The Association for Health Promotion Ireland (AHPI) is the only professional association in Ireland specifically for people interested or involved in the fields of health promotion practice, health promotion education and research. The AHPI was formed in 1997. It provides a forum through which health promotion professionals can exchange knowledge and ideas. The AHPI is independent of employers' organisations and provides support and networking opportunities for members.

What is health promotion?

The World Health Organisation in the Ottawa Charter in 1986 defines health promotion as the process of enabling people to increase control over the determinants of health and thereby improve their health.

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In an increasingly globalized world, new approaches are required to improve the health of the population. Health promotion aims to do this by building healthy public policy; creating supportive environments; strengthening community actions; developing personal skills and reorienting health services. Health promotion is a fundamental component of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) corporate strategy, making it integral to work in international health.

WHO applies health promotion principles and strategies in a variety of settings and with a range of population groups. Health promotion approaches are broad-ranging and vary from the prevention of communicable diseases to improving school-based health education. Health promotion is relevant at local, national and international levels. The multidisciplinary nature of health promotion makes it relevant to a variety of disciplines, such as education, health sciences, medicine, and psychology. The variation of employment and research opportunities offered within health promotion make it an interesting field to be involved in. It is an ever-emerging field and its relevance will continue to grow. See www.iuhpe.org for further information.

Health promotion aims to improve the health of the general population but in particular of poor and marginalized groups. This will interest those who want to reduce health inequalities and inequities. Health promotion is multi-level. It is present at a local level, such as in schools and workplaces; at a national level, for example in government policies; and at an international level, for example in the work of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE). This offers employment and educational opportunities but also highlights the relevance and embedded nature of health promotion.

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Formed in 1997, the Association for Health Promotion Ireland provides a forum through which health promotion professionals can exchange knowledge and ideas.