Sustainable health promotion actions

Sustainable health promotion actions:

Sustainable health promotion actions are those that can maintain their benefits for communities and populations beyond their initial stage of implementation. Sustainable actions can continue to be delivered within the limits of finances, expertise, infrastructure, natural resources and participation by stakeholders.

Reference: New definition

Achieving the changes in risk factors and risk conditions that will result in health gain in populations requires the implementation of health promotion actions over years and decades. Attention needs to be given, therefore, to designing actions which have the potential for ongoing delivery and institutionalization after they have been evaluated and found to be effective. Health promoting policy, across a range of sectors, and modifying the physical environment in which people live have particular value because of their potential sustainability.

The issue of sustainability also highlights the importance of capacity building in health promotion and the benefits of intersectoral collaboration to create shared responsibility for the ongoing implementation of strategies. The Ottawa Charter identifies a stable ecosystem and sustainable resources among the prerequisites for health, and states that taking care of natural resources is central to creating a supportive environment for health. Sustainable health promotion strategies are those which are compatible with the natural environment in which they are carried out and do not create unintentional threats to the health of future generations due to their ecological impact.

Source: WHO Health Promotion Glossary: new terms. Smith BJ, Tang KC, Nutbeam D. Health Promot Int. 2006 Dec;21(4):340-5.