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WHO Director-General appoints new members to Commission on Social Determinants of Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr LEE Jong-wook appointed today four new members to the Commission on Social Determinants of Health.

The Commission on Social Determinants of Health, chaired by Sir Michael Marmot was launched in March this year and is a new body formed to spearhead political action on the social causes behind ill-health. The Commission includes global experts on health, education, housing and economics, whose work is to identify, evaluate, adapt and distribute effective strategies to address social determinants.

The four newly appointed Commissioners are:

  • Dr Guo Yan (People's Republic of China): Vice President of the Peking University Health Science Centre. Dr Guo is an active advocate of health policy, primary health care, rural health and health promotion in China.
  • Dr Pascoal Mocumbi (Mozambique): High Representative of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership. The former Prime Minister of Mozambique, Dr Mocumbi has also headed his country's health ministry and is a founding member of the Medical Association of Mozambique.
  • Mrs Ndioro Ndiaye (Senegal): Deputy Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Prior to her appointment at the IOM, Mrs Ndiaye served as Minister for Social Development and Minister for Women's, Children's and Family Affairs in Senegal.
  • Dr Gail Wilensky (United States): Senior Fellow at Project HOPE, an international health education foundation. Dr Wilensky analyses and develops policies relating to health care reform and to ongoing changes in the health care environment.

Social determinants are the conditions in which people live and work. They include poverty, social exclusion, lack of education, and unsafe employment conditions. These social determinants are intrinsically linked to inequities in health and help explain why poor and marginalized people get sick and die sooner than those in better social positions.

The main goal of the Commissioners is to leverage policy change by turning existing public health knowledge into actionable policy agendas. The Commission will issue a report of specific recommendations at the end of its three-year mandate.

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For more information contact:

Richard Poe
Secretariat of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health
WHO/Geneva
Telephone: +41 22 791 34 76
E-mail: poerw@who.int