June 2017 - Social determinants of health September 15 2017


Social determinants of health is the concept that our health can be affected by social factors, such as the contexts into which we are born and in which we live. Social determinants may be positive, that is they may contribute to and support health, or they may be negative, ultimately undermining health.

The context of a family--where they reside, how they function, and under what conditions—has direct effects on the health of a child within that family. Family socioeconomic status, for example, may directly affect the developing child positively if finances are ample, or negatively if finances are constrained. Beyond the immediate context of family lay the wider contexts of community, region and country, each ultimately affecting family and child health and well-being.

In the first video, Dr. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta from the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan addresses social determinants linked to newborn and child survival outcomes in a low-income country.

The second video highlights the integrated, community-based ECD Parenting Programme established by the Human Development Programme at the Aga Khan University, Pakistan, to assess and improve early child development in several communities. 

Consider the social determinants in your community or context. What might be some of the negative influences? What would you identify as having a positive influence on children and families?