According to the Ottawa Charter, health promotion is a process of empowering individuals and communities, to increase control over their health and it’s determinants, and thereby improve their health. The prerequisites for health promotion are: income, housing, food security, employment and quality working conditions. Furthermore, health (or a state of health), which the process of health promotion aims to achieve, has been defined as a complete state of physical, mental and social well being and not a mere absence of disease! It is, therefore, clear that to achieve a state of health, there is need for participation by all concerned and not just doctors.
However, it is also clear that doctors are very crucial commanders in this war. To achieve a complete state of physical, mental and social wellbeing, it is impossible to divorce the health promotion debate from the general debate on democracy, human rights and social justice.
It is, therefore, impossible to divorce the health promotion campaign from politics! Hence my submission that medical doctors are among the best trained people to handle politics! Discrediting and excluding doctors from the health promotion and disease prevention debate, will only serve to relegate this important human resource to hospital management, which though important, is only a detail in the health promotion and disease prevention campaign!