227747 Rapid Urbanization and the Challenge of Social Justice: The Case of Latin America

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 1:24 PM - 1:42 PM

Dr. Luiz Augusto Cassanha Galvao, MD, MPH , Sustainable Development and Environment, Pan American Health Organization, Washington, DC
Marilyn Rice, MA, MPH, CHES , Regional Adviser in Healthy Municipalities and Communities, PAHO/WHO, Washington, DC
Kira Fortune, PhD, MIH, MA , Sustainable Development and Environmental Health, Pan American Health Organization, Northwest Washington, DC
Rapid urbanization, which is not coupled with equally rapid growth of institutions and guarantees of social justice, undermines the well-being and health of citizens. This is seen very clearly in Latin America, where urbanized growth has been particularly rapid. Between 1970 and 2000, the region's urban population grew by 240% and today Latin America has one of the highest urbanization levels in the world. Approximately 77% of the region's population lives in cities and projections show that the figure will rise to 81% by 2030. Although living in urban settings has historically been recognized as a favorable health determinant, rapid urban growth has severe implications for public health, when other key social institutions are less well developed. Evidence demonstrates that, as the number of people living in urban areas rises so does social injustice. Member States in the Americas have made a collective effort towards addressing social injustice in urban health and these efforts were consolidated in September of 2010, when a Plan of Action and recommendations for countries in the Americas were approved by the PAHO's Directing Council. This put urban health and social justice firmly on the regional political agenda and strengthened technical cooperation in areas such as transportation, healthy municipalities and governance, all urban health priorities identified by Member States. The objective of this presentation is to share the recommendations made by the Ministers of Health in Latin America, and to outline a path for developing and implementing a sound framework for social justice in urban health.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
*Share the recommendations made by the Ministers of Health in Latin America *Discuss the path for developing and implementing a sound framework for social justice in urban health.

Keywords: Urban Health, Social Inequalities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Marilyn Rice is Senior Advisor in Health Promotion and Coordinator of the Urban Health and Determinants of Health Team for the Area of Sustainable Development and Environmental Health for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). She has done extensive work to support systematic evaluation and documentation of health education and promotion experiences in countries throughout the world and she coordinated and oriented technical cooperation activities in the areas of health promotion, social determinants of health, urban health and development, community mobilization and production and implementation of healthy public policies. She has worked for PAHO for 22 years and the Global Office of WHO for 7. She has also held the position of Project Director of the National Resource Center for Prevention of Perinatal Abuse of Alcohol and Other Drugs and Branch Chief of the Perinatal Branch for the US Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (part of the US Department of Health and Human Services). She holds a degree in sociology and masters training in public health and health education. She is known throughout the world for her work in community development and social mobilization. She is on the editorial board of numerous peer review journals in the fields of health promotion and education.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.