New Humanity Movement

Health: Person, Environment

Thinking of “the common good” by thinking first of the well-being of the individual is a sure way of finding previously unimagined solutions, but also for sharing ideas and proposals to better the quality of life in our cities, even from the ecological point of view. From the global to the particular, the commitment to health and psychophysical well-being generates a good life which is part of a better society.

Environment and Education to Health

Quite a number of the improvements occurred in the last decades in the field of health, mainly in rich countries, are due to better natural environmental conditions and to the diffusion of healthier living habits. Both aspects call for the committment of educational agencies and the choice of single citizens as well, besides specific actions by political institutions.  However, education to healthier living habits may clash with the interests of strong economic powers, such as food and tobacco industries.  It is widely proved (sometimes through legal reimbursement actions) that these economic agents spread misleading opinions, above all among vulnerable population layers, in order to promote  habits, which are profitable for the producers, but highly risky for the public health.

A healthy environment and a proper health education, aimed at fighting the obnoxious messages coming from the mass media, are a  specific responsability not only of national institutions, but also of local ones. Opinion groups and citizen associations should cooperate as well.

1. In your city do you see a proper level of attention to public health in non-sanitary areas, such as the public transportation system, schools, housings, waste treatment, parks, cycle lanes, sport facilities, etc.?
2. In your city does there exist an educational committment to a healthy life-style (nutrition, abstention from tobacco and so-called recreational drugs, abstention from an exaggerated use of alcohol, sport, free time and relax, etc.)?
3. What kind of practices are used in order to promote them? (in the families, at school, and in all other places where youth spend their time, relying on mass media and internet)?
4. In your city are there mutual help associations that work for people with unhealthy behaviours?

Health and Society. Let us measure the health conditions in our city

On August 28 2008 the "Commission  on Social  Determinants of Health" presented its three-year-work results to the General Director of WHO in a volume titled “Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health”.
The direct link between income and health, the so-called social gradient, was already highlighted in the past, mainly putting in evidence wrongs and inequalities as avoidable causes of illnesses, exisisting between developing countries on one side and richer ones on the other. However, what the Commission  uncovers in a candid way, is the existence of  “social gradients” even inside a single nation. The Commission puts foward a number of recommendations, and presents concrete examples of actions that can be undertaken, in order to “close the gap in a generation”.
Notwithstanding its true scientific character and its validity, this report could not collect all the experiences, that exist in our cites at all levels and with multifarious bearings. Indeed we try and bring these same experiences to light, helping us with some questions:

1. Are there in your city voluntary associations or experiences, that aim at improving the health conditions of elders, disabled people, kids, immigrants?

2. In your city does everybody have equal opportunity to access fundamental goods such as water, food, a house, electric power, a job, etc.?

3. Are there in your city voluntary associations or experiences, that aim at reducing all the inequalities that exist among classes, generations, genders in the health sector?

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