We want Mozambique to become a country of reference in championing Primary Health Care and to do so with scientific rigor, promoting international events for reflection and debate on how to improve PHC in the country.
The Social Determinants of Health (SDH) are the circumstances in which people live, grow, work and grow old. People's health is influenced by income level, housing, transportation, working conditions (or lack of employment), education, gender inequality, the environment, social integration and participation, among other factors, without forgetting the access to health services and their quality. These Social Determinants affect indicators such as life expectancy, mortality, morbidity or health status.
According to the World Health Organization, SDH account for the vast majority of health inequities, i.e. unfair and avoidable differences observed between and within countries in relation to the health situation.
At present, we can observe socially determined health inequalities in all countries of the world. Mozambique is no exception. Many of the most relevant health problems and inequities 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 the product of unhealthy behaviors. On the contrary it is, above all, the result of the combination of social and economic policies carried out in a particular territory or country. Therefore, improving health and equity requires the enforcement of policies, programs and interventions covering all key social and environmental sectors in each society, not just the health care sector. However, limited access to health services and a reduction in their quality for disadvantaged social groups can undoubtedly have worse consequences on health and well-being and result in greater inequality.
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 we cannot improve individual and collective health without a better understanding of the determinants that affect it. SDH can become an ideal theoretical and practical framework to reduce health inequities, particularly in Mozambique.
It is in this context that medicusmundi will organize the First International Conference on Social Determinants of Health in Maputo from the 5th to the 7th of December, 2018.
Please find below the Call for Papers.