Health promotion

Jakarta Declaration on Leading Health Promotion into the 21st Century

The Fourth International Conference on Health Promotion: New Players for a New Era - Leading Health Promotion into the 21st Century, meeting in Jakarta from 21 to 25 July 1997

Health promotion makes a difference

Research and case studies from around the world provide convincing evidence that health promotion is effective. Health promotion strategies can develop and change lifestyles, and have an impact on the social, economic and environmental conditions that determine health.

Health promotion is a practical approach to achieving greater equity in health. The five strategies set out in the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion are essential for success:

  • build healthy public policy
  • create supportive environments
  • strengthen community action
  • develop personal skills
  • reorient health services.

There is now clear evidence that:

  • comprehensive approaches to health development are the most effective. Those that use combinations of the five strategies are more effective than single- track approaches.
  • particular settings offer practical opportunities for the implementation of comprehensive strategies. These include mega-cities, islands, cities, municipalities, local communities, markets, schools, the workplace, and health care facilities.
  • participation is essential to sustain efforts. People have to be at the centre of health promotion action and decision-making processes for them to be effective.
  • health learning fosters participation. Access to education and information is essential to achieving effective participation and the empowerment of people and communities.

These strategies are core elements of health promotion and are relevant for all countries.