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Placing health equity at the heart of Coronavirus recovery for building a sustainable future for Wales

Published: 11 April 2022

The World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre at Public Health Wales has produced a series of animations to highlight its crucial work in addressing health inequalities in Wales. 

Part of a global initiative, led jointly by the World Health Organization, Welsh Government and Public Health Wales, the World Health Equity Status Report initiative (WHESRi) places Wales at the forefront of prioritising and tackling health equity in order to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to be healthy, and in the response to, and effective recovery from, the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The animations illustrate the main findings of the first report published by the team, and focus on the wider, less immediately visible, effects of the pandemic on a range of issues including:  

  • Poverty, deprivation and social exclusion 
  • Unemployment, education and the digital divide  
  • Harmful housing and working conditions, and violence and crime

It also highlights the disproportionate impact that coronavirus has had, and is having, on specific groups such as children and young people, women, key workers and ethnic minorities. For example, young people report being worried about losing their job or not being able to find one; and the educational divide has persisted and increased, particularly for the most deprived in our society. 

Dr Tracey Cooper, Chief Executive of Public Health Wales, said:

“The Coronavirus pandemic is having significant health, well-being and socio-economic consequences. It is felt unequally across our society threatening those in most need. 

“Public health has become a global focus, strengthening the case for investing in people’s well-being - preventing disease early, protecting and promoting health, enhancing resilience and equity, supporting the most vulnerable and empowering our communities.”

“Working with the World Health Organization, Wales is the first country to become a global influencer and live innovation site for health equity. 

“Delivered through our WHO Collaborating Centre on Investment for Health and Well-being, this Wales Health Equity Status Report initiative provides a platform for synthesising and sharing evidence and intelligence, developing practical tools and helping to close the health gap in Wales and beyond. 

“We hope this will improve our collective understanding of the social, economic and environmental impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic and support a sustainable and fair response and recovery for our people in Wales.” 

The first animation provides an overview of the WHESRi work and how developing and applying new approaches and tools to mobilise action and inform solutions could close the health gap in Wales and beyond. 

The second presents a picture of the diverse harms, as well as opportunities resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic and related restrictive measures, focusing on the unequal consequences across different sectors, areas of life and population groups; and how these could be addressed.  

For more information see the links below:

The WHO Collaborating Centre at Public Health Wales supports the development of, and advocates for, policies to improve health and well-being and achieve healthy prosperous lives for all in Wales and beyond.