Adrian Te PatuAdrian Te Patu

The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) is pleased to announce the formation of its first Indigenous Working Group.

In April 2017, at the 15th World Congress on Public Health, over 40 Indigenous delegates at the Yarning Circle supported the formation of an Indigenous Working Group, which was ratified by the Governing Council of the WFPHA on the 15th of November 2017.
It is estimated that there are 370 million Indigenous People across 70 countries around the world, who often are a minority in their own country, and experience poorer health and lower life expectancy.
Michael Moore, President of the WFPHA, said “The formation of this group demonstrates the WFPHA commitment to working with Indigenous peoples from around the world to improve their health and wellbeing.”
The group will be co-chaired by Adrian Te Patu from New Zealand who is also a member of the Governing Council, and Carmen Parter from Australia who is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Vice President for the Public Health Association of Australia. Emma Rawson from New Zealand and Summer May Finlay from Australia are co-vice chairs.

“The Indigenous Working Group aims to assist in reducing the health disparity and inequities experienced by Indigenous people globally,” said Mr. Te Patu, who recognizes the “differences among Indigenous peoples but also our similarities which are the strengths of this group.”

The Working Group is underpinned by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, where self- determination is a key component; therefore the Indigenous Working Group will be led by Indigenous peoples.
“It is important to recognize that this group embodies Indigenous self-determination and will be led by Indigenous peoples,” said Mr. Moore.
“To address public health concerns among Indigenous peoples culturally appropriate solutions are required. The Governing Council understands that Indigenous Nations know what is required and have the skills and capacity to address the issues they face,” said Mr. Moore.

Carmen Parter, Co-Chair said “This is an opportunity for Indigenous peoples to come together to support each other and seek out research collaborations that develop the evidence base that informs global Indigenous public health policies.”
The Working Group’s objectives are: to bring together Indigenous peoples from around the world to share and learn from each other, engage in collective advocacy, partner with existing international groups working in Indigenous affairs, and source any funding or in-kind support to support the work of the Indigenous Working Group.
Indigenous members of WFPHA are invited to join the Working Group, with non-Indigenous people invited to join as associate members.

The Working Group hopes to hold its first face to face meeting in May 2018 at the WFPHA General Assembly in Geneva.

Please follow the Working Group on Twitter @IndigenousWFPHA.

PDF file here

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.

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Currently, 113 organizations that represent global health, human rights, consumer protection, and the medical field demand that Philip Morris International cease the production, marketing, and sale of cigarettes.  Tens of millions have died unnecessarily as a direct result of tobacco use.

In 1954, Philip Morris promised to “stop business tomorrow” if it became apparent that cigarettes are harmful to health.  Since then, an overwhelming amount of scientific proof has determined that there is no safe level of tobacco consumption and that cigarettes provide no necessary benefit to their consumers.  However, despite this evidence, sales and consumption continue.

The right to health and the right to life should be upheld. Thus given the deadly nature of tobacco smoke and the extremely addictive nature of nicotine, companies should immediately cease the actions that cause or contribute to the impacts.

Why do companies continue to sell these harmful products? The only possible explanation is that they feel they can still profit from doing so. That decision – to continue a business model that one has admitted is irresponsible – is unacceptable.  In addition, to continue profiting from a product that one knows will kill a significant proportion of their customers when used as intended is monstrous.

We all have it in our immediate power to change the fate of millions of people, perhaps hundreds of millions. Do the right thing by immediately ceasing the production, marketing and sale of cigarettes.

Read the full letter here.

 

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The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), World Medical Association (WMA), International Council of Nurses (ICN), and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) welcome the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which was adopted on July 7th, 2017.  This treaty includes 122 non-nuclear-weapon states.

The TPNW prohibits the development, testing, production, possession, stockpiling, use, or threatened use of nuclear weapons on the basis of their catastrophic health, environmental, and humanitarian impacts.  This is a significant step towards eliminating the most destructive weapons ever created.  

The TPNW parties must now work diligently and urgently in order to bring the nuclear-armed and nuclear-dependent states into compliance with this norm. We urge all states to sign the treaty after it opens for signature at the United Nations in New York on September 20th, 2017.  Thereafter, it must be ratified as soon as possible so it can enter into force.

As highlighted in the GlobalCharter, the WFPHA is committed to protecting the public. This includes protection from the health impacts of nuclear weapons. The WFPHA also call on governments 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 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

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