IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF PEOPLE’S HEALTH:A CHALLENGE FOR CITIES
The world’s population is facing complex health challenges from a human rights approach. The World Health Organization (WHO) released a list of ten serious threats to human health: Air pollution; non-communicable diseases; pandemics; fragile environments; antimicrobial resistance; Ebola and other pathogens; resistance to or refusal to take vaccines; dengue fever; HIV/AIDS; and migratory movements due to political conflict. Ensuring access to universal health care and improving the quality of life of citizens is a priority in overcrowded or dense urban settings.
On the other hand, today the global human rights agenda has as its priority five population groups that are considered to have the highest levels of vulnerability: women, youth, children, people with disabilities, migrants, and the LGBTIQ community. These groups are more exposed to the health risks listed for three converging reasons: discrimination, misinformation, and accessibility. It is essential for cities to manage: primary prevention mechanisms, prioritizing attention and universal coverage of proximity (effective communication at the neighborhood level); population and territory data systems for early detection; multi-agency cooperation to design and carry out multi-level prevention policies; and policies for the empowerment of citizens through participatory and community processes.
The right to health is enshrined as a fundamental human right and is part of the Sustainable Development Goals within the 2030 Agenda. Health is the determinant that makes our cities more humane and people-centered.