Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over the determinants of health and thereby improve their health.
This definition is based on the World Health Organisation Ottawa Charter 1986.
The health promotion profession has evolved alongside, and in response to, the international health promotion movement and the broader new public health movement. Health promotion not only embraces actions directed at strengthening the skills and capabilities of individuals but also actions directed towards changing social, environmental, political and economic conditions to alleviate their impact on populations and individual health.
What is a Health Promotion Officer (HPO)?
A Health Promotion Officer is a health professional specialising in maintaining and improving the health of populations and reducing health inequities among population groups through the action areas articulated in the Ottawa Charter: building healthy public policy, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, developing personal skills, and reorienting health services. A clear statement of each action area is contained within the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion.
Health Promotion Officers are responsible for the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of health promotion policies and projects using a variety of strategies, including health education, mass media, community development and community engagement processes, advocacy and lobbying strategies, social marketing, health policy, and structural and environmental strategies. Workforce development and capacity building strategies are also important components of health promotion practice.