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Tackling the social roots of health inequities

"Throughout the world, people who are vulnerable and socially disadvantaged have less access to health resources, get sicker, and die earlier than people in more privileged social positions," say Alec Irwin and colleagues from the World Health Organization (WHO). Ministries of health, they say, cannot transform social conditions single-handedly, but the health sector can take the lead in advancing an approach to health policy that incorporates actions on the social determinants of health across government departments and wider society. Irwin and colleagues discuss why the WHO has created the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, which aims to strengthen health equity by "catalyzing policy and institutional change to address the social determinants of health within countries, among institutions working in global health, and within WHO itself."

Citation: Irwin A, Valentine N, Brown C, Loewenson R, Solar O, et al. (2006) The Commission on Social Determinants of Health: Tackling the social roots of health inequities. PLoS Med 3(6): e106.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030106

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-03-06-irwin.pdf

CONTACT: Alex Irwin
World Health Organization
Department of Equity, Poverty, and Social Determinants of Health
Geneva, CH-1211, Switzerland
+41 22 791 49 09
irwina@who.int

The Limits of Reductionism in Medicine: Does Systems Biology Offer an Alternative?

"Reductionism pervades the medical sciences and affects the way we diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases," say Andrew Ahn (Harvard Medical School) and colleagues. While reductionism--the idea that complex problems are solv
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Contact: Andrew Hyde
ahyde@plos.org
44-012-234-63330
Public Library of Science
22-May-2006


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