October 9, 2014
The World Health Organization has published a booklet entitled ‘Monitoring health inequality: An essential step for achieving health equity’ in order to promote the prioritization of health inequality monitoring, and the practice of disaggregating data.
This booklet communicates fundamental concepts about the importance of health inequality monitoring, using text, figures, maps and videos. Following a brief summary of main messages, four general principles pertaining to health inequalities are highlighted:
- Health inequalities are widespread.
- Health inequality is multidimensional.
- Benchmarking puts changes in inequality in context.
- Health inequalities inform policy.
Each of the four principles is accompanied by figures or maps that illustrate the concept, a question that is posed as an extension and application of the material, and a link to a video, demonstrating the use of interactive visuals to answer the question.
The next section of the booklet outlines essential steps forward for achieving health equity, including the strengthening and equity orientation of health information systems through data collection, data analysis and reporting practices. The use of visualization technologies as a tool to present data about health inequality is promoted, accompanied by a link to a video demonstrating how health inequality data can be presented interactively. Finally, the booklet announces the upcoming State of inequality report, and refers readers to the Health Equity Monitor homepage on the WHO Global Health Observatory.
More information on the topic of health inequality monitoring: www.who.int/gho/health_equity/en