The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion was developed at the first International Conference on Health Promotion held in Ottawa, Canada in 1986. Over 20 years on, and the Ottawa Charter is still an important statement of the nature of health promotion.
The Charter identifies the prerequisites for health, methods to achieve health promotion through advocacy, enabling and mediation, as well as five key action areas.
These action areas are:
- Build healthy public policy
is about putting health on the agenda of policy makers at all levels and includes legislation, economic measures, taxation and organisational change.
- Create supportive environments
refers to living and working conditions that are safe, stimulating, satisfying, enjoyable and provide a positive benefit to health.
- Strengthen community action deals with empowering communities to exert ownership, control and action over their own endeavours and destinies.
- Develop personal skills
covers providing information, education for health and enhancing life skills.
- Reorientate health services
acknowledges that health services need to focus more on prevention than simply treatment and cure. The responsibility for health is shared amongst individuals, the community, government, institutions and other organisations.
The Ottawa Charter has been updated in 1997 with the presentation of the Jakarta Declaration on Leading Health Promotion into the 21st Century and in 2005 with the Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion in a Globalised World.
Nairobi call to Action
The Nairobi Call to Action identifies key strategies and commitments urgently required for closing the implementation gap in health and development through health promotion.
Health promotion is a core and the most cost-effective strategy to improve health and quality of life, and reduces health inequities and poverty. In so doing, it helps achieve national and international health and development goals such as the Millennium Development Goals. Implementing health promotion creates fairer societies that enable people to lead lives that they value by increasing their control over their health and the necessary resources for wellbeing.