What are the EPHF ?

The Essential Public Health Functions (EPHF) are the fundamental set of actions that should be performed in order to achieve public health’s central objective: improving the health of populations.

The Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), through the Public Health in the Americas Initiative, defined the eleven Essential Public Health Functions necessary to strengthen public health practice, and developed a methodology that allows countries to evaluate their public health capacity.

Through this methodology, Health Ministries and/or Secretariats are able to identify the critical actions needed to improve the public health infrastructure, management mechanisms, and resources necessary for the National Health Authority (NHA) to optimally perform its duties.

Essential Public Health Functions
EPHF 1 1. Monitoring, evaluation, and analysis of health status
EPHF 2 2. Surveillance, research, and control of the risks and threats to public health
EPHF 3 3. Health promotion
EPHF 4 4. Social participation in health
EPHF 5 5. Development of policies and institutional capacity for public health planning and management
EPHF 6 6. Strengthening of public health regulation and enforcement capacity
EPHF 7 7. Evaluation and promotion of equitable access to necessary health services
EPHF 8 8. Human resources development and training in public health
EPHF 9 9. Quality assurance in personal and population-based health services
EPHF 10 10. Research in public health
EPHF 11 11. Reduction of the impact of emergencies and disasters on health