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Addis Ababa, April 23, 2012 – The long awaited 13th World Congress on Public Health under the theme Towards Global Health Equity: Opportunities and Threats” was officially opened by H.E. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi at the Millennium Hall in the presence of high officials, dignitaries, heads of various partner organizations and public health professionals coming from 168 countries. 

The Congress jointly undertaken by the Ethiopian Public Health Association and the World Federation of Public Health Associations has been a great success with over 3000 participants attending. Dr. Twabech Bishaw president of the EPHA, key organizer and host, was very happy to say that the objectives set at the beginning have been fully achieved in terms of number of participants and participating countries, quality, scope and number of scientific presentations, the networking among professionals from different countries and within countries and the global friendships strengthened and established.

At the conclusion of the 13th World Congress on Public Health the WFPHA issued the Addis Ababa Declaration, a vibrant call on Global Health Equity.

Conference Highlights

Dr Mengistu Asnake was elected as Vice President and President Elect of WFPHA at the 46th session of the general assembly, while James Chauvin assumes the presidency.

Dr Tedros Adhanom, Ethiopian Minister of Health, called for Strengthened Global Partnerships and More Effective Aid during the opening cerimony.

Margaret Hilson received the Life Time Award by WFPHA for her outstanding contribution to the creation and strengthening of Public Health Associations and commitment to support countries meet national health goals.

Professor Redda Tekle Haimanot, founder of Grarbet Tehadiso Mahiber and author of over 70 scientific publications, was honored with 2012 Leavell Lectureship Award by the World Federation of Public Health Associations. To read the Lecture, click here.

The African Medical Relief (AMREF) received the Organizational Award by the World Federation of Public Health Associations to recognize its outstanding contributions of public health.

The office of the African Federation of Public Health Association (AFPHA) was officially opened in the presence of the His Excellency Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Health of the FDRE, Director General of AMREF, Dr. Teguest Guerma, and President of the AFPHA Dr. Mathias Some, the EC of the AFPHA, EPHA Board members and the Executive Director as well as other dignitaries and members of the AFPHA present at the occasion.

The first meeting and general assembly of the African Federation of Public Health Association was convened. EPHA handover the official seat of AFPHA in Addis Ababa.

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), in collaboration with the Ethiopian Medical Students’ Association, held its 2nd triennial International Students’ Meeting on Public Health. To read the report, click here.

For more information on the congress, read the daily bulletins.

Next in India

On February 2015, India will welcome public health professionals, policy makers and community leaders to deliberate on the agenda of Environment Health at the 14th World Congress on Public Health with a theme “Healthy People- Healthy Environment”. The issues that will be covered range from climate change, to safe sanitation and air to orientation of heath system to addressing the challenges of environmental health. 

Success and challenges in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

tl_files/images/Newsletter 2012/May 2012/MDGs.gifDear Public Health Professionals

If you have been involved in activities aiming to the achievement of MDGs, please share with us your opinion by filling this survey by June 30th 2012 (click on your language of preference among those listed below to start the survey).

English version

Version française

Versión española

Versão portuguesa


Your opinion is important for us!

For more information, click here

WFPHA Working Groups

Global Health Equity Working Group

The Global Health Equity Working Group was formed and met for the first time at the General Assembly in Geneva in May, 2011. The Charter for the Working Group was developed and suggestions for the World Congress in Ethiopia were generated for the Scientific Planning Committee. The Working Group followed the work of the WFPHA staff on the development of a survey for associations and individual public health workers about the progress on MDGs in their countries. The Working Group is planning on developing a policy statement on health equity during the next year. For more information, please contact Prof. Bettina Borisch or Dr. Deborah Walker.

Public Health Education Working Group 

The Public Health Education WG has been renamed as Public Health Professionals' Education and Training WG (WG-PET) to avoid confusion with public health education as provided to non-public health professionals.

The WG-PET was formed in 2010 with 3 specific items in its action plan:

  1. Develop a strategy to globally harmonize essential public health functions and competencies based on practice needs (performance standards)
  2. Define and apply standards of quality for public health education and training (PEER Review, accreditation).
  3. Develop academic and institutional capacity (based on a needs and demand analysis).

The members of the WG-PET represent the Public Health workforce in its global variety and the WG-PET has also been consulting additional public health professionals, bearing in mind the requirement for a flexible approach that would address the needs at more local levels.

2011 Activity:

  1. The meeting with the ASPHER WGI (Workgroup on Innovation) served to further clarify both the importance of WGE activity and the scope of the work.
  2. The model put forth by the WGI delegates the role of assessing the workforce education needs to the WGE and assigns part of the activity in item 3 of the WG-PET action plan to ASPHER-WGI activity in partnership with the WG-PET.
  3. The model was adopted by the WG-PET as the basis for the workplan and the partnership with WGI.
  4. The WG-PET has agreed that the current 10 Essential Public Health Functions will serve the need for competency harmonization, while acknowledging possible revisions may be applied, requiring re-alignment of the competencies if that should happen.
  5. The WG-PET has collected data via an online questionnaire to assess the current level of adoption of the EPHF model or similar models in different countries. The outcomes of the questionnaire have shown that there is partial adoption of EPHF-like models (11 out of 24 national public health associations represented). Responders have classified the importance of each of the 10 functions and the measure of implementation. The full data will be available soon as a publication in the WFPHA Journal of Public Health Policy.
  6. WFPHA members interested in the WG-PET activity are welcome to follow-up on our activity via the webpages of the WFPHA and contact us.


If you would like to join any of the WFPHA WG, do not hesitate to contact the secretariat.

More information on the other working groups in the next newsletters.

What's on

World No Tobacco Day 2012: Tobacco Industry Interference

 This year’s campaign focuses on the need to expose and counter the tobacco industry's brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) because of the serious danger it poses to public health. For more information, visit

The Wellness Tree

The International Council of Nurses has launched the Wellness Tree & second wave of the NCD nursing initiative to lead the fight against non-communicable diseases. resource centre will offer tools and information addressing non-communicable diseases to nurses globally.

For further information contact: or

Advances Global Standard for Mandatory Nutrition Labelling - United Nations Food Law Body

The Codex Food Labelling Committee, a United Nations subsidiary group, has proposed a global standard for mandatory nutrition labelling for adoption by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in Rome this July. Some 220 delegates from 63 countries participated in the Ottawa Committee meeting.

For more information, call: Bill Jeffery, National Coordinator of CSPI at 613-244-7337 (ext. 1). IACFO’s written submission to the Committee can be found here.

Asia Pacific network of HealthGAEN

The website HealthGAEN has been launched as a tool for information sharing and helping to keep people connected around issues affecting health inequities, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.

IDRC Non-Communicable Disease Prevention Program overview 2011–2016

To read the shorter version of the Non-Communicable Disease Prevention prospectus approved by IDRC’s Board of Governors in May 2011, click here.

Members' Newsletter & News

News from the Canadian Public Health Association: CPHA Health Digest - Spring 2012

European Public Health Association: Read the Newsletter 

Public Health Association of South Africa: Read the Newsletter

Vietnam Public Health Association: Read the Newsletter


Swiss Health Foreign Policy

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA
 - The Federal Authorities of the Swiss Confederation – March 2012

This policy establishes priorities and defines cooperation between all administrative units in matters of global health policy

Available online PDF [31p.] at:

“…….As a result of globalization, health issues are becoming increasingly important at the international level. A growing interdependence between domestic and health foreign policy is apparent worldwide. Health has also become a topic of Switzerland's foreign policy and therefore a focused and multisectoral approach is required in order to ensure that fundamental Swiss values such as human rights, the rule of law and democracy are guaranteed, and also that the interests of a wide variety of Swiss actors can be taken into account.

Underlying Swiss Health Foreign Policy are all the country's international concerns relating to health – with neighbouring countries, in European policy, on the subject of global public goods, or in development policy.

The policy is based on a concept of global health which – in contrast to the concept of international health that prevailed up to the turn of the century, focusing primarily on the health problems of the least developed countries – is concerned with strategies at the global level. Accordingly, prime responsibility rests with all countries, and not only – as in the conception of international health – with donor and beneficiary countries.

The present Swiss Health Foreign Policy, a revised version of the 2006 Agreement on Health Foreign Policy Objectives, is the result of a consultation procedure involving the relevant federal authorities and interested parties from civil society, the private sector, research, Swiss health system actors and the Swiss Conference of the Cantonal Ministers of Public Health. It was approved by the Federal Council on 09 March 2012, has a medium-term perspective and is to be reviewed as required, but after six years at the latest. ……”

Comparing health policy agendas across eleven high income countries: Islands of difference in a sea of similarity

Tim Tenbensel, Samantha Eagle, Toni Ashton - School of Population Health, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Health Policy (2012)

“………Does the way in which health systems are financed influence whether health policymakers are more or less interested in accessible and equitable health services?

Are social democratic governments more interested in primary health care reform than conservative governments?

Have particular domains of health policy really become more important over the past decade across a range of countries?

In this exploratory article, we investigate the similarities and differences in patterns of attention in health policy in eleven high income countries using data from the Health Policy Monitor database from 2003 to 2010.

Our study suggests significant ‘islands of difference’ in an overall ‘sea of similarity’ between the health policy agendas of the selected countries."


Upcoming events

International Conference Research and Application on Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) in Health Care



Sukoharjo Jawa Tengah indonesia, 21-23 June 2012. Fore more information, click here or read the leaflet.

ICN 25th Quadrennial Congress




Equity and access to health care is the theme of the conference, which will take place in Melbourne, Australia, from 18-23 May 2013. For more information, click here.

The 14th International Congress of the IFPE

The 14th International Congress of the International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology will be held in Leipzig, Germany, June 5th – 8th, 2013. The congress theme will be, “The uses of psychiatric epidemiology in improving population mental health”. For more information, click here.

27th International Population conference

Korea is hosting the '27th International Population conference' in conjuncttion with the 'International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP)' on 26-31 August 2013 at Busan, Korea. For more information, click here or read the leaflet.

WFPHA Member's communication

Welcome to the new members

During the last General Assembly, led in Addis Ababa on April Wednesday 25th 2012, 10 new Public Health Associations became members of the Federation.

The federation heartily welcome all new Members!

African Federation of Public Health Associations

Association of Schools of Public Health in Africa (ASPHA)

Croatian Public Health Association

European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network

Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut

Forum for Human Rights and Public Health (Friendship-Nepal)

International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA)

Malawi Public Health Association

Malta Association of Public Health Medicine

Mauritanian Public Health Association (AMSP)

Moreover, a new category of "Associate member" has been created. "Associate Members": national associations or organizations that meet some but not all of the qualifications stated in the Federation's Constitution (Articles I, II, and III) and which could reapply for Full Members at some time in the future when they meet all the qualifications necessary for Full membership and at the Council’s discretion. The membership of Associate members is renewable every three years. Associate members pay dues but cannot vote. They can attend meetings as observers, are encouraged to participate on Federation Working groups and have access to all materials and information WFPHA may provide to its members.

News from our Members

NUPHA and world vision trains 50 on disaster surveillance

A five-day disaster surveillance and environmental emergency management training of trainers (ToT) workshop jointly organized by the Njala University Public Health Association (NUPHA) and World Vision-Bo Base has being organized at the School of Community Health Sciences, Njala University in Bo. To read more, click here.

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