WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health

About the Commission



Achieving Health Equity: from root causes to fair outcomes

Author(s): WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health

Published: October 2007

Summary: This report gives an overview of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health and introduces its Commissioners. It discusses health inequality, inequity and social determinants of health, acknowledging that, although there have been improvements in health globally, major equalities persist between countries. The report describes social determinants of health and health equity, giving case examples from Brazil, India, and Sweden. Social determinants are explored in terms of living environments, including health-care systems; in terms of behaviours that affect health; in terms of societies and socioeconomic factors; and terms of global factors. The report includes a brief description of a Public Health Agency of Canada project to gather information about attempts at cross-government action surrounding health and health equity. The appendices include a list of WHO Civil Society Facilitators, Civil Society reports, and a description of Global Initiatives.

Interim Statement [pdf 801kb]