Environmental-Economic-Health Component Challenges in a Sustainable Development Context in Morocco *

By Kahime, Kholoud; El Hidan, Moulay Abdelmonaim et al. | Current Politics and Economics of Africa, April 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

Environmental-Economic-Health Component Challenges in a Sustainable Development Context in Morocco *


Kahime, Kholoud, El Hidan, Moulay Abdelmonaim, Sereno, Denis, Arib, Fatima, Abaaoukide, Kamar, Messouli, Mohamed, Current Politics and Economics of Africa


1. Introduction

Health, environment and development are distinct but interrelated concepts. Each of these concepts has experienced a number of changes and evolution. In spite of the very ancient connections between them.

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO, 1946). This definition of the World Health Organization (WHO) has not changed since 1946. It implies that all basic needs of the person are met, whether emotional, health, nutritional, social or cultural, and from the embryo stage (even gametes) to that of the elderly (WHO, 1946).

According to the WHO, health concept takes into account the environmental, social, psychological and physical aspects and is based on promotion, education and prevention. A healthy environment is the key to better health (Broussouloux & Houzelle, 2006). From this consideration comes the new concept of "health environment" that have emerged in France. It refers to "all the interactions between man and his environment (natural, constructed or to be constructed) and the health effects related to living conditions and contamination of different environments (water, ground air); Living conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age (WHO, 1999). "These interactions are diverse and protean. This definition is both arduous and very broad, and for that reason it tries to understand the links between two terms that are already complex in themselves.

Sustainable Development focuses on conservation and management of resources for development (pollution control, biological diversity preservation), as well as social and economic development (fight against poverty, changes in consumption patterns, demographic dynamics, health)".

Thus, health is at the heart of sustainable development, the challenge being the interdependence between environmental degradation, respect for social aspects, development processes and health. According to Dubos (1965) "a healthy individual is one who is able to function as efficiently as possible in his environment". This makes good health a key to a certain and sustainable development.

In this chapter, we deal with the determinants of health, the environment, the sustainable development strategy, all their interrelations, interactions, complementarities and impacts. Here we focus on Morocco as example.

2. Health Determinants in Morocco

Country social and economic development level is closely linked to the health status of its population, in other words, health is an integral part of development, as individuals contribute to the development of the country in which they live and take advantage of it (Wilkinson and Pickett, 2006). On the one hand, economic and social progress has a positive effect on the health of the population. On the other hand, the human energy generated by improving the health of the population contributes to social and economic development.

The "social" nature of health was recognized at the Alma-Ata Conference on Primary Health Care in 1978 (Bloom and Canning, 2000). According to the declaration adopted, health is not simply the absence of disease or infirmity. Rather, it is a state of physical, mental and social well-being - the threshold under which individuals can not enjoy a physical condition that enables them to lead a socially and economically productive life. Thus, alongside the three basic determinants of housing, income and food, there are many other factors that influence good - or poor health: education, environment, family, Labor ... Moreover, the determinants of health vary considerably according to the economic level of each country. Table 1 shows the main determinants of health in the Eastern Mediterranean region, including Morocco (EMRO, 2014). Figure 1 depicts that major determinants of health in Morocco are from socio-economic factors (EMRO, 2014).

Indeed, unfavorable socio-economic conditions affect health for life. …

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