Closing the Gap in a Generation: Health Equity through Action on the Social Determinants of Health
Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health
Nonserial Publication
World Health Organization
ISBN-13    9789241563703 ISBN-10    9241563702
Order Number    11500741 Format    Paper Back
Price    CHF    40.00 / US$    40.00 Developing countries:    CHF    20.00
English     2008        246   pages
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"...Reducing health inequities is, for the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, an ethical imperative. Social injustice is killing people on a grand scale."

The Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health sets out key areas -of daily living conditions and of the underlying structural drivers that influence them- in which action is needed. It provides analysis of social determinants of health and concrete examples of types of action that have proven effective in improving health and health equity in countries at all levels of socioeconomic development.

Part 1 sets the scene, laying out the rationale for a global movement to advance health equity through action on the social determinants of health. It illustrates the extent of the problem between and within countries, describes what the Commission believes the causes of health inequities are, and points to where solutions may lie.

Part 2 outlines the approach the Commission took to evidence, and to the indispensable value of acknowledging and using the rich diversity of different types of knowledge. It describes the rationale that was applied in selecting social determinants for investigation and suggests, by means of a conceptual framework, how these may interact with one another.

Parts 3, 4, and 5 set out in more detail the Commission s findings and recommendations. The chapters in Part 3 deal with the conditions of daily living -the more easily visible aspects of birth, growth, and education; of living and working; and of using health care. The chapters in Part 4 look at more structural conditions -social and economic policies that shape growing, living, and working; the relative roles of state and market in providing for good and equitable health; and the wide international and global conditions that can help or hinder national and local action for health equity. Part 5 focuses on the critical importance of data -not simply conventional research, but living evidence of progress or deterioration in the quality of people s lives and health that can only be attained through commitment to and capacity in health equity surveillance and monitoring.

Part 6, finally, reprises the global networks -the regional connections to civil society worldwide, the growing caucus of country partners taking the social determinants of health agenda forward, the vital research agendas, and the opportunities for change at the level of global governance and global institutions- that the Commission has built and on which the future of a global movement for health equity will depend.

For additional information on the work of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, please visit the Commission's web site.