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Excerpt from a Report “SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH IN GAZA STRIP“
Palestinian Medical Relief Society | Palestinian Center For Human Rights
To improve the health situation of any population, health authorities have to address the relationship between the community health status and other factors including policies, health services, and individual behavior. The population’s health is shaped not only by biological factors but also by social, environmental, economic, political, and personal factors. Therefore, improving health outcomes can be achieved by addressing and enhancing the social determinants of health (SDOH).
The SDOH are ‘the circumstances, in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age, and the systems put in place to deal with illness’ (World Health Organization [WHO, 2015]). These circumstances are shaped by a wider set of forces: economics, social policies, and politics. The SDOH are mostly responsible for health inequities (HI) – the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries”. Health outcomes are influenced by many factors that include genetic and biological predisposition; social, political, and economic conditions; surrounding environment; education, equity, and well-balanced diversified nutrition. Inequalities in social conditions give rise to unequal and unjust health outcomes for the different social groups.