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Addressing Social Determinants of Health at EB154

27 Jan 2024

This is a statement delivered by the World Heart Federation at the WHO Executive Board Meeting (EB145) on Agenda Item 19: Social Determinants of Health.

Honourable Chair, Distinguished Delegates, 

The World Heart Federation and its Members welcome the report from the Director-General. However, we note with concern that progress in implementing the recommendations of the Commission has been insufficient. 

Health equity extends beyond the health sector. Key structural and environmental determinants, such as inequitable economic systems, and societal infrastructure, such as urbanisation, significantly impact cardiovascular health. 

Notably, rheumatic heart disease, a disease associated with poverty, remains most prevalent in low- and middle-income countries with individuals living in overcrowded and impoverished conditions being at highest risk. 

As such, we urge Member States to: 

  • Address economic inequality and invest in universal public services to improve standards of living; 
  • Implement Universal Health Coverage and Primary Health Care as key instruments in achieving health equity; 
  • Strengthen partnerships beyond health to address actions on structural and environmental determinants. 

Thank you.