Resilient public health systems are needed both on a local and global scale and within every country. However, the current situation consists of fragmented, variable and incomplete public health services and functions, with little common understanding of what a good public health service should look like.
The Declaration of Alma-Ata on Primary Health Care in 1978 and the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion in 1986 had a major influence on improving health throughout the world. The intention of the Charter is to take the next step in providing a succinct and practical implementation guideline to public health associations. It is a document that ought to be taught in public health faculties and used to develop strategic approaches by public health associations around the world.
- Encourage work between non-governmental organizations (NGOs), universities, civil society members, governments and corporations
- Plan and implement strategies for better health outcomes globally
- Ensure a comprehensive approach to tackling the threats to health everywhere
The Global Charter for the Public's Health provides new insights into the direction of public health and provides guidance for both ‘services’ (a group of core services - Protection, Prevention and Promotion) and ‘functions’ (a group of enabler functions - Governance, Advocacy, Capacity and Information).
- Governance: public health legislation; health and cross-sector policy; strategy; financing; organisation; assurance: transparency, accountability and audit.
Information: surveillance, monitoring and evaluation; monitoring of health determinants; research and evidence; risk and innovation; dissemination and uptake.
- Protection: international health regulation and co-ordination; health impact assessment; communicable disease control; emergency preparedness; occupational health; environmental health; climate change and sustainability.
- Prevention: primary prevention: vaccination; secondary prevention: screening; tertiary prevention: evidence-based, community-based, integrated, person-centred quality healthcare and rehabilitation; healthcare management and planning.
- Promotion: inequalities; environmental determinants; social and economic determinants; resilience; behaviour and health literacy; life-course; healthy settings.
- Advocacy: leadership and ethics; health equity; social-mobilization and solidarity; education of the public; people-centred approach; voluntary community sector engagement; communications; sustainable development.
- Capacity: workforce development for public health, health workers and wider workforce; workforce planning: numbers, resources, infrastructure; standards, curriculum, accreditation; capabilities, teaching and training.
For more information on the different components read the Charter in Brief.
The History of the Charter
The work lasted for some years and involved two main groups: the WFPHA international office and the Public Health Professionals' Education and Training Working Group and task force, chaired at the time by Ehud Miron.
The international office conducted a literature review of the terms 'global health' and 'global public health, and a DELPHI-like study, engaging in a debate with the main stakeholders in public health and related fields to discuss what global health is today, what skills are needed by public health professionals, and how public health should increase its performance in making advocacy.
The taskforce examined models and built upon existing country and regional level essential public health functions and operations, for example from WHO, PAHO, EURO, the USA, UK, Australia and Canada, proposing the framework reported in the Charter.
The outputs of these two groups were shaped by a drafting team on the Charter, incorporating inputs from the WFPHA policy committee, governing council, as well as from the WHO.
The Charter was published in 2016, in the European Journal of Public Health, in association with an editorial.
Chris Jenkins*, Marta Lomazzi*, Heather Yeatman, Bettina Borisch. * equally contributed
Global Policy DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.12302
The European Journal of Public Health 2016;
Michael Moore; Martin McKee; Bettina Borisch; Walter Ricciardi
The European Journal of Public Health 2016 26 (2): 207
The Press release for the A Global Charter for the Public's Health is available in different languages.
WFPHA Members sustain the Charter
Malta Association of Public Health Medicine - press release
If you need any other information, please, contact our headquarters.
The WFPHA is organizing many events to release the Charter and debate with health professionals and public in general the importance of a new comprehensive approach of global public health.
The 15th World Congress on Public Health program will focus on the Charter and its application! Do not miss this oppurtunity! For more information, click here.
Global Health: How to develop a healthier world?
07.06.2016 University of Geneva
Salle U300 – Uni Dufour, Geneva, Switzerland
18.30 - 20.30
Experts from different domains have joined this round table event.
Video summary available here
Prof. Bettina Borisch - Executive Director, WFPHA
Prof. Antoine Flahault - Director, Global Health Institute, UNIGE
Dr Edward Kelly - WHO
Prof. Gian Luca Burci - IHEID, UNIGE
Dr. Jean Simos - IFEH and UNIGE
Prof. Matthias Kliegel - CIGEV
Jamil Chade - «O Estado de São Paulo», Brazil
Event held in French
Global and local: Public Health and Primary Care in action!
Room IX, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Side event within the World Health Assembly
Organized by the delegations of World Federation of Public Health Associations, The Network Towards Unity for Health, International Federation of Medical Students Associations, World Organization of Family Doctors, International Alliance of Patients' Organizations and Slovenia.
On Monday, 23rd May the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) presented the “Global Charter for the Public’s Health” to the international Health Audience during a well attended event at the 69th World Health Assembly. The Global Charter is the fruit of a collaboration of the WFPHA with a large number of international individual stakeholders and institutions in the field of Public Health as well as with WHO. It is meant to provide a global framework for all actions that will lead to health for all. The Charter reads in the context of the Social Development Goals (SDGs). The Charter calls upon the basic enabler functions such as education, information, advocacy and governance. All this on the basis of free citizenship in participatory societies / environment.
United Nations Environment Programme
Bettina Borisch, WFPHA executive director, has presented the Charter at UNEP, in a special event to prepare Geneva-based stakeholders to UNEA-2 (United Nations Environmental Assembly). The event is organized by the Geneva Environment Network, UNEP Regional Office for Europe and UN-NGLS.
More information available here.