Healthy Settings

Types of Healthy Settings

Healthy Villages

Woman cooking with solid fuels
The World Bank/Curt Carnemark

The Healthy Villages programme addresses similar directives as the Healthy Cities programme simply in rural areas as opposed to urban areas. Health is again defined by the area's residents; however, the generally accepted definition of a healthy village includes a community with low rates of infectious diseases, access to basic healthcare services, and a stable, peaceful social environment.

Programmes attempt to foster a holistic approach to health management through fostering communication among community leaders and members. Communication throughout the various social ranks of the village and a village health plan are necessary components of all programmes. Thus, the programme is vulnerable to similar issues as the Healthy Cities programme, such as providing the necessary resources and maintaining momentum to succeed.

Examples of implementation
A man and his son in a village
The World Bank/Eric Miller

Programmes have been implemented in all six WHO regions.

In the WHO African Region, approximately 30 Healthy Villages have been set up. Programme initiatives continue to be established, often with the support of the recent Healthy Villages publication to facilitate implementation.

In the WHO South-East Asia and Eastern Mediterranean Regions, initiatives have been widespread and relatively successful at improving local awareness and improving health and social conditions. For example, Egypt, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sudan have Healthy Village initiatives. In addition, countries like Malaysia and Sri Lanka have adopted policies, bringing the estimated number of Healthy Villages throughout the world in between 50 to 100.

Selected publications
  • Khosh-Chashm, K. (1995) Healthy Cities and Healthy Villages. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal. 1(2): 103-111.
  • Kiyu A. et al. (2006). Evaluation of the Healthy Village Program in Kapit District, Sarawak, Malaysia. Health Promotion International 21(1): 13-18.