Health Promotion

Defined by WHO as “the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health and thereby enabling people lead an active productive life towards wellbeing and quality of life” (Ottawa Charter for health promotion, 1986).

Since 1986 in Ottawa, several conferences are arranged with different contents: Adelaide in 1988 (Healthy Public Policy), Sundsvall in 1991 (Supportive environments for health), Jakarta in 1997 (Leading health promotion i th21st century), Mexico in 2000 (Ministerial statement for the promotion of health: From ideas to action), Bangkok in 2005 (Chater for health promotion in a globalized world), and finally Nairobi in 2009 (Promoting health and development: Closing the implementation gap).

The 6th Global Conference on Health Promotion in Bangkok, Thailand in August 2005 emphasises the need of a new policy for health promotion in order to develop a healthy public policy incorporating new types of evidence. The salutogenic model would perhaps serve such a purpose. The idea is to improve the existing definition of health by integrating the principles of Health Promotion (the Ottawa Charter)and the most recent convention on Human Rights i.e. the Convention of the Rights of the Child with Antonovsky’s salutogenic concept.

“Health (life) promotion is the process of enabling individuals, groups or societies to increase control over, and to improve their physical, mental, social and spiritual health. This could be reached by creating environments and societies characterised of clear structures and empowering environments where people are able to identify their internal and external resources, use and reuse them to realize aspirations, to satisfy needs, to perceive meaningfulness and to change or cope with the environment in a health promoting manner” (Eriksson and Lindström, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 07;61:938-944).