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The Essentials of SDH

Overview of the basic concepts to understand the Social Determinants of Health approach

10 hour online course
This course is certified by the National Institute of Public Health - Mexico, INSP

To provide a theoretical basis for understanding and addressing the Social Determinants of Health (SDH).

To understand the theory and practice of a Social Determinants of Health approach to the analysis, description, planning, and implementation of actions to promote health equity at national, regional, and global levels.

E-literacy (obligatory)
Interest in health and social issues (recommended)

This is a self-directed, automated course powered by the SDH-Net platform. Course completion will require a total of 10 hours online, including online work and offline readings.

After completing each self-taught module, students will be required to participate in an automated self-evaluation quiz. The minimum approbatory grade for each module is 8; if you do not meet this requirement, you will have to repeat the self-evaluation, or review again, the module contents in order to finalize it satisfactorily, and move on to the next module.

When you complete all modules of this course, the system will automatically produce a Certificate of Completion with your name. Please note that name shown on the diploma will be obtained from the course registration information. Therefore, it is important that when you register for this course, you enter your full name, as you wish to appear in the Certificate of Completion.

Health inequities are not only a result of deficiencies in the health system and genetic variations within the population; social, economic, political, cultural and environmental conditions in which people live, grow and work, are also key factors that determine health and health inequities.

This course has its foundations in social epidemiology, a perspective based on cause analysis. Besides questioning why an individual is unhealthy, the Social Determinants of Health approach also asks why social groups are unhealthy.

The course is organized in three modules as follows:

  1. Disparity, inequity and social justice in the global arena and within national contexts
  2. Understanding the main concepts and definitions of SDH
  3. Translating SDH research findings into public policy


V. Nelly Salgado de Snyder
Contents and General Coordination

German Guerra y Guerra
Assistant Coordination

Alejandra Ciria Fernandez-Varela
ICT Development

Alfonso Murphy Soto
ICT Programming


With input from SDH-Net partners

The design and development of this virtual learning platform is supported by the European Commission – 7th Framework Programme, “Building sustainable capacity for research for health and its social determinants in low and middle income countries” (SDH-Net), contract no. 282534.

Creative Commons License

SDH-Net Virtual Learning Platform -- "Building sustainable capacity for research for health and its social determinants in low and middle income countries" by Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica, Mexico is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://www.sdh-net.eu.