WFPHA and its Members influence international health policy through the development and implementation of Policy Resolutions and other advocacy initiatives. In particular, the WFPHA has been making advocacy through the Global Charter on Public Health
 
WFPHA has led the NGO community at Alma Ata in endorsing the concept of primary health care, urged linking health with economic development strategies, raised awareness of the health consequences of landmines and nuclear weapons, engaged as an active NGO participant in the negotiations leading up to the passage of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and is committed to providing leadership in efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
 
Since 1978 WFPHA has passed many Resolutions and 4 Position Papers that have been classified as Environmental, Global, Globalization and Trade, Peace and Weapons, Tobacco or Diverse issues.
 
For more information about the policies development process, click here.
 
For more information about the definition of WFPHA Resolutions, Position Papers and Technical Paper, click here.
 
Endorsement requests should be addressed to the WFPHA Headquarters and to the Chair of the Policy Committee at least 7 days before the endorsement deadline. For more information, click here.

 

Declarations

The Kolkata Call to Action

The 14th World Congress on Public Health on February 15, 2015 in Kolkata, India with delegates gathered from 70 countries around the globe called upon health care providers, government leaders, and all representatives of civil society to take urgent action to mitigate environmental conditions that are contributing to the deaths and diseases of millions of inhabitants of our small planet. Read the Kolkata Call to Action.

The Addis Ababa Declaration

At the conclusion of the 13th World Congress on Public Health, held 22 – 27 April 2012 in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), the WFPHA issued the Addis Ababa Declaration, a call on Global Health Equity.

The Istanbul Declaration

WFPHA’s Istanbul Declaration. At the conclusion of the 12th World Congress on Public Health, held 18 – 23 April 2009 in Istanbul (Turkey), the WFPHA issued the Istanbul Declaration, a call for Health as a basic Human Right.

Statements

Latest Statements

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!

Previous Statements

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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