From December 5th to 7th, 2018, we will celebrate the First Conference on Social Determinants of Health in Maputo, Mozambique. We want Mozambique to become a reference country in the defense of Primary Health Care (PHC) and to do so with scientific rigor, promoting international events for reflection and debate on how to improve PHC in the country.
Why a conference on Social Determinants of Health (SDH)? Because the DSS are the circumstances in which people live, grow and work, and they have a crucial influence on our health. Income level, housing, transportation, working conditions (or lack of employment), education, gender inequality, the environment, social integration and participation, among other factors, without forgetting access to health services and their quality, determine our health and cause unjust and avoidable inequalities in the way we get sick or die. At medicusmundi we talk about #TheWorstEpidemic, which is not a disease, but inequality and poverty
Currently, we can observe health inequities caused by SDH in all the countries of the world. Mozambique is not an exception. Many of the most important health problems in the country are subject to the influence of these determinants. It is estimated that 80% of the determinants of health are in fact outside the health system. The unequal distribution of health problems is not a “random” or “natural” phenomenon, nor simply the product of unhealthy personal behavior. On the contrary, it is, above all, the result of the combination of economic and social policies deployed in a specific territory or country.
The unequal distribution of health problems is, above all, the result of the combination of economic and social policies deployed in a specific territory or country.
To date, health research in Mozambique has been almost exclusively biomedical. However, we understand that the country faces challenges that go beyond this approach and that we cannot improve individual and collective health without better understanding the determinants that affect it.