Background: Current evidence consistently confirm inequalities in health status among socioeconomic groups, gender, ethnicity, geographical area and other social determinants of health (SDH), which adversely influence health of the population. SDH refer to a wide range of factors not limited to social component, but also involve economic, cultural, educational, political or environmental problems. Measuring inequalities, improving daily living conditions, and tackling inequitable distribution of resources are highly recommended by international SDH commissioners in recent years to ‘close the gaps within a generation’. To measure inequalities in socio-economic determinants and core health indicators in Tehran, the second round of Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (Urban HEART-2) was conducted in November 2011, within the main framework of WHO Centre for Health Development (Kobe Centre).
Method: For ‘assessment’ part of the project, 65 indicators in six policy domains namely ‘physical and infrastructure’, ‘human and social’, ‘economic’, ‘governance’, ‘health and nutrition’, and also ‘cultural’ domain were targeted either through a population based survey or using routine system. Survey was conducted in a multistage random sampling, disaggregated to 22 districts and 368 neighborhoods of Tehran, where data of almost 35000 households (118000 individuals) were collected. For ‘response’ part of the project, widespread community based development (CBD) projects were organized in all 368 neighborhoods, which are being undertaken throughout 2013.
Conclusion: Following the first round of Urban HEART project in 2008, the second round was conducted to track changes over time, to institutionalize inequality assessment within the local government, to build up community participation in ‘assessment’ and ‘response’ parts of the project, and to implement appropriate and evidence-based actions to reduce health inequalities within all neighborhoods of Tehran.