The column this week links to a new resource for integrating the social determinants of health into health workforce education and training, and brings news on a variety of commercial determinants of health.
Don’t miss the featured publication, on Indigenous relational self-care, as well as Conference Watch, COVID updates, and details of upcoming events.
In all my years in communications, I can’t say I ever worked in such a troubled environment – an information ecosystem so polluted that voices for positive change are struggling to make themselves heard. The potential impacts of this – on democracy, human rights and progress on the Sustainable Development Goals are devastating.”
Croakey readers have until 1 December to make a submission on development of a Code of Conduct for information integrity on digital platforms.
This United Nations initiative seeks to provide a concerted global response to information threats that is firmly rooted in human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression and opinion and access to information.
The voluntary Code will help guide Member States, digital platforms and other groups in their efforts to make the digital space more inclusive and safer for all.
Read this article by Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General of the UN Department of Global Communications. It begins:
“The case for information integrity has rarely been more compelling, or more urgent.
In all my years in communications, I can’t say I ever worked in such a troubled environment – an information ecosystem so polluted that voices for positive change are struggling to make themselves heard.
The potential impacts of this – on democracy, human rights and progress on the Sustainable Development Goals are devastating.
It wasn’t meant to be like this. When digital platforms first arrived, we communicators were so excited. For the UN, they held great potential to engage people directly with our advocacy and move them to act to improve the world.
And it’s true these tools have brought many benefits — revolutionising communications for everyone, everywhere, connecting those crying out for change, bringing together the isolated, and reuniting the displaced.
But we’ve also seen a darker side. Digital platforms have enabled the massive proliferation of lies and hate on an industrial scale, enabling malicious actors to pump lies and hate into our public sphere, day in, day out, over many years….(read more)“.
Read the new WHO report, Integrating the social determinants of health into health workforce education and training.
“Because the conditions and circumstances in which people live are diverse and constantly changing, it follows that there is no single universal approach to addressing social determinants of health. However, there are common guiding and organisational principles that can be applied in health workforce education and training, in a consistent and reinforcing manner in all settings. This book aims to collate information produced by WHO on social determinants of health, to help the educators of health workers to integrate the social determinants of health into education and training.”Read: Widening Gender Gap in Life Expectancy in the US, 2010-2021
Abstract: As life expectancy at birth in the US decreased for the second consecutive year, from 78.8 years (2019) to 77.0 years (2020) and 76.1 years (2021), the gap between women and men widened to 5.8 years, its largest since 1996 and an increase from a low of 4.8 years in 2010. For more than a century, US women have outlived US men, attributable to lower cardiovascular and lung cancer death rates related largely to differences in smoking behavior. This study systematically examines the contributions of COVID-19 and other underlying causes of death to the widened gender life expectancy gap from 2010 to 2021. Listen to ABC RN report: Ultra-Processed Foods: why did we create them and why can’t we stop eating them? Estimated impact of UK soft drinks industry levy on childhood hospital admissions for carious tooth extractions
Health Policy Watch reports that tobacco industry interference in governments’ tobacco control policies has increased in 43 out of 90 countries analysed over the past two years. This is according to the Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2023 released by tobacco watchdog STOP, and the Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control (GGTC).
Professor Pat Dudgeon and colleagues write: “It is becoming increasingly clear to western health systems that all life is connected and that planetary and human health are linked, but this idea has been the foundation of Indigenous health systems for millennia. As the public health importance of collective self-care and caring for the environment become increasingly urgent, we should look to insights from the world’s oldest and most resilient health systems. Indigenous relational self-care is a collective healing practice that can move us beyond historically recent, individualistic biomedical models of self-care, allowing us to embrace a more culturally mature understanding of holistic health.”
Gambling lobby at work
The Alliance for Gambling Reform has called on the Prime Minister to consider urgent changes to his Ministerial Code of Conduct in the wake of more revelations that gambling industry paid for lavish hospitality of Communications Minister, Michelle Rowland.
Minister Rowland has key responsibilities for policing gambling advertising and is currently deliberating on the recommendations of a parliamentary inquiry into online gambling that has proposed a three-year phased-in ban on all gambling advertising.
The CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett, said reports that Responsible Wagering Australia – which represents Sportsbet, Ladbrokes, and Bet365 – paid for ‘a lavish lunch’ for Minister Rowland on 16 November 2022 at Melbourne’s Society Restaurant were a sign the current Ministerial Code was not working. Read the rest of the statement here.
A series of tweets that invites readers to consider the connections between the commercial determinants of health, political power, growing inequality, waning social cohesion, and the undermining of democracy.
The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol & other Drugs (APSAD) conference theme was ‘unity in diversity’.
The Australian Indigenous Doctors Association is meeting in nipaluna/Hobart. Follow #AIDAconference23.
Awards and appointments