The Ottawa Charter Essay

1498 words - 6 pages

The first International Conference on Health Promotion, meeting in Ottawa this 21st day of November 1986, hereby presents this CHAR TER for action to achieve Health for All by the year 2000 and beyond.This conference was primarily a response to growing expectations for a new public health movement around the world. Discussions focused on the needs in industrialised coun tries, but took into account similar concerns in all other regions. It built on the progress made through the Declaration on Primary Health Care at Alma Ata, the WorldHeaUh Organisa tion 's Targets for Health for All document, and the recent debate at the World Health Assembly on intersectaral action for health.HEALTH PROMOTIONHealth promotion is the process of enabling peo ple to increase control over, and to improve, their health. To reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realise aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment. Health is, therefore, seen as a resource for everyday life, not the objec tive of living. Health is a positive concept empha sising social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities. Therefore, health promotion is not just the responsibility of the health sector, but goes beyond healthy lifestyles to well-being.Prerequisites for healthThe fundamental conditions and resources for health are peace, shelter, education, food, income, a stable ecosystem, sustainable resources, social justice and equity. Improvement in health requires a secure foundation in these basic prerequisites.AdvocateGood health is a major resource for social, eco nomic and personal development and an impor tant dimension of quality of life. Political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, behav ioural and biological factors can all favour health or be harmful to it. Health promotion action aims at making these conditions favourable through advocacy for health.EnableHealth promotion focuses on achieving equity in health. Health promotion action aims at reducing differences in current health status and ensuring equal opportunities and resources to enable all people to achieve their fullest health potential This includes a secure foundation in a supportive environment, access to information, life skills and opportunities for making healthy choices. People cannot achieve their fullest health potential unless they are able to take control of those things which determine their health. This must apply equally to women and men.MediateThe prerequisites and prospects for health cannot be ensured by the health sector alone. More importantly, health promotion demands coordi nated action by all concerned: by governments, by health and other social and economic sectors, by nongovernmental and voluntary organisations, by local authorities, by industry and by the media. People in all walks of life are involved as individu als, families and communities. Professional and social...

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