Health promotion

Overview: 7th Global Conference on Health Promotion

The urgency of health promotion

Health and development today face unprecedented threats. The financial crisis threatens the viability of national economies in general and of health systems in particular. Global warming and climate change exert a toll in human life, especially in lower income countries. Security threats create a sense of shared uncertainty for communities around the world.

These new challenges compound the development problems which have yet to be solved. And as the internationally agreed development goals appear increasingly unattainable, newer threats are being recognized: the inexorable growth of noncommunicable conditions in low and middle-income economies, and the threat of potentially catastrophic pandemics.

26-30 October 2009
Nairobi, Kenya

As the aspirations of global health are falling short of the achievable, the burden of ill-health is increasingly recognized to be inequitably distributed, between and within countries.

In this context, health promotion has never been more timely or more needed. Over the period from the Ottawa Conference
(1986) through the six global conferences to Bangkok (2005), a large body of evidence and experience has accumulated about the importance of health promotion as an integrative, cost-effective strategy, and as an essential component of health systems primed to respond adequately to these emerging concerns.