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The vast majority of inequalities in health, between and within countries, are avoidable and, hence, inequitable. Our success in improving health and reducing these inequities depends on serious attention to the underlying societal causes. Technical solutions within the health sector are important, but are not sufficient. Dealing with the social determinants of health may yield greater and sustainable returns. Action on social determinants of health empowers people, communities and countries. Empowerment is a powerful route to changing both social structure and conditions, and it is through such changes that people are empowered.
In an endeavour to realize its vision, the Commission is building a global movement for change to improve global health and reduce health inequity. It is building partnerships with governments, civil society, and international organizations. It is reviewing the global evidence base on health inequity, harnessing national and local knowledge for action, and advocating for change. The CSDH is ultimately concerned with action to tackle the range of health determinants – from structural conditions of society to the more immediate influences, at all levels from global to local, across government and inclusive of all stakeholders from civil society and the private sector.
Health Equity and Social Justice Toolkit