Health Promotion and Health Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Document Type : Mini Review


1 School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

2 School of Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

3 Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

4 Hellenic Open University, Patra, Greece


Health promotion allows people to increase their control over the various determinants of health and thus to improve their level of health. As sustainable development and global health are two interrelated and mutually reinforcing concepts, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to ensure that all people can achieve the greatest possible health potential in a healthy environment. Nowadays, new health threats are constantly emerging, while simultaneously the COVID-19 pandemic has systematically disrupted people's daily lives and the functioning of health systems and as a result has jeopardized the achievement of SDGs. This unprecedented health crisis highlighted the urgent need for strong public health systems, the critical role of health literacy, and the insurmountable need for effective health communication, mobilization and community empowerment efforts to enhance positive health and protective self-care attitudes. In this context, it is necessary to design and implement sustainable health promotion strategies around the globe based on the Ottawa principles and harmonized with the local social, cultural and geographical features in order to create a supportive environment (healthy cities) and sustainable public health governance. It is important to develop a dialogue on public health at a cross-sectoral level, in order to align the concepts of health, equality, human dignity, social solidarity and sustainability, so as to provide effective and targeted assistance to health systems not only to deal effectively with the sudden overload created by the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, but also to be appropriately prepared to sustain health promotion and prevention strategies during possible future crises.