1.1 Introduction

This session introduces you to the idea that health is not simply a medical issue based on biological factors and medical interventions. Health is also a result of how and where you live. For example, poverty, bad housing, stress, lack of access to clean water, and unemployment all contribute to how healthy you are. The social conditions in which people live have a dramatic impact on their health. These social conditions are known as the ‘social determinants of health’. Health is a product of the interaction between our biological makeup and the conditions in which we live and act.

This session will help you to understand what the social determinants of health are, and how they affect the health of children. It will also explore the way in which you, as a health worker, can support the right to the best possible health of children by taking action to address these social determinants.

1 Understanding the social determinants of health in the context of children’s rights

1.2 Learning outcomes