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The World Federation of Public Health Associations has signed the First Nations Wellbeing Statement.

A World Leaders Dialogue on Suicide Prevention for First Nations people was held at the World Congress on Public Health (WCPH) in Melbourne, Australia, on April 4th, 2017.

The Black Dog Institute and Australian Health Promotion Association sponsored this event. Richard Weston, the Chief Executive of Australian’s Healing Foundation, facilitated this event, which included presentations from leading global scholars and practitioners in suicide prevention.

This paper is an outcome of this World Leaders Dialogue on Suicide Prevention for First Nations people and is being presented to the hosts and partnering bodies of the WCPH, with the expectation that the actions are adopted into policy, and promoted by each organization.


At the 70th World Health Assembly, the WFPHA was more present than ever in what has been a very active year. The WFPHA delivered four statements to the WHA.

Statement 13.1: Human Resources for Health and Implementation of the Outcomes of the United Nations' High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth


WFPHA intern, Adam Thorburn, delivers Statement 13.1 on the importance of students and young professionals in the work place. The WFPHA has proved how much it values the engagement of young professionals. The Governing Council passed a resolution to create a dedicated position on its Council for a young professional to hold.

This statement encourages the WHO to engage young professionals, and see the numerous benefits that they bring to the work place, such as energy, creativity, and new ideas.

Statement 13.4: Evaluation and Review of the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property


President Michael Moore introduces how the Global Charter for the Public's Health can be implemented through the lens of the Melbourne Demand for Action.

WFPHA strives and encourages 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 well-being.

Statement 16.2: The Role of the Health Sector in the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management Towards the 2020 Goal and Beyond

Susan Wilburn, member of the Environmental Health Working Group, delivered statement 16.2, and endorsed 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. 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.

Statement 17K: Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anesthesia as a Component of Universal Health Coverage

This statement by the WFPHA Oral Health Working Group raises awareness 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. The WFPHA therefore urges for tax exemption for dental supplies and equipment for infection control and prevention.


Prominent public health, advocacy, and professional organizations have called on trade ministers from eleven remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership countries not to attempt to resurrect the deal at their meeting in Hanoi on May 21-22, 2017. The open letter is signed by the World Federation of Public Health Associations and leading health organizations from most of the non-US participating countries - including Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, whose governments are leading moves to revive the agreements since the U.S. withdrawal. The signatories reiterated concerns they and others had previously raised regarding the negative impacts of the Agreement on people's rights to health, access to affordable medicines, and the ability of governments to regulate health-damaging activities of corporations.
The petition, signed by the WFPHA, is available here


The President of WFPHA, Michael Moore, recently wrote a letter to the Prime Miniser of Canada, Justin Trudeau, on Canada’s proposed legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis. WFPHA applauds the Government of Canada’s decision to enact legislation to legalize the non-medical production, distribution, and use of cannabis. President Moore also states that legalizing cannabis does not mean ignoring the significant health risks associated with this substance. The legislation must recognize and consider the real risks associated with cannabis consumption, to ensure that it includes disease/injury prevention, harm reduction approaches, and the means/tools to prevent consumption among children and adolescents. What Canada does with respect to the legalization of cannabis will be an example for the world, and we at WFPHA hope it will be a positive role model.
To view the entire letter, please click here.


A two-day workshop for the Coalition of Partners Expert Meeting on Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services in Europe was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the 30th-31st of January 2017.
The meeting, organised by the WHO European office, aimed to accelerate progress towards the implementation of the European Action Plan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services by bringing together international public health community experts to discuss the formation of a coalition of partners to initiate the creation of a joint agenda for action. The World Federation of Public Health Associations, as represented by Prof Bettina Borisch and Dr Marta Lomazzi, actively participated in the meeting and presented the Global Charter for the Public’s Health to colleagues during a dedicated breakfast meeting on the second day of the workshop. During the meeting, Prof Borisch and Dr Lomazzi discussed the operationalisation of the Global Charter and how to set-up collaborations to help develop this project.


The agenda for action, with shared responsibility for its implementation, will be demand-driven by Member States and will focus on enabling public health services through the support of human and financial resources, organisation, and public health legislation. The coalition and its agenda will aim to support these services and public reform in Member States through the pooling of resources and expertise.


The Coalition of Partners developed a visual recording of their meeting and the agenda for action which addresses, 'which actions do we want to undertake together to support one another in strengthening public health services?'.To view this visual recording in detail, click here.


10th of January 2017, the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) wrote a letter to the Brazilian Government. The WFPHA, together with ABRASCO its Brazilian member, are urging the Government of Brazil to reconsider the PEC55 in regards to health and in particular to the consequences for the SUS.

December 15th, the Brazilian Senate voted a proposal of an amendment to the constitution (PEC55) that foresees a linear restriction to all public expenses until 2036. The public expenses will follow the annual inflation rate. This holds true for all sectors of the state budget. The health and educational systems are fundamentals of our societies; that is why in Brazil the Sistema Unico de Saude (SUS) has been introduced in 1988 into the constitution. The SUS is meant to provide a Universal Health Coverage (UHC), a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal agreed upon by all UN member states, for all Brazilian citizens.

Putting health and education at the same level as other fields is not consistent with the wishes of the people and the needs of society. The approach foreseen in the amendment to the PEC55 will have disastrous consequences for Brazil as a whole country.


On the 14th and 15th of December, 2016, Prof Bettina Borisch and Dr Marta Lomazzi, representing the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), attended a two-day High-Level Ministerial Meeting in Geneva with Governments, professional associations, civil society and the private sector to discuss and commit to action the recommendations of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth


The Report of the High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, launched by the Commission chairs François Hollande and Jacob Zuma, outlines actions which will utilise the projected creation of approximately 40 million new health worker jobs by 2030, whilst addressing the current shortfall of 18 million health workers to achieve and sustain universal health coverage, primarily in low to middle income countries.

Through 28 statements, an increase in investments in the health workforce at the national, regional and global levels was highlighted by a range of multi-sectoral actors, including ministers of education, health and labour, ambassadors and representatives from the permanent missions to the United Nations, and multilateral and bilateral organisations. The Meeting, although largely focused on primary care, was a successful forum for all attendees to participate and state their commitment to health employment and economic growth. Participants and delegates of the Ministerial Meeting agreed to a five-year action plan, which presents an inter-sectoral joint program and sets out ways to support Member States as they implement the Commission’s recommendations. The action plan will be further consulted on through the World Health Organisation, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Labour Organisation.

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