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Belfast Healthy Cities

Our vision is to be a leader in creating
a healthy, equitable and sustainable city

Healthy Cities 21st Century

Health Inequality

People in Northern Ireland are living longer and healthier lives. While there has been general improvement in health, not everyone has been able to benefit fully from this progress. Life expectancy of the population varies and is lower in more deprived areas. The Northern Ireland public health strategy Making Life Better is focused on reducing inequalities.

What are health inequalities and why does it matter?

Health inequalities arise from the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, referred to as social determinants of health. This includes differences in access to good quality housing, education, health services, access to good food, employment opportunities and transport. Inequalities based on race, disability, age, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity can interact with people’s social and economic position in complex ways to shape their health and well-being. This is made visible as differences in education, working conditions, opportunities for employment, income levels and as instances of early death.

Improving health for all is a strategic goal for the WHO European Health Strategy Health 2020 and a core principle of the WHO European Healthy Cities Network. Health 2020 aims to provide a unique compilation of the best public health policy evidence available which will and signals the way forward for new approaches to health and well-being worldwide.

Belfast Healthy Cities’ Healthy Inequalities programme aims to:

  • Provide a training programme to build capacity in and across organizations to make health, well-being and inequalities a key consideration in the planning and development of policies and actions
  • Pilot innovative collaborative working and establish a network of professionals to support intersectoral action to reduce inequalities

The programme is aligned with the Making Life Better strategy and is contributing to its aims and objectives.