Divers - 10 juillet 2016

fr - Health & Wellbeing of Families

Several years ago, public health workers in Wayne County, Michigan, USA, embarked on a new endeavor to tackle infant mortality, an issue that affected the community’s black newborns at more than twice the rate of white newborns.
But instead of looking to medicine for answers, workers headed upstream to confront social determinants that put black babies at a disadvantage long before conception occurs.
“We wanted to focus on education, employment, social isolation, structural racism — all those factors combined correlate to an unfavorable birth outcome and the chances of a child not celebrating his or her first birthday,” APHA member Mouhanad Hammami, MD, director of the Wayne County Department of Health, Veterans and Community Wellness, told The Nation’s Health. “What happens from the time a girl is born to the time she has a child ?”
The health and wellbeing of families is not simply a medical issue. Public health was founded on principles of social justice. Several key social determinants of health : economic stability, education, social and community context, health, health care, neighborhood and environment are all important aspects of health and wellbeing. With so many preventive and well-child visits in a child’s first five years, pediatricians are uniquely positioned to intervene and help put children on a healthier trajectory.
While the issues seem unrelated, many of their root causes — poor housing, high poverty, and a lack of safe outdoor spaces — are the same. As such, tackling the root causes of those indicators will hopefully result in significant co-benefits for overall family and community health and wellbeing.
To learn more about public health and social determinants, visit www.cdc.gov/socialdeterminants.

Sheilah Dooley
Editorial for July 2016
From an article by Kim Krisberg
for the American Public Health Association