International Conference On Health Promotion

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International Conference On Health Promotion

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International Conference On Health Promotion

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Discuss about the International Conference on Health Promotion.

The first International Conference on Health Promotion held in Ottawa on 21st November, 1986 is regarded as the Ottawa Charter. It was arranged in response to the demand for a new public health movement in the world. The purpose was to achieve optimum health for all by the year 2000 by launching better health promotion channels. The international organization, national government and local communities had the responsibility in carrying out this action. The main focus of attention according to the Ottawa Charter was building relevant public health policy, building a supportive environment, developing community action and personal skills and reorienting health care service to prevent illness (World Health Organization 2017). Although the Charter is a century old, still there is question regarding the relevance of the Charter for health promotion in the 21st century. The purpose of this essay is to understand the action and strategies laid down in the Ottawa Charter to understand its relevance in current health promotion activities. It will lay down the argument regarding whether Ottawa Charter should be used in today’s health promotion or not.
The thesis statement for the essay is that Ottawa Charter should not be used in today’s health promotion due to several challenges present in the implementation of action and strategies areas mentioned in the Ottawa Charter. However, the counter argument to this statement is that Ottawa Charter has been successful in integrating health promotion activities in countries like UK and Canada. It has helped establish the supporting conditions for prevention, protection and surveillance at policy level and community level too (Hancock 2011). The Ottawa Charter gave the three strategies for health promotion which was to mediate, advocate and enable. It was also the first WHO document to recognize a stable ecosystem as determinant of health and participants countries pledges to address environmental and ecological issues affecting the health. Hence, the Ottawa Charter continues to provide a simple and effective framework for addressing the health needs of disadvantaged group in community. People most in need cannot get access to health promotion market and the Ottawa strategies ensure that these sections of population can access health promotion campaigns to promote health and well-being of public (Davies 2014). However, still this success of Ottawa Charter is rejected because all the aspects of health promotion practices have not been fully implemented as required. Despite evidence regarding success of approach, behavioural lifestyle continues to prevail and affect health of general public in the world (Fry and Zask 2016).
The essay supports that the actions and strategies mentioned in the Charter is not relevant for health promotion in the 21st century due to the presence of several challenges in its implementation process. The first supporting evidence regarding this given by (Potvin and Jones (2011)who mentions the role of the Ottawa Charter in endorsing positive definition about health and establishing core values of public health action. However, the challenges lies in the implementation of these values and principles due to the changes in public health system and practices at international and national level in countries across the world. There is absence of agreement regarding the theoretical and epistemological aspects of health promotions which results in error in actions and precariousness of institutions involved in health promotion (Tremblay and Richard 2011).
The second evidence supporting the challenges facing the Ottawa Charter is the lack of equity in promoting health in communities. Community based interventions are being established to modify behavioural lifestyle of people in the community, however the lack of change in the system is preventing the aspects of sustaining the behaviour change in public. There is rise in issues of inequity in health promotion due to the little attention paid on evidentiary research in western countries (Baum and Sanders 2011). The changes introduced in the Charter were both of practical and philosophical importance in health care. Peace, shelter, education, social justice, equity and stable ecosystem was regarded as important prerequisite for health, however this cannot be done by health sector alone. The key aspects of the charter should have permeated to all aspects of life- both personal and public. However, the practices in the community reveals a drift from this ideal. Therefore, reconceptualising health amidst changing times and system is one of the significant challenges facing the future generation (Vinko et al. 2017).
The third evidence to the challenges seen in implementing actions and strategies of the Ottawa Charter is the need to redevelop the mediation strategy stated in the Charter. This may differ from one institution to other. For some, it may involve sharing the health promotion responsibilities with government, media industry and health industry, for others it may involve applying the theories of social science in promoting health and equity along with research finding from medicine and biomedical research in health promotions (McPhail-Bell et al. 2013). The rise in new technology also brings with it many ethical dilemmas as new technologies for health promotion have many pitfalls. There are many ethical and political dilemmas in using digital health technology for health promotion. It cannot maintain health equity as all people do not have access or knowledge to use these tools. Furthermore, as new digital technology is highly linked to age, income and education level of users for efficient use, the inequality in health outcome may widen if health promotion approaches do not work to overcome this limitations of the tool.
Hence, from the analysis of the values and principles proposed by the Ottawa Charter for health promotion, it can be said that changes in health system and rise in technology contributes to challenges in the implementation of the action of the Charter in the 21st century. There is a need for public health agency to pay extra attention to improve health and digital literacy in disadvantaged group of society to overcome the limitations in practice. Therefore, it can finally be concluded that challenges in the action areas of the Charter can be addressed in the 21st century only when new strategies are developed to meet current health demands. There is a need to redefine health promotion agendas so that better clarity is seen in health policy as well as intervention for all groups.
Baum, F.E. and Sanders, D.M., 2011. Ottawa 25 years on: a more radical agenda for health equity is still required. Health promotion international, 26(suppl 2), pp.ii253-ii257.
Davies, S.C., Winpenny, E., Ball, S., Fowler, T., Rubin, J. and Nolte, E., 2014. For debate: a new wave in public health improvement. The Lancet, 384(9957), pp.1889-1895.
Fry, D. and Zask, A., 2016. Applying the Ottawa Charter to inform health promotion programme design. Health promotion international, p.daw022.
Hancock, T., 2011. The Ottawa charter at 25. Canadian Journal of Public Health/Revue Canadienne de Sante’e Publique, pp.404-406.
McPhail-Bell, K., Fredericks, B. and Brough, M., 2013. Beyond the accolades: a postcolonial critique of the foundations of the Ottawa Charter. Global health promotion, 20(2), pp.22-29.
November, A.L.O., 30 Years after the Ottawa Charter: Is it Still Relevant in the Face of Future Challenges for Health Promotion?.
Potvin, L. and Jones, C.M., 2011. Twenty-five years after the Ottawa Charter: the critical role of health promotion for public health. Canadian Journal of Public Health/Revue Canadienne de Sante’e Publique, pp.244-248.
Tremblay, M.C. and Richard, L., 2011. Complexity: a potential paradigm for a health promotion discipline. Health Promotion International, p.dar054.
Vinko, M., Robnik, M. and Gabrijel?i? Blenkuš, M. (2017). 30 Years after the Ottawa Charter: Is it Still Relevant in the Face of Future Challenges for Health Promotion?. [online] https://www.eurohealthnet-magazine.eu. Available at: https://www.eurohealthnet-magazine.eu/ehn-magazine-8/30-years-after-the-ottawa-charter-is-it-still-relevant-in-the-face-of-future-challenges-for-health-promotion/ [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
World Health Organization. (2017). The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/healthpromotion/conferences/previous/ottawa/en/ [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].

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