This briefing report by the World Health Organisation in partnership with the Regional Office for the Western Pacific was released in December 2011. It illustrates transport's role in health, describes the challenges facing transport policy-makers and authorities, and identifies areas for potential collaboration between health and transport.
Public health is built on effective interventions in two broad domains: the biomedical domain that addresses diseases; and the social, economic and political domain that addresses the structural determinants of health. Effective health policy needs to tackle both domains. However, less rigorous and systematic attention has been paid to health issues in social, economic and political domains in recent decades.
Increasingly complex social, economic and political factors are affecting health and health policy-making. One area of complexity relates to health inequities. As emphasized by the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, the social gradient in health is driven by policies in other sectors. Hence, looking at population well-being from the perspective of health and health equity rather than disease demands a new approach to intersectoral collaboration and an imperative to participate earlier in policy processes.
Some of the new responsibilities for public health include:
By providing information on other sectors’ agendas and policy approaches, and their health impacts, and by illustrating areas for potential collaboration, the Social Determinants of Health Sectoral Brieï¬ng Series aims to encourage more systematic dialogue and problem solving, and more collaboration with other areas of government