LETTER OF PROF. LAASER ON THE 13th WORLD CONGRESS ON PUBLIC HEALTH
three years after the 12th World Congress of the World
Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) in Istanbul we shall convene
for our 13th Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from Monday April 23 - Friday
April 27, 2012. The overall theme is: Towards Global Health Equity:
Opportunities and Threats.
Today I write to you well in advance of the Congress
to seek your preliminary agreement on the following invitation to organise a
concurrent Invited Session of 90 minutes on a topic of your choice and/or
submit a free abstract for a presentation. For detailed information and the
Call for Abstracts, click here.
In case you accept to organise a session, please click
here for submission.
Abstracts of Invited Sessions are reviewed by the
Organisational Core Group (chairs: Ulrich Laaser & Tewabech Bishaw) of the
International Scientific Committee.
The disclaimer statement informing organisers that
sessions are not financed by WFPHA had to be placed for legal reasons. We
assume that speakers proposed for your session are self-financed respectively
attending the13th World Congress in Addis Ababa anyway.
Please feel free to approach me regarding any
questions you may have in this regard.
In Istanbul we had well over 1000 presentations or
posters. Our experience was that the free slots for presentations or sessions
closed rapidly. Therefore I would like to advise you to indicate your interest
to organise a session soon, in any case before
the 21st October 2011.
Waiting to hear from you,
13th World Congress on Public Health
Moving Towards Global Health Equity: Opportunities and
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 23-27 April 2012
Official Congress website: click here.
Call for Abstracts (submission deadline: 21 October
2011): click here.
ASSEMBLY - 15 MAY 2011
The 45th Annual General Assembly of the WFPHA took
place on the 15th of May in Geneva. It was a pleasure to welcome 45 guests from
all over the world to the Graduate Institute (a WFPHA sustaining member
organization) for this event. Prof. Ulrich Laaser, WFPHA’s President, opened
the meeting by recalling the most important issues of 2010, looking forward
positively towards 2011, and with a reminder to all about the forthcoming 13th
World Congress on Public Health, to take place in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) in April
Joan Bell Davenport, formerly WFPHA’s Honorary
Treasurer, presented the Federation’s financial report for 2010. Following
this, an award was presented to her in recognition of her several years of
voluntary services to the Federation.
Joan Bell Davenport has received an award in in recognition of her several years of
voluntary services to the Federation.
Dr. Tewabech Bishaw, President of the Ethiopian Public
Health Association, presented a synopsis of activities and achievements
concerning the plans and preparation for the next World Congress. She extended
a warm invitation to all WFPHA member associations and their members to attend
this important triennial public health event.
Prof. Laaser informed the Assembly that the nomination by the EPHA of
Prof. Redha Tekla Haimanot, a renowned Ethiopian public health professional,
for the 2012 Leavell Lecturer Award had been confirmed by the WFPHA Executive
Board, and as well that the 2012 WFPHA Lifetime Achievement Award would be
conferred on Margaret Hilson, a former WFPHA President and long-time Director
of Global Health at the Canadian Public Health Association, in recognition of
her important contribution to the establishment and nurturing of public health
associations around the world. Prof.
Laaser then asked the members present to take a minute to remember Professor
Dogramaci, the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award winner, who passed away in 2010.
Rebecca Bailey, WFPHA’s designated Technical Officer
at WHO, presented an update on the achievements of the joint WHO-WFPHA
collaboration plan. She reminded the Assembly that the two-year collaborative
plan will come up for renewal in 2012. WFPHA is invited to begin
conceptualizing the elements for a renewed plan.
A special guest speaker, Dr. Attaran, Associate
Professor in the Faculties of Law and Medicine at the University of Ottawa
(Canada), made a very interesting presentation on the issue of counterfeit
medicines. He highlighted the need for an international treaty on this
important global public health issue, for which he will be advocating with
national government delegations at the 2011 World Health Assembly. He called on
the WFPHA and national Public Health Associations to take this issue seriously.
Several WFPHA business items were then presented to
the Assembly for its approval and information:
Assembly approved the recommendation of the Executive Board to accept the
Afghanistan National Public Health Association as a Full Member, and four
organizations (Dubai Health Authority, Association of Public Health Physicians
of Nigeria, Njala University Public Health Association of Sierra Leone and the
Taiwan Public Health Association) as Sustaining Members. The Assembly was
informed that the recommendation regarding the application for membership by
the Gambia Association of Public Health Officers was pending, awaiting
clarification by GAPHO about its organizational status; Persuant to a decision
taken last year, a second Executive Board seat for an African WFPHA member was
filled, with the election to the EB for a three-year term of the Public Health
Association of South Africa, represented by its President, Dr. Laetitia Rispel.
The vacant seat for the Americas region was filled with the election to the EB
for a three-year term of Brazilian Association for Collective Health (ABRASCO),
represented by its President, Dr. Luiz Augusto Facchini. The EB seat for the Eastern
Mediterranean region remains vacant;
• Markus Kaufmann of the Swiss Society of Public Health was elected as the new
Honorary Treasurer for a 2-year term, and Jacqueline de la Cruz approved by the
Assembly as the new auditor for 2011;
selection of the 2015 Congress host has been deferred. A selection committee
will be established over the summer and its recommendation will be announced to
WFPHA members in Autumn 2011;
Chauvin, WFPHA Vice-President and President-Elect and Chair of the Finance
Committee, made a brief presentation about the Federation’s 2011 budget, which
was subsequently approved by the Assembly;
resolutions were adopted. The first, on Armed Conflict and War, submitted by
the APHA, was approved with small revisions. The second resolution, on Prison
Health, submitted by the APHA and UKPHA, was accepted with the revisions as
recommended by the Policy Committee.
Reports from the Chairs of the four WFPHA Working
Groups were then presented. Dr. Peter Orris (APHA) made a brief presentation
about the activities and achievements of the Environmental Working Group, Dr.
Ehud Miron (IPHA) about the work of the Public Health Education Working Group,
and Debbie Klein-Walker (APHA) on behalf of the Global Health Equity Working Group.
Jim Chauvin presented the draft work plan received from Dr. Mike Daube (PHAA),
Chair of the WFPHA’s Tobacco Control Working Group.
The General Assembly concluded with a reminder that
the 2012 GA will take place on April 23, 2012, during the 13th World Congress
on Public Health. All WFPHA member associations are encouraged to attend. The
General Assembly was then closed officially by the WFPHA President, and
participants were invited to attend the WFPHA reception at the neighboring
History of science museum. Several
guests of honour attended, including Dr. David Butler-Jones, Chief Public
Health Officer of Canada, who was leading the Canadian delegation to the WHA.
A photo of WFPHA member association representatives in
attendance at the reception following the 2011 General Assembly:
Welcome to the new WFPHA Members
Afghanistan National Public Health Association (ANPHA)
ANPHA is Afghanistan’s first and only non-governmental
national association for public health. It aims to promote public health
objectives and evidence-based quality public health practice. ANPHA is
committed to advocating for public health system reform and communicating the
latest public health policies, innovations and practices. It supports
initiatives and emphasizes result-based approaches through the constitution of
a collaborative, powerful and credible national and international network. ANPHA joined the WFPHA in 2011 as a Full
Dubai Health Authority/Public Health Affair Department
DHA provides a quality healthcare system in Dubai by
setting and ensuring policies and strategies for healthcare in public and
private hospitals and clinics in Dubai. DHA works to ensure that public health
is protected and the quality of life is improved. It provides health strategy
for Dubai to meet future needs, ensures partnerships between public and private
health service providers, provides licensing and regulation across the Dubai
Health Sector and strives to increase the transparency and accountability of
the healthcare system in the emirate. DHA joined the WFPHA in 2011 as a
Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria
APHPN is a professional association made up of Public
Health/Community Health Physicians in Nigeria. APHPN’s aims and objectives are
promoting public health, community and allied medicine, maintaining the highest
standards and ethical practice of the health profession, promoting improvement
in the practice, training and research in public health and community medicine,
promoting improvement in the health of all people in Nigeria and expressing its
views on all proposed legislation and development plans affecting public
health, community medicine, and the medical and dental professions. APHPN
joined the WFPHA in 2011 as a Sustaining Member.
Njala University Public Health Association of Sierra
NUPHA is the first public health association in Sierra
Leone. NUPHA was officially launched in November 2010 as a not-for-profit
organization. The Association has become a major policy maker for the
government and people of Sierra Leon. NUPHA represents a broad array of health
professionals (Public health students and graduates as well as staffs of Njala
and non Njala University who are interested in public health). It main
objectives are to empower, develop, and promote Sierra Leonean public health
activities at both community and national level. It also aims to protect all
Sierra Leoneans from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure
that community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities become
universally accessible in Sierra Leone. NUPHA joined the WFPHA in 2011 as a
Taiwan Public Health Association (TPHA)
TPHA was founded in 1972 and currently has 180
institutional and 1,548 individual members. It brings together academics and
professionals from the field of public health in Taiwan to promote research and
development in public health, to provide a professional network for members,
and to improve the quality of health for all. TPHA publishes the Taiwan Journal
of Public Health bimonthly, and organizes an annual conference and academic
symposiums. The TPHA hosted the Asia Pacific Academic Consortium for Public
Health (APACPH) Conferences in 2005 and again in 2009. The TPHA became a WFPHA Sustaining Member in
REPORT FROM THE VIETNAM PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION
During 2010, the Vietnam Public Health Association
(VPHA), a WFPHA member since 2006, implemented with the five objectives of its
develop effective VPHA organizational structure at central, provincial and
2. To strengthen
the advocacy role of VPHA through supporting and promoting the practical use of
public health research in development and implementation of public health
policies and programs;
strengthen and develop VPHA affiliation capacities including the VPHA members
as well as other key professionals and decision makers in the field of health
promote resource mobilization and network with local and international public
health organizations as well as other related organizations; and,
provide timely and accurate information on public health policies, programs and
research through a wide range of dissemination channels.
Several public health interventions were carried out
in Provincial Public Health branches. These included a project to reduce the
health risks associated with exposure to Agent Orange in a hotspot located in
Da Nang province, a health promotion initiative for the elderly in Tien Hai
Thai Binh province, and the application of reproductive health policy for youth
in Dong Thap province. VPHA branches also conducted media campaigns on
different public health issues. VPHA also conducted a program to implement a
smoke-free policy in six provinces. The results from these initiatives were
used to advocate for a ban on fishing at a contaminated pond in the Da Nang
hotspot (approved by the district authorities), a provincial five-year plan for
youth reproductive health in Dong Thap and the implementation of a tobacco
control law to be enforced as of in 2012. Different trainings and capacity
building activities were also conducted for key staff of VPHA and provincial
Health promotion initiative for the elderly
Discussion on dioxin prevention
CALLS TO ACTION
Addressing the Challenge of Non-Communicable Diseases
In May 2010, the United Nations General Assembly
unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a high-level meeting to address
the global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). As a result, the UN will
convene on September 19 and 20 in New York City the world’s first High-Level
Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases.
The Summit will address the prevention and control of NCDs worldwide, focusing
on four major diseases (cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic
lung disease) and four common risk factors (tobacco, physical inactivity, poor
diet and harmful use of alcohol), with a particular focus on developmental and
other challenges and social and economic impacts. It is anticipated that the
meeting will generate global momentum and commitment to implement the Global Strategy
for the Prevention and Control of NCDs and its related 2008-2013 Action Plan.
Several NGOs and global coalitions, such as the NCD
Alliance and the NCD Action Network, have advocated over
the past few years for full commitment and action on this issue and for a
strong civil society voice to guide the decisions taken. In April 2011, the WHO
held in Moscow a one-day global forum Addressing the Challenge of
Noncommunicable Diseases as an opportunity for civil society to provide input
to the first global ministerial conference on healthy lifestyles and
non-communicable disease control (which took place immediately following the
Global Forum). The Forum’s participants provided the following advice to the
a) Many sectors, including those outside of the
conventional health sector, give that NCDs are not uniquely a health system
challenge, must be brought together to take action on this issue;
b) Leadership is needed, in Governments as well as
in/among NGOs, private sectors, general public;
c) Practical and realistic targets and benchmarks are
needed to measure progress; and,
d) Engagement of all stakeholders is necessary.
WFPHA was represented at the Global Forum and at the
Ministerial meeting on healthy lifestyles and NCD control by Dr. Andrey Demine,
President of the Russian Public Health Association. Details about the WHO
Global Forum are available here. The Moscow Declaration (the output from the
Ministerial meeting) can be accessed here.
On June 16, 2011, an informal interactive hearing with
non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, the private sector
and academia was held in New York City, to provide input to the preparatory
process for the UN Summit. The conclusions of the hearing reconfirmed the
conclusions drawn at the Moscow Global Forum. A few of the more important
points raised at the New York consultation included:
a) Countries should move urgently to prevent and
control NCDs to alleviate the significant social, economic and health impact
these diseases are having, which is now compromising development gains;
b) There is a strong consensus that NCDs are a
development issue and urgently need to be afforded greater priority in national
health and development plans, and a higher priority in government funding
c) The complex drivers of NCDs require
multi-stakeholder action, and countries should put in place a mechanism to
engage all the sectors needed for an effective response;
d) Addressing the key risk factors for NCDs will
require involvement of government, communities, civil society, non-government
organizations, academia and the private sector;
f) Countries should prioritize the implementation of
the most cost-effective population and individual level interventions to
prevent NCDs, some of which are in fact cost saving, to ensure they are getting
the best value for money from existing expenditure;
h) Countries should continue to strengthen NCD
surveillance and monitoring to inform and guide NCD policy and action at both
national and international levels; and,
j) The outcome document for the High-level Meeting
must have clear objectives and measurable indicators, supported by a monitoring
and evaluation function.
Details about this consultative meeting are available
on the website.
The WFPHA issued a Statement on Non-Communicable
Diseases (NCDs) during the WHO Executive Board’s 128th session held in Geneva
in January 2011. The Federation urges
that particular attention be paid to strengthening national public health
systems and functions of national health systems and expand the health sector
workforce. WFPHA also advocates for a strong civil society voice and the active
participation of national public health associations and allied groups in
national and global response to NCDs. The Federation will participate to the
High-level Meeting on NCDs in September and renew its engagement for reducing
the global burden of NCDs.
The WHO has published “Stop the global epidemic of
chronic disease: A practical guide to successful advocacy”. This manual is a
guide and practical tool for all advocates of chronic disease prevention and
It presents a simple seven-step plan for effective
advocacy, including identifying target audiences, developing key messages and
selecting implementation strategies.
This manual is part of a larger WHO advocacy toolkit
on preventing chronic disease.
Go to the manual
UN resolution on the prevention and control of
non-communicable diseases: An opportunity for global action
Hadii M. Mamudua, Joshua S. Yangb and Thomas E.
Go to the article
UN High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases:
addressing four questions
Robert Beaglehole, Ruth Bonita, George Alleyne,
Richard Horton, Prof Liming Li, Paul Lincoln, Jean Claude Mbanya, Martin McKee
, Rob Moodie, Sania Nishtai, Peter Piot, K Srinath Reddy, David Stuckler
Go to the article
Global health diplomacy: how foreign policy can
Ilona Kickbusch, director Global Health Programme,
Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Switzerland
BMJ 2011; 342:d3154 doi: 10.1136/bmj.d3154 (Published
10 June 2011)
four ways in which foreign policy and health can interact. Foreign policy can
endanger health when diplomacy breaks down or when trade considerations trump
health; health can be used as an instrument of foreign policy in order to
achieve other goals; health can be an integral part of foreign policy; and
foreign policy can be used to promote health goals. These approaches cannot
always be sharply differentiated and are better visualized as a continuum.
Health is an integral part of the global agenda
Health is on the radar of foreign policy because it
has become integral to three global agendas:
Security—driven by the fear of global pandemics or the
intentional spread of pathogens and an increase in humanitarian conflicts,
natural disasters, and emergencies
Economic—concerned not only with the economic effect
of poor health on development or of pandemic outbreaks on the global market
place but also the gain from the growing global market in health goods and
Social justice—reinforcing health as a social value
and human right, supporting the United Nations millennium development goals,
advocating for access to medicines and primary health care, and calling for
high income countries to invest in a broad range of global health initiatives.
Go to the article
WHO Bulletin reports on fetal alcohol syndrom
Since the term was coined about 40 years ago, fetal
alcohol syndrome has slowly become recognized as a public health issue.
Alicestine October reports from South Africa’s Western Cape Province, which has
the highest reported rate in the world.
Go to the article
The impact of user fees on access to health services
in low- and middle-income countries
Mylene Lagarde, Natasha Palmer
Department of Global Health and Development, London
School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 4.
Art. No.: CD009094. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009094.
The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley
& Sons, Ltd. April 2011
Following an international push for financing reforms,
many low- and middle-income countries introduced user fees to raise additional
revenue for health systems. User fees are charges levied at the point of use
and are supposed to help reduce
“frivolous” consumption of health services, increase quality of services
available and, as a result, increase utilization of services.
The review suggests that reducing or removing user
fees increases the utilization of certain healthcare services. However,
emerging evidence suggests that such a change may have unintended consequences
on utilization of preventive services and service quality.
The review also found that introducing or increasing
fees can have a negative impact on health services utilization, although some
evidence suggests that when implemented with quality improvements these
interventions could be beneficial.
Go to the article
United Nations High-level Meeting on noncommunicable
disease prevention and control
New York, USA, 19-20 September 2011
The four main noncommunicable diseases -
cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung diseases and diabetes - kill three
in five people worldwide, and cause great socioeconomic harm within all
countries, particularly developing nations.
The decision by the United Nations General Assembly to
convene a High-level Meeting on NCDs presents a unique opportunity for the
international community to take action against the epidemic, save millions of
lives and enhance development initiatives.
Details are available here.
World Conference on Social Determinants of Health
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 19-21 October 2011
The aim of the World Conference on Social Determinants
of Health is to bring Member States and other actors together to catalyze high
level political support for national policies to address social determinants of
health to reduce health inequities. Its specific objectives are to:
a) Strengthen political commitment by Member States to
develop and implement national policies on social determinants of health to
reduce health inequities;
b) Share experiences, challenges and technical
knowledge on addressing social determinants of health, taking into account the
need for strengthening governance arrangements and learning from different
Conference participation and outcome - The 'Rio
Details are available here.
Conference Welfare Development and Health
Copenhagen, Denmark, 10-12 November 2011
The European Public Health Conference aims to
contribute to the improvement of public health in Europe by offering a means
for exchanging information and a platform for debate to researchers, policy
makers, practitioners in the field of public health, public health training and
education and health services research in Europe.
“……Public health contributes to welfare by means of
health promotion, health protection, disease prevention and health services.
Such interventions represent investments in a better health and better life for
populations – a contribution to welfare. At the same time, they contribute to a
healthy labour force.
Read the brochure
Details are available here.
Global Alcohol Policy Conference
Bangkok, Thailand, 28-30 November 2011
The conference will mark an important milestone for
global alcohol control efforts following on from the endorsement of the WHO
Global Strategy on Alcohol in 2010. The conference will bring together leaders
from all over the world who are committed to working towards the development
and implementation of effective alcohol policy free from commercial influence.
It will provide an opportunity for policy makers, advocates, academics, and
campaigners to share and exchange their knowledge and experience. The conference
will also be a platform for developing a truly global network and for
discussing future efforts at the global level to reduce problems from alcohol.
Details are available on the here.
WHO Director (HQ/11/IER/FT220)
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