Latest Statements

Digital Technologies in Public Health. Statement of the WFPHA to the 71st World Health Assembly of the World Health Organisation.

71st World Health Assembly, 21 – 26 May 2018

11.6 Global strategy and action plan on public health, innovation and intellectual property

The WFPHA salutes the global strategy and plan of action on innovation and intellectual property (A71/13). The research and development capacities should also include, clinical trials and disease oriented activities, particularly those with a focus on health and well-being rather than on diseases.

Additionally, the WFPHA acknowledges the efforts for mHealth, (EB142/20) use of appropriate digital technologies for public health. The goal to reach health for all will inevitably utilize digital technologies, as we seek to integrate emerging technologies into our health systems.

If public health practitioners and institutions embrace technology – as they must do in response to consumer market demands – we have to be aware of how they’re applied across different models of society. Public health must build and maintain the trust of the public by ensuring individual rights and privileges are preserved. In using data for research, public health must also address ethical considerations with the responsible use of “big data” in the interests of the public’s health.

In general, we already know about the accomplishments, limitations, and consequences (both intended and unintended) of using these technologies in public health and clinical medicine. As the digital technology industry continues to grow, all public health professionals should be fully aware of the effects and examine the pressures that can indirectly influence their basic values.

Engaged stakeholders in the realm of public health have the responsibility to take a proactive role and express the views of the society we seek to protect. Our vision is for a society where technology enhances access and equity towards health for all.

Statement published @ WHO Webpage https://extranet.who.int/nonstateactorsstatements/content/world-federation-public-health-associations-5


WFPHA Joint Statement on Antimicrobial Resistance

The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) has committed to addressing global health issues that require an innovative, collaborative, and multidisciplinary approach. The WFPHA recognizes the threat antimicrobial resistance poses to human health, and the burden it has on the systems that designed to for ensuring positive health outcomes for all. Therefore, we have worked strategically to implement a new framework which has been developed in collaboration and consultation with the WHO called the Global Charter for the Public’s Health. The WFPHA is organizing a workshop called the International Global Health & Antimicrobial Resistance Workshop in 2018 to analyze this treat through the Global Charter lens. This is a workshop that will provide guidance and insight to face antimicrobial resistance through the sharing of knowledge and development of innovative ideas.
Our support on the Joint Statement on Antimicrobial Resistance along with other civil society organizations is unequivocal. We agree that civil society plays a key role in combating AMR through an integrative, and collaborative approach on AMR-One Health policy making and the AMR Action Plan. Civil society members must work together by sharing information, research, ideas, and hosting events to raise awareness if we plan to have an effective impact on this global problem. We support the development and implementation of the National Action Plans and we plan to mobilize our global members to raise awareness on this issue. We recognize that the action against AMR requires significant investment in the overall schematic of a countries health system. We support the plan for the establishment of a dedicated European AMR fund to support Member States efforts. The development of the Global Charter for the Public’s Health conceptually shares very similar characteristics and concepts with the One Health approach. We cannot ignore the relevance of animal health and its influence on the dichotomy between human health and the environment. While utilizing this approach, it is vital for civil society and other stakeholders to adequately regulate and disseminate AMR data. Transparency during collaborations among groups will limit redundancy and wasting of resources on ineffective approaches. The AMR workshop planned for May 23rd as mentioned will create an environment for this transparency, and exchange of best practices among those in attendance. This will include members from the World Farmers Organization, Global Fund, WHO, GARDP to name a few. The role of health professionals are vital in this collaborative effort to mitigate the impact of AMR. Health associations such as ICN, FIP, WMA, and WONCA will be at this workshop interacting with a broad audience of CEOs and presidents of national and regional Public Health Associations worldwide from LIC, MIC and HIC. Here at the WFPHA we are in unified support with the other organizations on this Joint Statement and will continue to empower our members to implement the needed prevention strategies that will eliminate the threat AMR poses to the global society today.

Read the Call to Action

Read the AMR Joint Statement


Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Statement of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) to the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO)

142th session of the WHO Executive Board, Geneva, 22 - 27 January 2018

3.7 Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property

The WFPHA is the only worldwide non-governmental representation of public health professionals whose prime focus is to promote and strengthen public health at the local, national and global level.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC), as part of Universal Health Care, has been on the public health agenda since the declaration of Alma Ata in 1978. The quest for UHC has been reiterated on many occasions since with the most recent being the Tokyo Declaration of 2017.

UHC is technically and financially feasible and is already working effectively in low, middle and high income countries. UHC is based on a political decision and, therefore, needs political will. There are social, economic, and political preconditions for UHC to be a realistic political goal including: a sufficient tax revenue base to finance public goods, a relatively equitable society, as well as legislative and institutional structures.

To achieve and maintain UHC the WFPHA, together with WHO, has elaborated four enablers in the Global Charter for the Public’s Health (Charter). They are capacity building, good governance, accurate information and effective advocacy.

We call upon the WHO to fully embrace the Charter’s functions of protection, prevention and health promotion as well as the four enablers as a way of creating the preconditions for UHC.

The WFPHA stands ready to mobilize our members worldwide to accelerate political leadership for UHC. Every country faces a unique policy context, but we will enhance cross-country “learning” through our world-wide membership. We will support the WHO in its norm-setting functions and in its assistance to implement policies. To do so, we call upon the WHO, its member states, and the related UN-organisations to openly support what is a fundamentally political process.

Management and governance solutions should be consistent with the values of the citizens they serve. We call for implementation of the Charter to focus on systemic approaches for strengthening health systems to deliver UHC.

Previous Statements

STATEMENT TO THE WPRO ON BEHALF OF THE WFPHA

WFPHA President Michael Moore, made a statement to the Western Pacific Region of the WHO (WPRO) on behalf of the WFPHA during the week of October 9-13, 2017.

Chairperson, Excellences, Distinguished Colleagues,

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and pay my respects to their elders past and present.

WFPHA is an NGO composed of multidisciplinary national PHAs. This year we celebrate 50 years of bringing together PHAs globally to advocate for better public health.

We believe that health systems and public health functions should be treated as global public goods. This goal can be achieved through political, social, environmental and economic change across all sectors for better and more sustainable health.

Health Promotion is one of three goals along with Protection and Prevention. Our vision for health, A Global Charter for the Public’s Health, was developed in collaboration with WHO, and in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The World Federation works with public health professionals and over 100 of their associations worldwide for better health outcomes for all and to improve and sustain planetary health.

We strive ourselves, and we encourage others, to fully apply the mechanisms available to government, industry, private enterprise, academia and civil society to embrace health promotion, prevention and protection. In line with the SDGs we endeavor to promote equity and social inclusion and work with others to protect the health of our planet as fundamental to human health. Harnessing knowledge, skills and priorities through strong community engagement is fundamental to achieving these goals.


Public health is dependent on many sectors. We call on all governments to work with a wide range of professionals to immediately develop further public health functions and quality health and other systems as global public resources.
We call on you to hold all sectors accountable for the health impacts of all policies and actions, consistent with their responsibilities in striving to achieve the reality and the intent of the SDGs


A Global Charter for the Public’s Health

World Health Assembly, Geneva, 22-27 May 2017
13.4 Evaluation and Review of the global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property

World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) speaking note

We acknowledge the contribution of indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups and the injustices committed against them throughout the world and the impact on their health and well-being and we pay respect to their elders past and present.

Chairperson, Excellences, and Distinguished Colleagues,

The WFPHA is an NGO composed of multidisciplinary national public health associations that this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary of bringing together public health associations globally to advocate for better public health.

We believe that health systems and public health functions should be treated as global public goods; this goal is to be achieved through political, social, environmental and economic change across all sectors for better and more sustainable health.

We build our vision for a healthier world on Protection, Prevention and Health Promotion as set out in the WFPHA’s A Global Charter for the Public’s Health, developed in collaboration with WHO, and in the context of the UN SDGs.

We work with public health professionals and those organizations that represent them to reorient systems and strengthen ties for better health outcomes for all and to improve and sustain planetary health.

We strive ourselves, and encourage others, to fully apply the mechanisms available to government, industry, private enterprise, academia and civil society to protect the public’s health, embrace prevention and promote health and wellbeing. We endeavor to make full use of social innovation and interactive technologies to encourage and support governments, civil society, academia and corporates to promote equity and social inclusion and to protect the health of our planet as fundamental to human health. These goals may be achieved by harnessing the knowledge, skills and priorities of our diverse populations through strong community engagement.

We call on all governments to enable professionals from all sectors that influence public health and their organizations to carry out their work to immediately develop further public health functions and quality health systems as global public resources.

We call on you to hold all sectors accountable for the health impacts of their policies and actions, consistent with the intent of the social determinants of health and their responsibilities to strive to achieve the SDGs.

Thank you!


Call to exempt tax on dental supplies and equipment for infection control and prevention

World Health Assembly, Geneva, 22-27 May 2017
Agenda point 17 K - Strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anesthesia as a component of universal health coverage

Chairperson, Excellences, and Distinguished Colleagues,
WFPHA is an NGO composed of multidisciplinary national public health associations with an oral health group.

The WHO Global Oral Health Programme has worked hard to put oral health high on the health agenda of policy and decision-makers in the world and has emphasized the importance of an integrated disease prevention approach. Universal oral health care provision is an essential goal in public health to increase the access to appropriate and timely oral health care for all. However, the quality and safety of healthcare must be assured regardless of various global healthcare settings to achieve the basic principle of health care: do no harm.

The WFPHA OHWG is aware that people in poor and marginalized communities, especially in low-income countries, may not be able to access or afford dental care which is provided to internationally acceptable standards of infection control. Policymakers and corporates need to work together to ensure safe dental treatment available and affordable for people from all income levels.

Breakdowns of infection prevention and control can occur when proper sterilization and monitoring fail or unsafe injection practices occur. While science, evidence and open resources are available, actual changes happen only with coordinate efforts and political interests to connect those available resources. This approach fitting with WFPHA Global Charter for the Public’s Health Prevention and Promotion core services as well with the good Governance and Advocacy enabler functions.

The WFPHA therefore urges for tax exemption for dental supplies and equipment for infection control and prevention. Safe dentistry should be available and affordable. Local and national governments should provide practical resources to healthcare facilities that provide dental services in partnership with international organizations and corporate partners. This shall be the beginning of a process embracing the development of protecting strategies providing integrated preventive solutions.

Thank you!


WFHA Young professional Statement

World Health Assembly, Geneva, 22-27 May 2017
13.1 Human resources for health and implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations’ High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth

Chairperson, Excellences, and Distinguished Colleagues,

As the Commission on Health Employment is considered, the WFPHA in collaboration with the International Pharmacy Students Federation calls on the WHO and delegates to the WHA to engage the next generation in planning for health employment.

The WFPHA is an international NGO composed of multidisciplinary public health associations. In this year, 2017, it is celebrating its 50th anniversary of advancing the collective voice of public health. As it looks backwards on the progress in the past 50 years it also looks forward.

Last year, the WFPHA took a big step forward in action on the engagement of young professionals. The Governing Council passed a resolution to create a dedicated position on its governing council for a young professional to hold.

Engagement of young professionals in planning brings with it numerous benefits. It is not merely a manner of training individuals from the next generation, but genuine engagement of young professionals in public health planning also adds energy and creativity that only those newer to the field can bring.

Certain WHA member states include a youth delegate among their official delegation to the World Health Assembly. For those member states that do not yet have youth delegates, the WFPHA encourages this.

For the WHO, engagement of young professionals must be considered across all aspects of health employment planning. Regard to equitable planning should also include gender, racial, geographic and income-level perspectives in the discourse. Engaging those who will be leading health systems of the future is the only way for planning to have a lasting impact. Beyond this, it is hoped that new ideas will be generated that may otherwise be overlooked.

Dear Director-General and delegates, we call upon you to engage young professionals in the future of planning for health employment.

Thank you!


WFHA Statement on the Role of the health sector in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals

World Health Assembly, Geneva, 22-27 May 2017
Agenda 16.2 The Role of the health sector in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management towards the 2020 goal and beyond

Honourable Chairperson, Distinguished Delegates,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the World Federation of Public Health Associations Environmental Health Working Group. The WFPHA is an international NGO composed of over 100 multidisciplinary public health associations. In this year, 2017, it is celebrating its 50th anniversary of advancing the collective voice of public health. As it looks backwards on the progress in the past 50 years it also looks forward.

WFPHA welcomes and endorses the WHO Road map on chemicals which contributes to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in many areas including goal 3) health, 6) water and sanitation and 12) chemicals and waste.

The organization of the Road Map to identify roles of stakeholders including Civil Society provides a comprehensive, inclusive framework that encourages the involvement of all health actors in chemical safety.

We are pleased to see that the road map addresses chemical hazards in health care settings to protect health workers and patients from harm. WFPHA believes that the overall goal should focus on hazard reduction and aim at continuously improving the safety of chemicals, and not only managing hazardous chemicals safely.

Engaging the health sector is paramount to assess the health impacts of chemical exposures, prevent and safely manage chemicals to reduce chemicals harmful exposure to human health and environment.

We stand ready to work together with WHO and Member States to build capacity among public health professionals for the effective implementation of the Road map to enhance health sector engagement in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management towards the 2020 goal and beyond.


Global Charter for the Public’s Health: a road map for collaborative global actions

World Health Assembly, Geneva, 23-28 May 2016

Agenda point 16.1 Health workforce and services

Chairperson, Excellences, and Distinguished Colleagues,

The WFPHA is an international, nongovernmental organization composed of multidisciplinary national public health associations.

Political leaders increasingly perceive health as being crucial to achieving growth, development, equity and stability throughout the world. This understanding and increasing globalization means it is very timely to review the role of (global) public health in this changing societal and political environment.

Resilient public health systems are needed locally to globally and within each country. However, the current reality consists of fragmented, variable and incomplete public health services and functions, with little common understanding of what a good public health service looks like.

In this context, WFPHA has developed the A Global Charter for the Public’s Health (GCPH) as the main output of its collaboration plan with the World Health Organization (WHO) to adapt today’s public health to its global context in the light of and in conjunction with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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 to work with other Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), training and research institutions, civil society and governments to plan and implement strategies for better health outcomes across the globe.

This is the beginning of a process embracing the conceptualization of global public health and the development of strategic capacities for all professionals that will be part of a new health era, more dedicated to preventive solutions.

Dear Madame Director-General, we call upon you to assist us in this process up to the adoption of a WHO action plan on public health functions, based on the A Global Charter for the Public’s Health.

Thank you!


Integration of oral health into primary health care and public health systems

World Health Assembly, Geneva, 23-28 May 2016

Agenda point 16.1 Health workforce and services

World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) speaking note

Chairperson, Excellences, and Distinguished Colleagues,

The WFPHA is an international, nongovernmental organization composed of multidisciplinary national public health associations with an oral health working group.

The World Health Organization Global Oral Health Programme has worked hard over the years to put oral health high on the health agenda of policy and decision-makers in the world and has emphasized the importance of an integrated disease prevention approach. Oral diseases have common risk factors with other major chronic and non-communicable diseases and can be addressed through the integration of oral health within public health systems.

The WFPHA is aware that to recognize oral health as an integral part of overall health, public health care systems globally must include a comprehensive approach to oral health using the following strategies: integration of oral health into primary health care systems, mechanisms for inter-professional collaboration, community based prevention, and oral health promotion among all healthcare providers.

If we are to achieve this aim, we need to train a cadre of public health leaders, champions who can drive forward progressive agendas and spearhead systemic change at local, national and global levels, mobilizing a genuine political acknowledgement of, engagement with and leadership for the public’s health supported by a global public health system integrating oral health.

The WFPHA therefore urges that particular attention is paid to addressing this problem through high-level continuous education and training of leaders who can implement strategies and advocate for better oral health. This shall be the beginning of a process embracing the development of strategic capacities for all professionals that will be part of a new health era, more dedicated to common integrated preventive solutions.

Thank you!


Statement by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) and the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) on the Refugee Crisis

FACTS AND CONCERNS

 1. The world is witnessing large movements of refugees and migrants across international borders. Now an exceptional and growing number of refugees are arriving in Europe.

2. By definition this crisis is not confined within the borders of any particular country, and urgent action is required to cope with the health needs of the refugees and to tackle the causes of additional and unnecessary suffering associated with their flight across Europe.

3. So far, policies towards asylum-seekers in European countries have been partly characterized by violations of basic human rights and infringements of the UN Refugee Convention.

4. Individual responses have proven to be inefficient and unfair. The European Union could and should provide a framework of shared values, agreements and resources in which policies and actions are designed and implemented. However, the EU is failing to provide leadership in the grave crisis facing both the refugees and the principles that inspired the original movement towards European unity.

5. The lack of a unified European emergency response together with the implementation of diverse measures by individual countries is exacerbating the situation and threatening the wellbeing of the refugees.

POSITION

The WFPHA and EUPHA:

• Endorse the WHO’s call for a systematic public health response and UNHCR’s demand for the immediate creation of logistic facilities to deal with the needs of asylum-seekers in their transit from countries of origin to refuge in European countries.

• Call for the implementation of essential public health measures that include: emergency services, access to care during pregnancy and childbirth, vaccination against communicable diseases, paediatric facilities, medication and care for chronic conditions, as well as mental and social health intervention.

• Demand that special attention is paid to gender-based violence including rape and reproductive health issues.

• Emphasize that as a region with resources and democratic traditions, the European Union has a responsibility to behave in a way that is exemplary and to provide a model of good practice in order to manage the refugee crisis with generosity and solidarity.

• Request the public health associations involved (in the countries of origin, transit and wherever the refugees settle) to share knowledge, information and advocacy tools in order to strengthen their influence in favour of refugee health and wellbeing.

• Invite public health associations to collaborate with institutions and NGOs by sharing their knowledge and experience. Such activities include offering relevant surveillance information and training on the public health aspects of the crisis to health-care workers providing medical care for refugees.

• Encourage public health associations to advocate through mass media and other methods of influence for the protection and promotion of the human rights of the refugees as well as those of the host communities. Advocacy actions should also contribute to the provision of accurate information on health risks as well as fair consideration of refugees in order to avoid any discrimination and stigma. 


WFPHA Statement @ 68th World Health Assembly, Geneva, 18-26 May 2015

Agenda point 17.5 Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property

There is indeed a need for a global strategy and plan of action on public health. To link such a strategy to innovation and intellectual property is interesting. However, the current global strategy and plan of action is all about intellectual property and very little about the wider issues of innovation and public health. You may therefore wish to consider to revise both the innovation and the public health parts of it, or simply change the name and promise that you will also develop a strategy and outline the much needed action and innovation that reflect the role of public health in a rapidly changing globalised world.

Dear Madame Director-General, we need a serious global debate on the role of public health and we have promised you to assist you in steering this. We have engaged our over 100 national public health associations, and are currently discussing the new roles we have to assume, and the needed changes within our constituencies with regard to education and recruitment of public health personnel.

What we know already: We need people trained in intersectoral work, in health in all policies, in global health diplomacy. Public health needs to be fully integrated within health systems. Having IHR functions and surveillance and monitoring functions apart from health systems - we all have learned this during the Ebola crisis - has aggravated the weakness of the health systems in the three affected countries.

We call on you, Member States, to lead a much needed debate within your countries on what sort of public health you need and want. And we call on you to bring this debate to a future session of the Assembly.

We need a global strategy and plan of action on public health that really deserves this title. We are about to finalise a comprehensive and flexible “Global Framework for Public Health” to strengthen public health services and health security. This should be used as one of the information documents when tabling this agenda item in the future.


Support for WHO evidence-based publication on electronic cigarettes

The World Federation of Public Health Associations strongly supports the evidence-based position taken by the World Health Organization (WHO) following publication of its report on the issue of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), more commonly known as electronic cigarettes – or e-cigarettes.

To read the full statement, click here.


Oral Health of the Demented and cognitively impaired elders

The WFPHA Oral Health Working Group issued a statement, jointly elaborated with the International Council of Nurses, during the 67th World Health Assembly held in Geneva in May 2014.

The WFPHA OHWG is aware that one overlooked problem in the group of older adults relates to poor oral hygiene. Oral health is a frequently neglected aspect of general (public) health. The prevalence of dementia is increasing worldwide. It is increasingly evident that because those who are demented frequently have difficulty in communicating with their carers (caretakers), they often suffer unnecessarily. This resolution seeks to address one aspect of this problem, which relates to poor oral health in the elderly.

With this statement, the WFPHA OHWG therefore urges that particular attention is paid to addressing this problem at all levels, with the active participation of national public health associations and allied groups, in a national and global response to raising awareness of the problem and ensuring that carers (caretakers) are trained to prevent it and do so.

To read the statement, click here.


NCDs statement

The WFPHA issued a statement on Non-Communicable Diseases 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.

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