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Health in All policies: Healthy housing policies to address the risk and burden of infectious and non-communicable diseases

Urbanization is restructuring the nature of cities, particularly in South Africa (SA) and Africa, where informality is on the rise. These living conditions are associated with high levels of health disparities and inequities, and the urban poor are often exposed to poor housing conditions associated with an increased risk of infectious and chronic respiratory conditions. This highlights the need for policies and program interventions to directly address equity in order to improve population health. However, the health sector is but one player in health and human development, making Health in All Policies approaches, key to addressing these societal challenges. In Cape Town and SA, the housing focuses on upgrading the physical housing structure and community infrastructure. However these efforts are largely compartmentalized in the housing sector, and there is insufficient focus on health outcomes and health impact assessment of housing policies.

During this Fellowship, I propose to investigate and compare policies in Cape Town, South Africa, and New York, USA, also undergoing challenges around housing and health inequity. This will also serve to build and strengthen my North-South collaborations and networks with interdisciplinary urban health colleagues. During the Fellowship, as part of a research project for which I have sought funding, I will also explore knowledge and barriers of policymakers to incorporating health objectives into housing policies.


Fellows involved in this project

Iso Lomso Fellow
South Africa

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Related publications

Journal Article

Oni, Tolullah. 2020. Future-proofing health and health-proofing the future of cities. Nature Medicine, 26(3), 304–304.

Journal Article

Weimann, Amy, Noxolo Kabane, Tracy Jooste, Anthony Hawkridge, Warren Smit and Tolu Oni. 2020. Health through human settlements: Investigating policymakers’ perceptions of human settlement action for population health improvement in urban South Africa. Habitat International, 103, 102203.

Journal Article

Vearey, Jo, Isaac Luginaah, Ng’weina Francis Magitta, Dativa J Shilla and Tolu Oni. 2019. Urban health in Africa: a critical global public health priority. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 340.

Journal Article

Corburn, Jason, Blaise Nguendo-Yongsi, Waleska Teixeira Caiaffa, Tolu Oni and Gerard Salem. 2019. Urban Health Education: Global Challenges and Opportunities. Journal of Urban Health, 96(4), 510–513.

Journal Article

Weimann, Amy and Tolu Oni. 2019. A Systematised Review of the Health Impact of Urban Informal Settlements and Implications for Upgrading Interventions in South Africa, a Rapidly Urbanising Middle-Income Country. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(19), 3608.


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