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Int J Public Health. 2012 Feb;57(1):15-23. doi: 10.1007/s00038-011-0279-z. Epub 2011 Aug 16.

Intersectoral action for health at a municipal level in Cuba.

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  • 1School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.



To consider how Cuba's acknowledged achievement of excellent health outcomes may relate to how health determinants are addressed intersectorally.


Our team of Canadian and Cuban researchers and health policy practitioners undertook a study to consider the organization and practices involved in addressing health determinants in 2 municipalities (1 urban and 1 rural). The study included a questionnaire of municipal Health Council members and others involved in health and non-health sectors, key informant interviews of policy makers, focus groups in each municipality and examination of three common case scenarios.


Regular engagement of different sectors and other agencies in addressing health determinants was quite systematic and comparable in both municipalities. Specific policies and organizational structures in support of intersectoral actions were frequently cited and illustrated in case scenarios that demonstrate how maintenance of regular linkages facilitates regular pursuit of intersectoral approaches.


The study demonstrates the feasibility of examining processes of intersectoral action for health processes and suggests that further examination in evaluating factors such as training, particular practices, etc., can be a fruitful direction to pursue comparatively and with analytical designs.

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