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The case for planetary health prevention
  1. Joan Benach1,2,3,
  2. Christos Zografos1,2,
  3. Lucinda Cash-Gibson1,2,4,
  4. Eliana Martínez-Herrera1,2,5,
  5. Juan M Pericàs1,2,6
  1. 1 Research Group on Health Inequalities, Environment and Employment Conditions (Dept. Political and Social Sciences), Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2 Johns Hopkins University-Pompeu Fabra University Public Policy Center (UPF-BSM), Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3 Transdisciplinary Research Group on Socioecological Transitions (GinTrans2), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  4. 4 Pompeu Fabra University- UPF Barcelona School of Management, Barcelona, Spain
  5. 5 Research Group of Epidemiology, National School of Public Health "Héctor Abad Gómez", University of Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia
  6. 6 Liver Unit, Internal Medicine Department, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital- Vall d’Hebron Institute for Research, CIBERehd, Barcelona, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joan Benach, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona 08003, Spain; joan.benach{at}


The lack of preparedness and the adoption of a reactive approach underlie many mistakes in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. We need a vision with a proactive approach to planetary health prevention, that is suited for addressing the neglected systemic determinants of health which generate disease, inequality and environmental degradation, and capable of anticipating known and unknown risks, and foreseeing possible threatening scenarios. To achieve a healthy, equitable and sustainable future, it is time to make health prevention planetary.

  • health policy
  • prevention
  • public health

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  • Contributors JB drafted the work, and reviewed its content making important contributions to the paper. All coauthors reviewed its content making important contributions to the paper. All authors made the final approval of the version to be published.

  • Funding Support was provided by the Ramón y Cajal Programme (contract number RYC-2015-17372), funded by the Spanish State Research Agency (AEI), the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, and the European Social Fund (ESF). The project leading to these results has received funding from 'la Caixa' Foundation under the project code SR20-00386. Partial support was also received from the Project PID2020-117029RB-I00, of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, and the UPF Planetary Well-being initiative project 'Low Carbon Health Systems'.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.