES TO SUPPORT THIS ACTION: