Health promotion

Red Cross Jamaica staff engage schoolchildren at Four Paths Primary and Junior High School in May Pen, Jamaica, as part of a Zika awareness program

Making every school a health promoting school

WHO and UNESCO are launching a new initiative “Making Every School a Health Promoting School” through the development and promotion of Global Standards for Health Promoting Schools in collaboration with other UN entities and civil society organizations.

The initiative will serve over 2.3 billion school-age children, and will contribute to the WHO's 13th General Programme of Work’ target of achieving “1 billion lives made healthier” by 2023.

© 2018 Stephen Kierniesky, Courtesy of Photoshare
Health for all and all for health

Promoting healthier populations

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provides a bold and ambitious agenda for the future. WHO is committed to helping the world meet the SDGs by championing health across all the goals. WHO’s core mission is to promote health, alongside keeping the world safe and serving the vulnerable. Beyond fighting disease, we will work to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, leaving no-one behind.

Our target is 1 billion more people enjoying better health and well-being by 2023.


fact buffet

Healthy cities

1 out of 2 people live in cities. It is predicted that two out of three people will live in cities by 2050.

Read more

Good Governance

Over 100 mayors have committed to advancing health and sustainable urban development based on a Shanghai Consensus on Healthy Cities.

The Mayor Consensus on Health Cities

Oral Health

50% of the world’s population (3.58 billion people) suffer oral diseases

Oral Health Fact Sheet

Good governance

Uruguay dengue project
WHO/TDR/Sebastian Oliel

Health promotion requires policy makers across all government departments to make health a central line of government policy. Therefore, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states the significance of factoring health implications into all the decisions they take, and prioritize policies that prevent people from becoming ill and protect them from injuries.

Health literacy

WHO/Yoshi Shimizu

People need to acquire the knowledge, skills and information to make healthy choices, such as the food they eat and healthcare services they need. In order to make these choices, they need access to opportunities, and assurance of an environment where people can demand further policy actions to further improve their health.

Healthy cities

Leisure activities in Russia
WHO /Sergey Volkov

A healthy city is one that is continually creating and improving those physical and social environments and expanding those community resources which enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and developing to their maximum potential.

Healthy Cities are arguably the best-known and largest of the settings approaches.

Health promoting schools

Influenza illustration in South Africa
WHO /Isadore Brown

A health promoting school is one that constantly strengthens its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning, and working. Components of health promoting schools include formal and informal curricula in health; the creation of a safe, healthy and friendly school environment; the provision of appropriate health services; school health policies; and the involvement of the family and wider community in efforts to promote health.

Social mobilization

WHO/Yoshi Shimizu

Social mobilization is the process of bringing together all societal and personal influences to raise awareness of and demand for health care, assist in the delivery of resources and services, and cultivate sustainable individual and community involvement. In order to employ social mobilization, members of institutions, community partners and organizations, and others collaborate to reach specific groups of people for intentional dialogue. Social mobilization aims to facilitate change through an interdisciplinary approach.

Oral health

WHO/Yoshi Shimizu

Oral health is essential to general health and quality of life. It is the state of being free from mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral infection and sores, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and other diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity in biting, chewing, smiling, speaking, and psychosocial wellbeing.



Follow us on Twitter

Health promotion conferences

WHO/Yoshi Shimizu

The health promotion conferences developed concepts, principles, and action areas on health promotion within the wider context of globalization. The latest 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion highlighted the critical links between promoting health and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Contact us

WHO Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases
Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health
20 Avenue Appia
1211 Geneva 27