Social determinants

Social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age. These conditions influence a person’s opportunity to be healthy, his/her risk of illness and life expectancy. Social inequities in health – the unfair and avoidable differences in health status across groups in society – are those that result from the uneven distribution of social determinants.

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Top story

Lampedusa, the southern door to Europe

In 2013, WHO/Europe conducted missions to Italy, Malta and Portugal to assess health-sector capacity to address migrant health. A photo story explains this work and interviews with a doctor and migrant who met on Lampedusa examine the challenges they face.

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Governance for health equity

Taking forward the equity values and goals of Health 2020 in the WHO European Region

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WHO/Europe aims to provide an evidence-based, systematic and accountable approach to the full integration of the social and economic determinants of health into the development strategies of countries in the WHO European Region.

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In countries

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