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WFPHA Newsletter - November 2013

WFPHA Newsletter 11 - 2013

Published: 30 November 2013

In this newsletter:

1.Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with European Public Health Association (EUPHA)

2.141st Conference of American Public Health Association & 4th Asia-Pacific Conference on Public Health

3.News from our Members

4.WFPHA Member's communication

5.Members' Newsletter

6.Working Groups

7.What's on

8.Upcoming Events

9.Your Communications


1.Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with European Public Health Association (EUPHA)

On November 14th 2013 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the World Federation of Public Health Associations and the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) was signed during the EUPHA Governing Board meeting by Prof. U. Laaser, WFPHA Immediate Past President and Prof. W. Ricciardi, EUPHA President.

EUPHA, the umbrella organization for public health associations in the European region, became a WFPHA member association in 2001. The collaborative relationship between EUPHA and the WFPHA has since strengthened.

Recently, the WFPHA launched a process of regionalization through the creation of regional public health associations. In the European region, the natural partner is EUPHA.

With this MoU the WFPHA will have the advantage of direct contact with more countries in the European region and EUPHA will benefit from a global partner and a link to other regional PHAs. Moreover, both associations will continue a strong and productive collaboration through joint membership and projects; through this MoU 15 national public health associations in the European region which were not already WFPHA members will become conjoint EUPHA and WFPHA members beginning in January 1st 2014.

The WFPHA welcomes all new European members!

2.141st Conference of the American Public Health Association & 4th Asia-Pacific Conference on Public Health

Networking and learning at the World’s largest annual public health conference 141st Conference of the American Public Health Association (Nov 3-6, 2013: Boston)

Jim Chauvin, WFPHA President

Over 13,000 delegates, mainly from the USA but with a smattering from several other countries, met over the past few days in Boston, Massachusetts, to share, learn about and advocate for effective responses to improve, protect and promote human health. The conference’s theme “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally” set the tone.

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We were spellbound during the opening plenary by Sir Michael Marmot’s passionate call for action on the social determinants of health and his frank and pointed critique of the UK government (and other conservative governments) that have put into place policies and decisions that are having a massive negative impact on health and health equity and hurting both the middle class and the most at-risk individuals and communities. Sir Michael referred to this “a grotesque parody of fairness”. My friend and WFPHA Governing Council colleague Dr. Gabriel Scally from the UK wrote an excellent blog summarizing Sir Michael’s talk.

Sir Michael highlighted and lauded the efforts of progressive municipalities and mayors, such as the City Council of Birmingham (UK) and Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, for having instituted innovative policies and programs that are closing the gap in health equity. Needless to say, he received a well-deserved standing ovation.

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Photo: Gabriel Scally

One of the challenges delegates faced was deciding which of the over 1,000 sessions to attend held over a 3.5-day period. The range of topics covered was impressive. As was the Public Health Expo, the exhibitors’ area where many universities, NGOs, consulting firms, media and corporations shared very interesting initiatives and products designed to improve, promote and protect the public’s health.

The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) organized three events. The first, a concurrent session on defining public health in the global context was chaired by Dr. Mengistu Asnake, WFPHA’s Vice President and President-Elect. Dr. Borisch, Director of WFPHA’s Geneva-based secretariat office, shared information about the recently-launched conjoint WHO/WFPHA Consultation on the Role of Public Health in Today’s Global Setting. This initiative seeks to explore and define an adaptation of public health to its future role in global health within the complex and dynamic relations generated by numerous determinants at different levels of governance.

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Dr. Gabriel Scally, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Urban Environments at the University of the West of England and the UK representative on the WFPHA's Governing Council, challenged the concept of “defining a new public health”. He suggested, as an alternative approach, that we learn both what austerity means for public health and also how we practice within an austerity context. He referred to the regressive steps being taken in the UK and by conservative regimes elsewhere which are dismantling our countries’ public health systems and the social safety net that supports the public’s health under the guise of austerity. Gabriel also suggested at the WHO definition of health be redefined, to incorporate the concept of ‘ecological well-being’. He also advanced five steps to respond to the current attack on public health, one of which is to strengthen public health associations as advocates for public health.

Dr. Ehud Miron, a member of the Israel Public Health Association and chair of the Federation’s Public Health Education and Training Working Group, informed delegates about the Federation’s work to contribute to defining essential public health functions and competencies for public health within the global context. Dr. Thandi Puoane, a member of the PHA of South Africa and professor of public health at the University of the Western Cape, talked about the activities in South Africa to improve the education of future members of the public health workforce and some of the challenges in making this inclusive of action on the social determinants of health.

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The second WFPHA concurrent session focused on examining the achievements made to date to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the definition of a post-2015 human development agenda from the perspective of public health associations. Dr. Borisch informed delegates about the results of a WFPHA survey of public health associations and members of the global public health community on this issue ( The results of the more qualitative research study will be published early in 2014.

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Dr. Mengistu Asnake, Dr. Adang Bachtiar (President of the Indonesian Public Health Association), Dr. Madhumita Dobe (former Secretary General of the Indian Public Health Association) and Dr. Naranchimeg Jamiyanjamts (member of the Mongolian Public Health Professionals Association) shared with us the progress made on some of the MDGs in Ethiopia, Indonesia, India and Mongolia. They also shared their thoughts about the factors affecting their achievement. These include the lack of adequate health human resources, issues relating to access and the quality of primary health care services, a tendency of the health community and Ministries of Health to focus attention and efforts on the health-related MDGs often without due recognition of the influence of the ‘non-health MDGs’ on health. They also cited the lack of inclusion of communities into the planning of responses. One message common to all the presentations was the significant role that public health associations can and could play in helping to define the post-2015 global agenda to include a public health approach to sustained human development.


The final WFPHA event was its Global Health Leaders breakfast. Its purpose is to strengthen links with other organizations and inform current and prospective partner organization about the WFPHA’s role, activities and achievements. At this year’s event, Dr. Agnes Soares, Regional Director/Environmental Epidemiology at the Pan American Public Health Organization (PAHO), was the invited keynote speaker. She presented PAHO’s agenda for Environmental Health for Sustainable Development and Health Equity. This agenda, which runs through to 2017, provides an interesting and well-defined framework within which public health associations in the Americas region can ‘fit’ with respect to being advocates for addressing the ecological determinants of health. Dr. Dobe also provided an overview of planning for the 14th World Congress on Public Health and screened the Congress’ promotional video (

WFPHA will participate in next year’s APHA Conference, which takes place Nov 15-19 in New Orleans. In a new departure the WFPHA will partner with APHA’s International Health Section for the planning and hosting of its events.

From the WFPHA’s perspective, this was a productive event. It demonstrated the vitality of the world’s public health community, and how public health is contributing at the local, national and global levels to improving health and health equity. As Dr. Georges Benjamin stated in his wrap-up talk at the conference’s final plenary session, the APHA (and by extension, all public health associations including the WFPHA) is about science, about advocacy and about health. Public health is, after all, everyone’s business.

Climate Change and Population Health: The Role of Public Health Associations

Jim Chauvin, WFPHA President

The Vietnam Public Health Association, in association with the Asia-Pacific Regional Network of Public Health Associations, hosted a very successful and productive 4th Asia-Pacific Conference on Public Health. This event, which took place on November 21 and 22, 2013 in Nha Trang (Vietnam), brought together public health practitioners, academics, researchers and other interested parties from across the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere under the theme Climate Change and Population Health. The theme was particularly relevant, given the tragic climate-related disaster in the Philippines and the climate change summit that took place in Warsaw the week before.

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The WFPHA was represented at the conference by James Chauvin (WFPHA President) and Dr. Peter Orris (Chair of the WFPHA's Environmental Health Working Group). Representatives from public health associations in Australia, Japan, Korea, China and Afghanistan also participated. A meeting of the Asia-Pacific region's Public Health Associations was also held during the conference.

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The oral and poster presentations fed the ensuing discussions about the risk factors and opportunities for community-based and led interventions towards sustainable human development. Consensus was reached on several issues:

- climate change is a major determinant of health

- climate change is increasingly complex, requiring a multi-sector and interdisciplinary approach based on reliable evidence

- more health-related research is needed along with better information sharing for policy making

- adapting to climate change is only part of the solution; transformative change is tackle the causes of climate change and mitigate the risks of health-related consequences due to climate change.

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The Nha Trang Declaration, a call to action for the Asia-Pacific public health community, was promulgated at the conference's closing ceremony. It calls for a focused approach to strengthen connectivity, multidisciplinary collaboration, building a network of information exchange and experiences and continuation in conducting high quality scientific research on the health consequences and means to diminish risks to human health as the basis for evidence for policy makers.

During the conference, the Vietnam Public Health Association launched the Vietnam Journal of Public Health. This bi-annual publication, published in English, will improve access for the global public health community to public health research being carried out in Vietnam and the Asia-Pacific Region. The WFPHA congratulates the VPHA for launching this new journal.

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The conference proceedings and the Nha Trang Declaration can be viewed at:

The 5th Asia-Pacific Conference on Public Health will take place April 10 and 11, 2014 in Seoul (Korea), hosted by the Korean Public Health Association. We hope to see you there!!

3.News from our Members

New Member at WFPHA

Egyptian Association of Public Health Promotion (EAPHP)

Here are some photos with short captions describing the main EAPHP activities in 2013.

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In the Institute of Postgraduate Childhood Studies, Ain Shams University, Abbassia, Cairo, Egypt, Seminars, scientific conferences and workshops related to public health were held in 2013:

  • Genetic Counseling and early detection of Disability Training Course 9-20, June 2013.
  • A round table about violence in schools on 22/7/2013.
  • A one-day Workshop about infection control (22 participants) on 1/8/2013.
  • A session for safety of children at schools on 17/8/2013.
  • A session on Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may improve symptoms in autistic children held on 21/9/2013.
  • A session on school health programs held on 17/9/2013.

Sociedad mexicana de salud publica (SMSP) - Mexican Society of Public Health

The Mexican Society of Public Health is a non-profit organization, legally constituted and recognized as an association that contributes to social development since 1944. Today, across the Mexican territory, we have nine thousand members who are involved in different public health areas, like research, academia, administration, epidemiology, among others. This multidisciplinary character allows us to have a comprehensive focus on the principal public health problematic.

Our primary purpose is to contribute to the improvement of the Mexican health through the impulse, promotion and discussion of public policies to prevent and promote health. Our association offers advice, training, project design and administration, and professionalization of the operative staff of the health services by the permanent promotion of the certification of specialized doctors in alliance with the National Council of Public Health.

In addition we stand as consultant to the Mexican Government and to different public organisms; we participate in diverse national councils with topics such as: Public Health; Vaccination; Prevention and Diseases Control; Innovation and Quality in Health. Furthermore, we are Implementing Partner of the United Nations Population Fund, and collaborate with the Pan American Health Organization within a border public health initiative. Moreover, we are member of international coalitions such as the World Federation of Public Health Associations, the American Public Health Association and the Ibero Alliance for Public Health.

Some of the Mexican health policies promoted by this Society are: General Law on Tobacco Control; Five steps to control overweight and obesity Promotion Strategy; Group of Experts on the Universal Index of Health Services; Mexican Official Norms review. Nowadays, we are working together with UNFPA and the National Center of Equity and Reproductive Health to develop a study to “Assure the Sexual and Reproductive Health Supplies”.

This year we will celebrate our 67th National Annual Reunion, a congress that will approach the most relevant subjects on the Mexican Health field and will prepare us for the celebration of our 70thanniversary in 2014. This academic event will be remarked by distinguished and recognized specialists in the Mexican Public Health scene, who will be able to communicate the latest news on Public Health topics, share experiences and contributions.

Our slogan is: ”A voice that is proud of being a Public Health professional”.


62 National Congress of Public Health in Hidalgo, Mexico


Presentation at the National Academy of Medicine


Public Health Regional Reunion in Veracruz, Mexico

The 50 year anniversary of the Finnish Journal of Social Medicine in November 2013

The Society for Social Medicine in Finland was started in 1968. Even before this, the Finnish Journal of Social Medicine was published. In the Jubilee Symposium held in November in Tampere, Finland, the Previous Editor-in-Chief, Emeritus Professor Matti Hakama told that the Finnish Medical Association was the publisher for the first decade, but the Society for Social Medicine took the responsibility in 1974. The first years were economically difficult, but the acceptance of sponsors and advertisements, and the introduction of peer reviews helped the Journal to survive. The Journal was also the first Finnish scientific journal, which received financial support from the Academy of Finland. Currently, four issues of the Journal are published per year, and round half of the offered papers are accepted for publication.

Dr Ranja Aukee defended her PhD on social medicine and the Society for Social Medicine in Finland in 2013. In her speech she told that the society members are in general very pleased with the activities, especially in combining high level scientific work and the implementation of the research findings in public health practice. But there is always room for improvements. Members who replied in the survey wished to have more critical policy research, opinionated editorials, presentations of research projects, and expert interviews in the journal.

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From left: Dr Ranja Aukee, Dr Liina-Kaisa Tynkkynen and Professor Matti Hakama

Dr Liina-Kaisa Tynkkynen represented the young generation of researchers in the seminar. She told that every journal should be updated to the 2010s. Open access and electronic publication are essential, and this may the only way to guarantee publication in small, local languages, such as Finnish.

4.WFPHA Member's communication

Job Share Program

Dear WFPHA Members,

The World Federation of Public Health Associations in collaboration with Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) announces the launch of the Job Share Program.

There is global evidence of the widening gaps, within and between countries, in income levels, opportunities, health status, life expectancy and access to care.

The 2012 World Congress on Public Health focused on global progress in achieving equity, as well as the opportunities and threats to such progress. The final Addis Ababa Declaration recommitted the World Federation of Public Health Associations to strive for greater equity between and within countries in health outcomes, access to health care, and those social, economic and political factors that drive health inequities.

With the Job Share Program, the WFPHA supports associations in developing or strengthening the skills necessary to promote public health locally and worldwide, as well as in setting up global partnerships, through the exchange of capabilities and knowledge among public health professionals from different countries.

The main aims of this project are:

1. Get “younger” public health associations in contact with established public health associations to promote their respective public health work;

2. Facilitate and improve communication between global public health associations;

3. Develop partnerships and practices that will positively affect and improve public health;

4. Document success or challenges that could serve as a learning tool for all Public Health Associations (PHAs).

The Public Health Associations of Australia has kindly accepted to be the hosting country for 2014. Selected candidates will join the activities of PHAA dealing with policy development, program management, field work etc.

The Job Share Program will start on February 10th 2014 and last for 6 weeks. The program will be evaluated and results reported at the WFPHA General Assembly in May 2014. Program expenses (travel and accommodation) will be covered by the WFPHA and PHAA.

Application Process:

Delegates from any PHA member of the WFPHA are invited to apply for this program.

Interested candidates should send their CV (please use the attached template), motivation letter and support letter from their Association to Dr. Lomazzi no later than December 15th 2013.

Please specify in the motivation letter which are your expectations and the skills you would like to develop during the program.

Please note:

  1. Candidates should be supported by their PHA
  2. Candidates should be fluent in English
  3. Candidates should cover a relevant position within their PHA and have a perspective of a long term employment within the PHA

Selected candidates will be informed by January 15th 2014.

For more information, please contact Dr. Lomazzi.

WFPHA Working Group Guidelines are launched

At WFPHA, Working Groups (WGs) are created to work on theme-related program elements serving to fulfill parts of the Federation’s mission. Currently, we have 5 WGs covering the areas of Environmental Health, Global Health Equity, Oral Health, Public Health Professionals' Education and Training, and Tobacco Control.

Recently, the Guidelines are launched to guarantee the good function of each of these WGs at WFPHA.

To read the guidelines, click here.

Statement by the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) for the WHO European Ministerial Conference on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in the context of Health 2020

22 November 2013

3-4 December 2013, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

It is with great enthusiasm that EUPHA supports the WHO Ashgabat Declaration on NCDs. The Declaration reflects best practices in European public health, including promoting the people-centred health systems, empowering patients and making them co-producers of care, and establishing new health-information systems. These transformations will help strengthen health systems’ capacity to cope with rising burdens of chronic noncommunicable diseases. Emphasis on embedding inequalities into surveillance systems and harmonisation of surveillance systems is an important, positive step.

We particularly welcome the commitment to a SmokeFree Europe by 2040. It is important to have a clear goal and timeline as part of the policy process. As Margaret Chan of WHO states, ‘what gets measured gets done’. These goals and timelines enable us to hold politicians accountable for their successes and failures in implementing effective tobacco control policy. The goals themselves reflects the existing best-practices of our members, such as Finland, and the state-of-the-art in public health policy. We would request, however, more clarity on whether the target of SmokeFree Europe applies overall (such as 5% prevalence for the region) or for each individual WHO-Europe member state. Europe is ideally situated to take the lead globally in addressing the avoidable burden of noncommunicable diseases. The Ashgabat Declaration is a step in the right direction. Now it will be important to ensure that the Declaration is met with a roadmap and action plan. True commitment can only be judged by the decision to invest funds and resources. At a time of fiscal retrenchment in Europe, this is not always straight forward. We look forward to working with WHO in support as European Public Health professionals to ensure that the Ashgabat Declaration lives up to its hope and promise.

WFPHA support for Public Health project

Some of our members might need to set up and manage surveys for Public Health project. WFPHA provides support to our members with such need without any cost.

For more information, please contact Dr. Lomazzi.

The 6th European Public Health Conference in Brussels, Belgium, November 13-16, 2013

ASPHER Declaration on Global public Health Education was launched at this occasion. To read the declaration, click here.

UNODC/WHO publication on health in prisons - Issues connected to the WFPHA Resolution on Prison Health

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe released recently a new publication “Good governance for prison health in the 21st century: A policy brief on the organization of prison health”. Launched at an international conference in London (UK), hosted jointly by Public Health England and WHO, it asserts that prison health is a whole of government responsibility, and that Ministries of Health should take the lead role in providing and funding health services in the Criminal Justice System. This document complements well the resolution passed by the WFPHA in 2011 on health in prisons. Of note is the significant contribution made by Dr. Alex Gatherer to the document (as well as to the drafting of the WFPHA resolution), who up until his passing in August 2013, had been an ardent advocate for prisoners’ rights and health.

For more information, click here.

Two announcements from Prof Ulrich Laaser on Public Health

1) As one of the editors, I invite all public health professionals worldwide to have a look at the website of a new journal namely the South Eastern European Journal of Public Health (SEEJPH).

At this stage, we will start collecting papers and, therefore, I would kindly ask you to invite your colleagues (in different institutions worldwide) and students to consider submissions of their research findings in this new journal with a prestigious Editorial Board though (please see here).

The journal's website provides detailed instructions for submission of articles and, as stated at the very end of the section "Instructions for authors", the first issue will be free of charge.

For those of you who are interested in mastering your reviewing skills, I would kindly ask you to indicate me the number of reviews per year that you would be willing to perform.

2) We published the second edition of our handbook online:

Forum for Public Health in Southeastern Europe A Handbook for Teachers, Researchers and Health Professionals Volume I, 2nd edition.

Health: Systems - Lifestyle - Policies

Editors: Genc Burazeri (Albania) and Lijana Zaletel Kragelj (Slovenia)

Assistant editor: Kreshnik Petrela (Albania)

The file can be downloaded from the Website of the South Eastern European Journal of Public Health from the section on book announcements or from here.

If preferred I can also send you the pdf file as attachment (10.3 MB).

Prof. Dr. med. Ulrich Laaser

Membership application

Dear Public Health Associations,

If you wish to apply for membership at WFPHA, please find the information concerning membership application on our website from here and also here.

Kindly fill out the Membership Application form and send back it back together with the Constitution and Bylaws of your association (preferably in English), at your earliest convenience, to Dr. Lomazzi.

WFPHA Newsletter December 2013-Special Edition

Please note that there will be a special Edition of WFPHA Newsletter focusing on Oral Health Working Group. Stay Tuned!

5.Members Newsletter

Public Health Association of Australia: Read the Newsletter

Canadian Public Health Association: Read the Newsletter

European Public Health Association: Read the Newsletter

Ethiopian Public Health Association: Read the Newsletter

Mexican Society of Public Health: Read the Newsletter

Mongolian Public Health Professionals AssociationRead the Newsletter

Nepal Public Health Association: Read the Newsletter

Netherlands Public Health Federation: Read the Newsletter

Public Health Association of New Zealand: Read the Newsletter

Nicaragua Association of Public Health: Read the Newsletter

Public Health Association of South Africa: Read the Newsletter

Swiss Society of Public Health: Read the Newsletter

The Graduate Institute: Read the Newsletter

Vietnam Public Health Association: Read the Newsletter

Public Health Foundation of Bangladesh: Read the Newsletter

Association Tunisienne Pour La Promotion De La Sante: Read the Newsletter


Bulletin of the World Health Organization: Read the Newsletter

6.WFPHA Working Groups

Oral health Working Group (OHWG) news

New Initiatives for Better Global Oral Health

At the 141st Annual Meeting (November 02 - 06, 2013) of APHA in Boston , Dr. Myron Allukian, co-Chair of the WFPHA Oral Health Working Group (OHWG), organized and moderated a  session dealing with ”New Initiatives for Better Global Oral Health”. Dr B. Borisch, I. Adyatmaka and L. Roumani, members of the OHWG, gave a talk at this session.

The purpose of this panel was to present new initiatives for better global oral health initiated by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) and the Global Oral Health Interest Group of the Conference of Universities for Global Health. New initiatives in the Middle East and Indonesia have been also presented.

Session Objectives: 1. Identify and describe new initiatives in global oral health by the World Federation of Public Health Associations and the Global Oral Health Interest Group of the Conference of Universities for Global Health 2. Describe and explain new initiatives in on-line communication in the Middle East and effective community prevention dental programs in Indonesia. 3. Discuss how global networking and communication has helped raise oral health as a priority internationally 4. Discuss and describe the global burden of oral disease and the challenges to meet these needs.

For more information, click on the corresponding author:

B. Borisch

Oral health working group of the World Federation of Public Health Associations

I. Adyatmaka

Community empowerment and effective prevention programs in Indonesia: Best practices

For the presentation summary, click here.

L. Roumani

On Line Public Health Networking in the Middle East: Lessons Learned

For the presentation summary, click here

Healthcare Trends

Dr. Chester W. Douglass, recently published an article titled ‘Global Access to Oral Health for Children’, in the Colgate Oral Health Report-A summary journal of Advances in Dentistry and Oral HealthCare (Page 9).

In this article, Dr. Douglass quoted a reminding message from William Giannobile, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Dental Research, that we have “… an ultimate duty to promote oral health at the global level.” He further highlighted that, “Oral conditions affected 3.9 billion people, and untreated (dental) caries in permanent teeth was the most prevalent condition evaluated for the entire GBD 2010 study.”

Dr. Douglass drew our attention to The Declaration on Access to Oral Health for Children passed by the World Federation of Public Health Associations Oral Health Working Group, ‘which gives those of us interested in improving global oral health a clear focus on where to put our energies’.

To read the The Declaration on Access to Oral Health for Children, click here.

Environmental Health working group (EHWG) news

Minamata Mercury Treaty is signed

The Minamata Convention on Mercury was adopted on Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 11:11 am in Kumamoto, Japan, following decades of increased awareness regarding the toxicity of mercury and mercury-related compounds. The WFPHA, pursuant to its policy Mercury pollution, participated in the intergovernmental negotiations preparing this convention as a professional Non Governmental Organization collaborating closely with the World Health Organization, Health Care Without Harm, and the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE). Concern about the developmental neurotoxic effects of exquisitely low doses of methyl mercury, converted in the environment from metallic mercury, propelled the involvement of WFPHA and the decision by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council to initiate these negotiations in February 2009. Though the largest source of mercury environmental contamination is energy generation from coal power plants; and highest localized exposures, as well as second most important global source, from artisanal gold mining; the major emphasis of the WFPHA’s involvement centered on the use of mercury in health care, principally thermometers and sphygmomanometers. In addition WFPHA intervened in plenary and lobbied delegates over the 2 year period of negotiating meetings to include a specific provision on health in the final draft.

To read the report, click here.

Peter Orris, MD, MPH

Tabacco Control Workign Group (TCWG) News

Report Forecasts Worsening Smoking Epidemic in Africa

By Elizabeth Mendes

November 11, 2013

Africa is poised to become the “future epicenter of the tobacco epidemic,” according to a new analysis from the American Cancer Society. It warns that the number of adults in Africa who smoke could increase to 572 million by 2100, from 77 million today, unless leaders take steps to curb current trends.

“The cost of having to intervene in the future rather than preventing it now will be massive,” says Evan Blecher, Ph.D., one the report’s authors and an economist with the International Tobacco Control Research program at the American Cancer Society.

The report highlights several reasons for the increase in smoking rates:

  • In Africa, 9% of boys and 3% of girls smoke -- both rates are high compared with other developing regions.
  • Africa is set for massive population growth. The region now accounts for 12% of the global population -- this will climb to 30% by 2100. The study concludes that because of this, Africa will have the second-highest number of smokers of any region by 2060.
  • African nations experienced strong economic growth in the 2000s, which means more people have more money to spend on tobacco.

Still, the authors say, most African countries remain in the early stages of the tobacco epidemic, with tobacco use relatively low compared with the rest of the world. Thus, there is time to put prevention strategies into place that could have a significant impact. In fact, the researchers estimate that if African countries put appropriate policy interventions in place, the region could avoid 139 million premature deaths by 2100.

“Failure to prevent the tobacco epidemic in Africa will create a big drain on future health systems in an already constrained environment,” Blecher asserts.

Tobacco use is known to cause cancer, heart disease, lung disease and other serious health problems. Thus, Blecher says, if the smoking rate continues to climb, dealing with such tobacco-related illnesses would divert global resources away from other serious health priorities.

Read the full report here.

TCWG published a calendar of events for the tobacco control working group. To read the calendar, click here.

7. What's on ?

Launch of the World Justice Challenge

The World Justice Project (WJP) is pleased to announce the launch of the World Justice Challenge—an open competition designed to strengthen the rule of law. The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to identify areas where the rule of law needs improvement in the country in which they live or work and test practical solutions on the ground. Initiatives are supported by:

•    Modest seed grants—the typical size of a seed grant is $15,000 to $25,000
•    Connections to others in the WJP’s global network
•    Increased visibility through media and communications support

The World Justice Challenge is open to all individuals, organizations, and entities from any country. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2014. Grantees will be chosen by a Selection Panel using the criteria listed in the application.

Since its founding, the competition (formerly known as the Opportunity Fund) has provided over $1,000,000 in financial, communications, and network support to initiatives on five continents, from improving food security in Haiti to access to health care in Cameroon to tackling corruption in India. These initiatives—led by artists, engineers, athletes, business leaders, and more—show the diversity of approaches to advancing the rule of law. All initiatives are catalogued in the WJP’s online program library, where visitors can learn more about initiatives in their countries, or find inspiration to replicate or adapt an idea.

To apply, or to read profiles of previous grantees, please visit our World Justice Challenge web page.

We encourage you to share this announcement with your personal network, and look forward to updating you on the competition. Questions about the World Justice Challenge may be sent to or

The World Justice Project

Launch of the African Report on Child Wellbeing 2013: Towards Greater Accountability to Africa’s Children.

This new flagship report from the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) – its third edition – analyses and ranks the performance of African governments in a Child-Friendly Index comparing progress over the past five years. It will highlight those who have continued to improve, those who have slipped in the ranking, and those who are persistently failing to legislate for, and invest in their children’s wellbeing.

The report focuses on accountability in order to help create a better Africa that is fit for its children, and makes recommendations for concrete action in priority areas.

When:20 November 2013, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Media Contact:

For further information contact: +44 208 694 9138 

or +44 208 892 5215

In Ethiopia: +251 912 66 96 00

Vector-borne diseases are the focus of the World Health Day 2014 campaign

The World Health Organization (WHO) works to prevent and treat many vector-borne diseases.

Vectors such as insects, mosquitoes, flies, bugs, ticks and some types of snails are organisms that can carry devastating diseases and put more than half the world’s population at risk.

Vector-borne diseases are the focus of the World Health Day 2014 campaign.

With your help, we want to make sure that:

  • Families living in areas most at risk know how to protect themselves;
  • Health authorities help people in areas at risk to protect themselves;
  • Travellers protect themselves when they need to; and
  • Authorities in countries where vector-borne diseases are an emerging threat take steps to protect their populations.

Visit our campaign website, click here.

Core campaign materials, including visuals, helpful tips and ideas for getting involved in the campaign will be posted there over the coming months.

For more information, or if you have questions or comments, please email us.

This World Health Day, help us fight vector-borne diseases!

World's Governments Sign Mercury Treaty - Mercury Free Health Care by 2020

As the world's governments were signing a global treaty aimed at phasing out the use and emissions of mercury, Health Care Without Harm and the World Health Organization got straight to work and launched an initiative to achieve the Minamata Convention's goal to end the manufacture, import and export of mercury-based medical devices by 2020.

For more information, click here.

International Council of Nurses Calls for Abstract Submission

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is pleased to announce the Call for Abstracts for its Conference and meeting of the Council of National Representatives in Seoul, South Korea in June 2015. Under the theme, Global Citizen, Global Nursing, the Conference will take place from 19-23 June 2015. Instructions for submitting abstracts for the scientific programme and details on the themes to be addressed can be accessed here. The deadline for abstract submission is 7 October 2014.

Highlighting the realities of nursing practice across the globe and acknowledging the importance of cross-cultural understanding and cooperation, the conference will showcase prominent guest speakers in plenary sessions focusing on the most pressing and timely topics of interest for nursing and nurses.

Judith Shamian, President of ICN, said, “I encourage nurses worldwide who are interested in sharing experiences and knowledge from other countries and settings to attend this Conference and I particularly encourage them to submit an abstract on a relevant topic. The exchanges that take place in these international gatherings help us all advance professionally.”

To share your ideas and expertise you are invited to submit an abstract for a concurrent session, a symposium or a poster. Instructions on how to submit an abstract and guidelines on presentation are available on the Conference website The online abstract submission system will be live as of 15 April 2014.

The Council of National Representatives, ICN’s global governing body, will also convene in Seoul 17-19 June, just prior to the Conference. To keep up with all the latest information on the Conference programme and related events, visit here, or start the conversation on Twitter #ICN2015Korea.

8.Upcoming Events

Global Health: Interconnected Challenges, Integrated Solutions

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Help make Health powerful.
The Fifth Edition of the Geneva Health Forum
15 -17 April 2014
International Conference Centre of Geneva, Switzerland

Since 2006 GHF has asked hard questions, invited practical solutions, and heard many brave voices from all over the globe. As the world gets more complex and health more vital, come, be part of GHF 2014 where we will go even further.

GHF 2014 is seeking submissions from practitioners and researchers across disciplines.

To submit an abstract for the 2014 edition, please click here.

14th World Congress on Public Health

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14th World Congress on Public Health will be held in Kolkata, India, 11-15 February 2015.

The theme for this Congress is “Healthy People – Healthy Environment”. The issues that will be covered range from climate change, to safe sanitation and air to orientation of health system to addressing the challenges of environmental health.

The Website is now online:

Call for abstracts will be open in January 2014.

The list of reviewers is actually being established. If you are interested to act as reviewer, please write toLaetitia Bourquin.

9.Your Communications

Don't miss your chance to share with other Public Health Associations and Public Health Professionals worldwide important information.

Send us your newsletter, articles & photos of your activities, annual reports and inform us about the upcoming events (your annual meetings and all other interesting congresses/seminars) and we will post them on our website and newsletter.

Post interesting news, advertise upcoming events and share with us your comments on FaceBook and Twitter.

Become friend of the WFPHA on and join the WFPHA Facebook group!

Twitter name: @WFPHA_FMASP