We need to make it understood that health is not just the health sector. Health is basically every sector in our society.
Dr. Tsouros is a leading international expert with 30 years of experience in the fields of health policy, urban health and healthy cities, inter-sectoral governance and health in all policies, social determinants of health and equity and health promotion. His Global Healthy Cities initiative is focused on providing leadership and engagement for municipal leaders who want to promote health and sustainability at the local level. Agis points out that it has taken almost four decades to realize that many of the public health challenges of our time can be dealt with effectively at a local level. National policies are always helpful and important. However, it is mayors and local governors who the power to mobilize various constituencies to work together for the health and wellbeing of the urban population.
Agis stresses that when we talk about health we are talking about health in its widest sense – not only the absence of disease. We need to make it understood that health is not just the health sector. Health is basically every sector in our society. He underlines and is keen to make it understood that if we really want to mobilize local government and different sectors to focus on urban health and health equity, we need legitimacy and leadership which can come only from the top. You need a champion to embrace the thinking of making health a priority and a value for the city’s development. Every sector should be engaged in the mobilization to work for health. This is where he is making a difference with his Global Healthy Cities initiative.
Agis D. Tsouros, MD, PhD, FFPH (UK)
- International Adviser on Health Policy and Strategy
- Global Healthy Cities consultancy
- Former Director, Policy and
Governance for Health and Wellbeing and Director of Healthy Cities programme at WHO Europe
- Visiting Professor, Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London
Dr Tsouros is a leading international expert with 30 years of experience in the fields of health policy, urban health and healthy cities, inter-sectoral governance and health in all policies, social determinants of health and equity and health promotion. He led the development of the WHO European Healthy Cities from the time it was launched in 1988 until 2015 and the development of the WHO European Policy and Strategy Health 2020 which was adopted in 2012. During the period 2004 to 2006 he was seconded to the Greek Ministry of Health and assumed the position of Chairman of the National Board of Public Health and President of the Greek CDC. As chairman of the board he played a key role in the public health preparedness for the Athens 2004 Olympics. He is the author, co/author or intellectual sponsor of several influential publications, which have been translated into many languages worldwide. His innovative work covers work on concepts such as active living in the urban context, home care, health literacy, palliative care, healthy ageing, city health diplomacy, agenda 21 and health and public health and mass gatherings. He is currently advising WHO Regional Offices as well as individual countries and cities world-wide on strengthening Healthy Cities strategies and plans including addressing the new sustainable development goals agenda.