Health and Society
AGYA Workshop on “Health in All Policies: An approach to achieve Sustainable Development Goals in the Eastern Mediterranean Region” in collaboration with WHO/EMRO
26 - 28 February 2017, Cairo/Egypt
Public policies of the different government sectors other than health also affect the health status of a society. Therefore, policy coherence across these sectors will help prevent governments from promoting trade, industrial development policies and initiatives harmful to citizens’ health and well-being. To combat non-infectious diseases, governments need thus to coordinate health-oriented policies in the different governmental sectors. A critical step would be to effectively implement the recommendations of international treaties for health improvement, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The AGYA Working Group Health and Society in collaboration with the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (WHO/EMRO) conducted a workshop in Cairo on ‘Applying Health in All Policies (HiAP) Approach to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals’. Sixty renowned experts and government officials in different sectors from eight Arab countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, UAE) as well as representatives from the League of Arab States and Germany were invited to reflect on how policies in various fields affect the general health situation of societies.
The workshop provided participants with practical tools to assess, monitor, and improve the agenda set by the health sector in other policies. This joint training clarified the trade-offs that are at stake and the possible policy responses to minimize negative impact on health. Moreover, the environment of rich exchange of high-level researchers, policy makers, and academics provided a unique opportunity to share ideas on how to enhance health and well-being in Arab societies as well as the understanding and exchange between cultures in the Arab region and internationaly. Examples and lessons learned from country efforts to advance the HiAP agenda at national level were presented and discussed, including the development of a national HiAP Roadmap in Sudan, intersectoral action by the National Council for Motherhood and Childhood and by Parliamentarians in Egypt as well as intersectoral efforts to improve nutrition at regional level. There was also a focus on the opportunities and challenges for advancing and operationalizing intersectoral commitments, generally and specifically within the Eastern Mediterranean regional context.
The AGYA workshop on ‘Applying Health in All Policies (HiAP) Approach to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals’ took place in February 2017 at the premises of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (WHO/EMRO) in Cairo. The HiAP Workshop was conducted in conjunction with the Meeting of AGYA Working Group Health and Society, in which the future activities of the AGYA Working Group were planned and discussed.
Photos by AGYA