Global Tobacco Control
Global Tobacco Control
This project was designed as a volunteer-led effort that originated after WFPHA’s 8th International Congress on Public Health held in Arusha, Tanzania in 1997. At the Congress, representatives from the Tanzanian Public Health Association expressed a keen interest in the issue of tobacco control and urged WFPHA to develop an initiative to combat the global tobacco crisis. Following the Congress, a Project Paper was developed, and subsequently, in 1999, a project effort was launched under the leadership of Professor Theodor Abelin.
Also in 1999, WHO launched its own effort to draft, negotiate, and approve an international treaty on global tobacco control, WHO’s first ever treaty initiative for global public health, named the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Between 1999 and 2003 WHO held a number of negotiation sessions under an Intergovernmental Negotiating Body in which WFPHA participated.
Additionally, WFPHA associated closely with the Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control (FCTC), a consortium of international NGOs engaged on global tobacco control. In May 2001, WFPHA organized its first international workshop on the topic of global tobacco control prior to the World Health Assembly. WFPHA also took the initiative with other leading public health organizations in promoting a petition for public health professionals to demonstrate their own support for the FCTC, thereby generating greater interest and support for the convention in countries throughout the world.
In February 2005, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control entered into force and got over 165 signatories and more than 65 parties (parties are countries that have ratified the FCTC and are obligated to implement its directives). WFPHA continues to support efforts to encourage ratification worldwide as well as implementation in countries where ratification has taken place.
The Conference of the Parties has decided to maintain the observer status of the WFPHA.
In 2001, WFPHA and the Colgate Palmolive Company signed a Memorandum of Understanding that launched the WFPHA/Colgate Palmolive joint Handwashing Program. With the support of Colgate Palmolive, this program was established to promote effective hygiene practices for healthy living in developing countries. The program will be undertaken in countries that have both a WFPHA Member Association and a Colgate Palmolive office and will provide the opportunity for WFPHA Member Associations to organize and implement an important public health campaign to benefit the local population while also gaining greater visibility in their countries.
HIV / AIDS
WFPHA began its HIV/AIDS initiative with the organization and sponsorship of a workshop held in 2002 on the topic of HIV/AIDS Treatment in Low Resource Settings. At the conclusion of the workshop, WFPHA issued 9 formal recommendations regarding treatment for HIV/AIDS patients. In addition, WFPHA also stated its commitment to contributing to global efforts to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
In 2004, at WFPHA’s 10th International Congress on Public Health in Brighton, UK, a Global Action Session was held entitled “Public Health Challenges to HIV/AIDS Treatment.” Participants in the Global Action Session issued specific recommendations for WFPHA and its Members.
Human Resources for Health
WFPHA has developed a stronger interest in and commitment to Human Resources for Health (HRH). WFPHA’s interest in this topic coalesced with the publication of the landmark report, Human Resources for Health: Overcoming the Crisis, published by the Joint Learning Initiative in late 2004. This report concluded a three-year effort by different teams of experts, academicians, and policy makers that studied the crisis in human resources for health and made recommendations for addressing the crisis. Additionally, WFPHA supported its national Members as they seek to address this issue. One key objective in many countries was to develop strategic workforce plans and national public health associations to help in making sure that such plans would be developed and implemented.
This subject have received greater attention in 2006 as the theme of the World Health Day in April and also of the WHO’s Annual Report. Furthermore, 2006 marked the beginning of a decade of Human Resources in Health to culminate in 2015.
Millennium Development Goals
The Public Health Associations / Schools of Public Health Alliance
for Advancing the Millennium Development Goals
The alliance between PHAs and SPHs began in 2004 at WFPHA’s 10 th International Congress held in England. At this time, two have joined: ASPHER, the Association for Schools of Public Health in the European Region and ALAESP, the Latin American and Caribbean Association of Education in Public Health.
Given the increased interest and focus on the Millennium Development Goals, WFPHA has been compelled to identify steps to promote its new alliance under the framework of the MDGs. Furthermore, in order to give life to its new membership configuration, WFPHA held several sessions and meetings to explore ways to strengthen the alliance between PHAs and SPHs.
In 2004, WFPHA held a session on the new PHA-SPH alliance and also issued a Declaration at the World Health Assembly followed by a workshop on the alliance for the Annual Meeting of the Mexican Society for Public Health and by a Statement. Another workshop was held in 2005 in Costa Rica to carry forward plans and efforts to make the alliance a reality.
Persistent Organic Pollutants
The Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Project at WFPHA has existed for several years. In May 2000, WFPHA published a monograph as part of the project entitled, “Persistent Organic Pollutants and Human Health.” The POPs Convention, also known as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, was adopted by the United Nations Environment Program in 2001 and entered into force in May 2004. At this time, WFPHA remains committed to supporting efforts related to the POPs Project.
Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable DiseasesDuring the WHO Executive Board 128th session (2011), the WFPHA supported by the International Federation of medical Student’s Associations (IFMSA) and by the Global Alcohol Policy alliance (GAPA) stood ready to assist the tasks of preparing for the September meeting and requested that WHO and its Members ensure that the voice of public health professionals and practitioners, through their international association, is heard during the preparations and deliberations. Specifically, the World Federation urged that during the process particular consideration is paid to the three key issues of strengthening national public health systems or public health functions of national health systems, enhancing the numbers, training and competence of the workforce responsible for public health functions both within and outside the health sector in all countries and establishing flourishing national associations of public health professionals where they do not exist strengthening them further where they do (Statement).
The SOPHA Program celebrated 25 years (1985 – 2010). The Strengthening of Public Health Associations (SOPHA) Program has been the flagship of the Canadian Public Health Association’s global public health portfolio for 25 years. Over this period, CPHA has helped the establishment and nurture the organizational development of public health associations in over 30 locations around the world. For more information see SOPHA Publication (English and French Versions).