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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 97, Issue 5, pp 405–408 | Cite as

Three Challenges to the Ottawa Spirit of Health Promotion, Trends in Global Health, and Disabled People

  • Gregor WolbringEmail author
Commentary
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

Health promotion according to the 1986 Ottawa Charter of the first global health promotion conference1 “is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. To reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realize aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment.” In this commentary, I explore three powerful challenges to the spirit of the Ottawa Charter and to global health.

The first challenge is the departure from the WHO definition of health;2 the second challenge relates to the appearance of the transhumanist/enhancement model of health which includes human performance enhancement beyond species-typical boundaries as part of the concept of health. The third challenge consists of the limited involvement and understanding of disabled people with their different models of ‘disability/impairment’ (medical, social, transhumanist/enhancement) in the discourse of global health and health promotion.

Not dealing with these challenges impairs the ability of health promotion to deal with global health problems, the ‘health’ needs of marginalized groups–in particular, disabled people–and the Millennium Development Goals.3

MeSH terms

Social justice human rights public health health promotion disabled people rights 

Résumé

p ]La promotion de la santé, selon la Charte d’Ottawa issue de la première conférence internationale pour la promotion de la santé en 19861, « est le processus qui confère aux populations les moyens d’assurer un plus grand contrôle sur leur propre santé, et d’améliorer celle-ci. Cette démarche relève d’un concept définissant la “santé” comme la mesure dans laquelle un groupe ou un individu peut d’une part, réaliser ses ambitions et satisfaire ses besoins et, d’autre part, évoluer avec le milieu ou s’adapter à celui-ci. » Dans notre commentaire, nous étudions trois entraves importantes à l’esprit de la Charte d’Ottawa et à la santé mondiale.

La première des trois entraves est la dérogation à la définition de la santé de l’OMS2; la deuxième est l’apparition du modèle « transhumaniste » ou « amélioré » de la santé, où la notion de santé englobe des améliorations aux performances humaines qui transcendent les limites propres à l’espèce. La troisième entrave est l’insuffisance de la participation et de la compréhension des personnes handicapées–dont les modèles (médicaux, sociaux, transhumanistes/améliorés) « d’incapacité/de déficience » sont différents–dans le discours sur la santé mondiale et la promotion de la santé.

En ne tenant pas compte de ces entraves, nous compromettons la possibilité pour la promotion de la santé de composer avec les problèmes de santé mondiaux, de répondre aux besoins de « santé » des groupes marginalisés–tout particulièrement les personnes handicapées–et d’atteindre les Objectifs du Millénaire pour le développement3.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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