Original Article

International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 15-23

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Intersectoral action for health at a municipal level in Cuba

  • Jerry SpiegelAffiliated withSchool of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British ColumbiaGlobal Health Research Program, Liu Institute for Global Issues Email author 
  • , Milagros AlegretAffiliated withCentro Provincial de Higiene y Epidemiología
  • , Veronic ClairAffiliated withSchool of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • , Nino PaglicciaAffiliated withSchool of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • , Barbara MartinezAffiliated withCentro Provincial de Higiene y Epidemiología
  • , Mariano BonetAffiliated withInstituto Nacional de Higiene, Epidemiología y Microbiología
  • , Annalee YassiAffiliated withSchool of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Abstract

Objective

To consider how Cuba’s acknowledged achievement of excellent health outcomes may relate to how health determinants are addressed intersectorally.

Methods

Our team of Canadian and Cuban researchers and health policy practitioners undertook a study to consider the organization and practices involved in addressing health determinants in 2 municipalities (1 urban and 1 rural). The study included a questionnaire of municipal Health Council members and others involved in health and non-health sectors, key informant interviews of policy makers, focus groups in each municipality and examination of three common case scenarios.

Results

Regular engagement of different sectors and other agencies in addressing health determinants was quite systematic and comparable in both municipalities. Specific policies and organizational structures in support of intersectoral actions were frequently cited and illustrated in case scenarios that demonstrate how maintenance of regular linkages facilitates regular pursuit of intersectoral approaches.

Conclusions

The study demonstrates the feasibility of examining processes of intersectoral action for health processes and suggests that further examination in evaluating factors such as training, particular practices, etc., can be a fruitful direction to pursue comparatively and with analytical designs.

Keywords

Intersectoral Cuba Population health Determinants of health Health system organization