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Public Health information and surveillance systems. A more political and strategic overlook

The current document is part of a theoretical and methodological proposal oriented to produce information and evidences that are reliable, relevant and useful to strengthen the intersectoral processes in order to tackle health inequities. The main characteristic of the proposal is the utilization of local resources to increase and qualify the social participation and capacity building to face the challenges to promote and preserve the population's health and to respond to situations threatening it. Special attention is given to the local information and surveillance systems, envisioning them as a key public health strategy to monitor the population health conditions, distribution of social inequities, and undertake actions in accordance with the needs and local reality. The articulation of institutional & community surveillance and information systems, allow a closer picture about population health and social determinants of health inequities.

The proposal has three parts, in this release we present the first and second part, in which we justify the reasons for which the information and surveillance systems need to be considered as a public health strategy. If so, their scope becomes wider, being not only a technical tool, but a social and political endeavor; in the second part, methodological and technical tools are proposed to accomplish this goal; finally, in the third part, some practical experiences and lessons learnt, are presented.

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FUNDESALUD Thanks Dr. Maria del Pilar

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Dr. Maria del Pilar Hernandez gastroenterologist from the University of Miami School of Medicine has taken part in the social work from FUNDESALUD helping to sustain the studies from the girl Giany Gonzalez Bena, from the indigenous community of Novirao, Totoró Cauca, Colombia.

Evidences in Public Health, more than just data and information

Moving forward with the thoughts and debates on the production, communication and use of "evidences" for the decisions making in public health, we attach the presentation of Pradilla Alberto, R.I.P. held in 1992, in the frame of the International Seminar "The Unequal Development: Technology, Economics and Ethics in International Cooperation", the author draws the attention on the improper practice of the term evidences, as well as its utility to capture the distribution and differences in health conditions of the population. The second article "Evidences in Public Health, more than just data and information" (de Salazar Ligia, 2010) is about the use of evidences to support the intersectoral and sectoral actions, in order to interve the social determinants of health and those related with inequities in access, coverage and quality of the health services. This document describes the type of information and evidences used for building a health model, as well as the difficulties to guarantee its sustainability, hence the name of the article.
If the information and evidences are insufficient and irrelevant, the question to be answered is: what is missing and how face it? Necessarily the answer refers to the processes of articulation and, in some cases, integration of visions, intentions and practices coming from the academic, political and social fields. In short term, we hope to make available to you some proposals which we hope to be completed and enriched with the readers' inputs. Let's start with these two articles.

Click here to download Pradilla Alberto's document
de Salazar Ligia's document, will be available in english soon.

Information and Evidences for the Intersectoral Management Research and policy: processes or products?

There is a wide documentation on the need to strengthen the territorial and institutional governance and governability to fulfill the intersectoral action, oriented to decrease the social and economic inequities that influence population health conditions; however, the advances related with the strategies, mechanisms and techniques to achieve this objective are minimal.

Most of the proposed responses leave aside, or tangentially address, critical aspects such as the organizational structure, the norms, the surroundings, the legislation, the interests and the triggers of the intersectoral action, without which this purpose is reduced to good intentions. The analysis of these factors involves aspects related to the type of information and evidences that encourage and sustain an intersectoral action, as well as the sectors interactions and power relations, institutional responsibilities and sectoral gains, criteria to value the institutional performance, territories and populations of common interest.

FUNDESALUD intends to generate interest and enthusiasm for the analysis of the topic, through the production and dissemination of a series of documents of thought, debate and proposals throughout which, we generate responses to the following concerns: What is the level of consciousness on this topic between the population and the institutions?, which practices facilitate or make difficult the intersectoral action?; which attitude, capacity and skills are needed to boost and keep this practice?; what is the information and evidences to the intersectoral management: evidences to establish causality vs information for decision making and health management?; what is the perception and characterization of the risk around the health inequities and its consequences in health?; are we prepared for the intersectoral action?.
The fourth topic refers to the contribution that the impact and effectiveness evaluation can make to strengthen the institutional and community capacity to undertake actions to improve the response to health inequities.

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The case of the municipality “La Cumbre”

The production and application of knowledge and scientific evidence to reduce the social inequities and improve the health conditions and wellbeing of the populations, especially the most vulnerable ones, has been a subject of study and practice for the Foundation for the Development of the Public Health (FUNDESALUD).

Intersectorality and equity in health: More than work between sectors

By: Ligia de Salazar, Ph.D - Roberto Carlos Lujan, Sociologist

There is a great amount of information showing the importance and need to work intersectorally in order to respond to health problems tightly associated with the determinants of health and health inequities. Those problems are multicausal and have high degree of complexity, therefore must be addressed through integral interventions. Participation and coordination among sectors and representatives of the public and private institutions, as well as communities is mandatory.

Evidences, practices and social change: Health Impact assesment

The Foundation for the development of public health (FUNDESALUD), invites all the governmental authorities, community organizations, academic institutions, NGOs, representatives of the private sector and all those interested in contributing to the building of fair societies with the ability to create populations and territories promoters of health and wellbeing. With this purpose, FUNDESALUD has identified the priority topics of study and intervention.

Advances municipality “La Cumbre”

Advances municipality “La Cumbre”

Is it public health what we are doing?

By: Ligia de Salazar Ph.D

The thought and response to the question that initiated FUNDESALUD’s blog: Is it public health what we are doing?, provides inputs to strengthen actions oriented to create and maintain socio-political processes of social change, to improve the health conditions of the population.

Health Promotion and Primary Health Care: Opportunities, Challenges and Risks

Health Promotion, Primary Care and Health in all Policies, are three complementary referents to create and strengthen initiatives that promote the population’s health and wellbeing. These referents come from holistic conceptions of health and ways to promote it and maintain it, acting on variables that are part of wide and complex causal networks, tightly linked to the socio-economic, cultural and environmental conditions of the populations and subgroups that compose it.

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