CSDH Members Meet the Leader

Visiting members of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), affiliated with the World Health Organization, met the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei on Tuesday, January 17.

Speaking at the meeting, the Leader referred to health as one of the most basic requirements of mankind and stated that social factors have the greatest effect on human health.

“Today, despite mankind’s considerable progress in the fields of science and technology, the health condition in human communities is a cause of great concern, and the social factors jeopardizing human health have sharply increased in number,” the Leader pointed out.

Ayatollah Khamenei stated that the present problems afflicting various nations, including worrisome condition of human health in different communities, have stemmed from injustice, discrimination and selfishness of world powers. He noted that hunger, promiscuity, narcotics, alcoholic beverages, and also psychological wars staged by the world’s propaganda machines are among the major social factors threatening human health in modern world.

Further in his statements, the Leader of the Islamic Republic described as ‘valuable’ the measure taken by the World Health Organization to form a working group tasked with studying social factors affecting health and conveying the experience and offering the necessary recommendations to various countries.

“In studying the social factors affecting health, the role of morality and religious faith should also not be ignored, since religious faith imbues human beings with peace of mind,” the Leader told the audience.

Hinting at the organized attempts to subvert the religious faith of nations, Ayatollah Khamenei further stated, “Different religions, including Islam, have offered valuable guidelines regarding human health and social factors affecting human health, and these guidelines deserve to receive greater attention.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Leader referred to the fact that there has been a considerable rise in health and hygienic indicators and remarkable achievements in these areas in Iran after the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

“Despite these achievements, there is still a long way ahead to reach the desired level. But considering that the issue of social justice is a pivotal issue in our country, it is hoped that effective measures will be taken to further improve the health and hygienic indicators of our country,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Iranian Health Minister Kamran Baqeri-Lankarani presented a report on the achievements of the Islamic Republic in the field of public health. He said that over the past 27 years, life expectancy in Iran has risen from 57 years to 70 years for men and to 71 years for women.

Baqeri-Lankarani also noted that the Iranian children’s fatality rate has dropped from 170 children per 1000 to 22 children.

The commission’s chairman, Michael Marmot, speaking at the meeting, touched on the achievements of the Islamic Republic in the field of public health over the past 27 years. He also attributed the worrisome condition of health and hygiene in some human communities and their problems to social inequalities and injustice.

Marmot stressed that the only solution to the problems besetting these human communities is the improvement of their social conditions and the raising of their living standards. He added that in order to accomplish this goal, special attention should be paid to social justice.

Three other commissioners also expressed their views on the social determinants of health in the world. They emphasized that Iran’s achievements in the field of public health and the effective role played by the Iranian women in society after the victory of the Islamic Revolution can set a proper example for other nations to follow.

The CSDH was launched by the World Health Organization in March 2005 to raise the importance of addressing the social factors affecting health. Operating for three years from March 2005, the commission is charged with recommending policies to improve health and narrow health inequalities through action on social determinants.

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