UNESCO Chair Global Health and Education Health Education, Prevention, Health Promotion, Children and Young People

Health promotion responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

Global Health & Education webinar series

22 June 2020

Stephan Van den Broucke, Vice-Dean of the Catholic University of Leuven and Vice-President for Scientific Affairs of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE)


Summary: In response to the current pandemic, governments around the world have taken unprecedented actions. Health (or more precisely the threat of disease) has become the primary concern, taking precedence over other political, economic or social issues.

Facing responses that are now mostly focused on disease prevention, health promotion needs to make its specific perspective heard. We need to remind everyone that health depends on a number of political, economic, social and environmental determinants. All these have an impact to everyone in the world in various levels. This is why health promotion always consists of two inseparable components: action on the ecosystem of people and action on the development of people’s capacities. Now more than ever, the current situation is reminding us of how health literacy – the ability of individuals to access and understand health information so that they can use it in a sensible way – is decisive in the implementation of preventive measures and the development of the epidemic. What can the appropriate responses be to the COVID-19 pandemic from a health promotion perspective?

Our speakers’ contribution

The purpose of this webinar is to highlight the contribution of health promotion to the COVID-19 pandemic by answering the following three questions:

What can health promotion contribute in terms of management of the pandemic?

Fake news, understanding complex issues, health knowledge: how to develop the capacity of each individual to take charge of their own health?

There will probably be several waves of COVID-19 outbreaks or other pandemics. What are the health promotion recommendations for a sustainable response to the pandemic and for the future?

Full video of the webinar

The ppt presentation of the webinar

Participants’ contributions

What are your key words to describe the contribution of health promotion in managing the pandemic?

Do you think the people have the necessary skills to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic?

Will health promotion be widely implemented in managing future pandemics?



Dossiers / guides / recommendations


This webinar is supported by the International Union for Health Promotion (IUHPE), the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) Health Promotion section, ASCD, Emerald Publishing, the Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education, the International Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Dance and Sport (IAHPEDS) and the University of Clermont Auvergne (UCA).