Maputo Municipal Health Directorate is now further strengthened by the establishment of the Municipal Commission of Social Determinants of Health, a multidisciplinary body designed to promote the design and implementation of socio-health policies in the country's capital.
The meeting which formalized the constitution of this Working Committee and allowed the initial exchange of views between the participating members took place on 17 July 2019, at the medicusmundi headquarters. The session was attended by the Director of the Municipal Health and Social Welfare Directorate of Maputo City, representing the Health and Social Welfare Department, and members representing the National Institute of Health, MISAU (Ministry of Health), Maputo City Government (and other municipal areas), Eduardo Mondlane University (specifically the Institute of African Studies and Faculty of Medicine), the Mozambican Civil Society Platform, Forum Mulher and LAMBDA Association.
The necessity and importance of the creation of this body for the advocacy of social determinants of health and for the promotion of public policies aimed at improving the living and health conditions of the population of Maputo City, was highlighted in DMSAS Director's welcome speech, Dr Helder Muando. It should be recalled that health conditions are not merely a result of the existence of material and human resources dedicated to primary health care. They are also strongly determined by the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work and grow old. As such, tackling the health inequalities created by the context of poverty is one of the biggest challenges faced by this Commission, which is taking its first steps.
Lissungu Sheila Mazula, project manager, reinforces the relevance of this initiative by providing a legal framework for the existence of the Commission of Social Determinants of Health, based on articles 11 and 89 of the Mozambican Republic Constitution, which states that the State has a duty to build a society based on social justice, promoting citizens' material and spiritual well-being and quality (Article 11), as well as citizens have the right and duty to defend public health (Article 89).