WFPHA Newsletter September 2014

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In this Newsletter:







1. Joint WFPHA/AFPHA Statement on Ebola Outbreak

The World Federation of Public Health Associations and the African Federation of Public Health Associations have issued a statement to call on mobilizing public health resources and revitalizing primary health care for a sustainable response to the current Ebola situation and public health emergencies.

After having expressed their solidarity with the people in the countries affected directly by the Ebola outbreak, the WFPHA and AFPHA have called for different interventions to face the epidemic:
1. Call upon the African Union to remind Member States with a strong voice about the urgency to operationalize the framework for implementation of the Ouagadougou Declaration on primary health care and the health systems in Africa, developed by WHO AFRO in 2010 to strengthen their institutional capacity to act on the social determinants of health in a concerted manner, to take care effectively the double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases while preparing for the risk management of the disease outbreaks such as cholera and Ebola which have become recurrent and devastating;
2. Call upon all National Public Health Associations to get involved in national and inter-African efforts to respond and contain the epidemic;
3. Appeal to all African countries, all African organizations and the international community for a greater solidarity with the countries directly affected and at risk;
4. Encourage African countries, friends of African countries and organizations as well as WHO to intensify efforts to contain the advance of the epidemic with full respect of human rights and ethical practice;
5. Call upon National governments to develop and implement strategies and tools including adequate resource allocation which enhance disaster/emergency response risk management so as to improve the capacity of national health care systems to respond to public health emergencies, such as Ebola.
6. Call upon sister health professions’ federations worldwide for an active solidarity in terms of their capacity-building and technical support and those of their member associations in the fight against public health emergencies like the Ebola epidemic.

To read the statement click on the corrsponding language:

English - French






2. Important achievements of the African Federation of Public Health Associations

African Federation of Public Health Associations @ First IGAD International Scientific Conference on Health

The African Federation of Public Health Associations (AFPHA) established in Yamoussoukro, Cote D’Ivoire by 24 African National Public Health Associations of different African Countries is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Since August 2013, the Federation is partnering with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

IGAD in collaboration of the African Federation of Public Health Associations has planned to organize an International Scientific Conference in Addis Ababa, from 3 to 6 December 2014. While the Scientific Conference will be on different issues, the AFPHA is responsible for its preparation and realization. The theme of the conference is “Innovative approach for equitable access to RH, HIV and AIDS services, among Pastoralists, Cross Border and Mobile Populations” focusing on three broad areas:

1)            HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

2)            Other infectious diseases of high significance and relevance to members states

3)            Non-communicable diseases (diabetes, hypertension, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and the like).

The conference will give special emphasis to people living in hard-to-reach geographical areas. These include nomadic/pastoral communities, cross-border, refugees, and internally displaced people.

The conference, the first of its kind for IGAD Countries and AFPHA, was officially launched in the presence of the Ethiopian government representative Mr Meskele Lera, IGAD Ms Fathia Alwan and AFPHA Dr Tewabech Bishaw.


Conference launching ceremony


For a successful preparation of the aforementioned conference, the AFPHA has formed a scientific committee composed of three working groups, namely I) Pastoralists, II) Cross boarder and III) Policy and Practice chaired by prominent experienced professionals from the host country, AFPHA and other African countries.


Pastoralist working group


Cross Border working group



Policy and practice working group


Policy and practice working group


So far the Scientific Committee has had two consultative meetings in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The first composed of Host Country Scientific Committee members and the second including the international counter parts from all IGAD member Stats. The purpose of these two meetings was to discuss and finalize the conference programs such as: Conference name, conference theme, conference logo, promotion.


Consultative meeting on the 1st IGAD International Conference on Health


The scientific Conference is expected to rotate through each IGAD member States every two years.

Call for abstracts has been sent out and currently abstracts are being received. For detailed information, please visit or






AFPHA has signed an MoU with the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on the Establishment of the AFPHA Head Office in Addis Ababa

The Official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the African Federation of Public Health Associations (AFPHA) on the Establishment of the AFPHA Head Office in Addis Ababa Ethiopia was effected on the 8th of September 2014, at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs Office in Addis Ababa.



His Excellency Ambassador Berhane Gebre-Christos, State Minister for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs representing the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and Dr. Tewabech Bishaw, AFPHA Secretary General, representing the African Federation of Public Health Associations, signed the MoU.




Present at the occasion were officials from the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mengistu Asnake, President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), Dr. Filimona Bisrat, President of the Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA) and Mr. Dereje Gebreab, Program Officer, AFPHA.



On the occasion, H.E. Ambassador Berhane stressed the importance of the regional public health organization and the Ethiopian government commitment in supporting the Federation activities in Ethiopia and throughout the continent. On her part Dr. Tewabech Bishaw acknowledged all the support being provided by the Ethiopian government right from the inception of AFPHA and emphasized the federation’s commitment in improving public health in the continent.

The official signing of the MOU is a significant step that enables AFPHA to work independently as an African Regional Organization and to mobilize required resources for the betterment and equity of public health in the African region and beyond.


3. How Young Public Health Professionals see Public Health

Public Health is defined as profession and discipline that “focuses on population and society’s role in monitoring and achieving good health and quality of life”. Today, Young Public Health professionals are fundamental actors of this definition; they represent the motivation and leadership of the youth in the support of quality health services in their countries by advocating for Public Health in the different levels of health care.

During the process of health professionals’ education, it is possible to observe that Public Health learning is strictly associated to the study of traditional disciplines like epidemiology and statistics, without giving attention to the diversity of areas Public Health is truly related. In the world we currently live in, Public Health professionals must be ready to face emerging health challenges everyday with all knowledge and skills they are provided with.

However, not only those professionals need to have a background on Public Health, most health professionals must have basic knowledge on this field. Public Health is everywhere; it is impossible to not relate it to any health area. To be a good professional it’s mandatory to know epidemiological data in the search for a diagnosis, that’s Public Health; a global heath experience in different country to learn about other health systems, get back to the home country to apply what has been learned is also Public Health; in all fields of work health professionals will need to have knowledge in research studies that will guide the conducts and treatment of their patients, that’s also Public Health.

It’s easy to understand that Public Health is related to all different fields of health work, this is one the reasons why it needs to be more present in the health education process. Public Health education for healthcare students, residents in clinical fields and in the biological/social sciences is as important as the study of anatomy and physiology. Students who have Public Health education included in their basic curriculum have a better understanding of social, economic, and political factors that influence individual health behaviors, which in turn affect risk factors and health or disease outcomes. Students are more prepared for and motivated to engage in social advocacy efforts that improve the health of their community.

The concept of priorities in healthcare have progressively changed from a hospitalocentric and curative focused to a valorization of health promotion and primary health care as a main factor of influence in health indicators. This change of academic views gives to young professionals more understanding of public health in general than the previous generations. Therefore, the basis of their knowledge is sedimented in concept of health being involving every aspect of an individual life, not only starting from the hospital main entrance.

This movement of ideas is the result of continuous inputs of public health studies not only from the school, but from professional practice, extracurricular activities and personal interest, which have been motivating health students from different areas to keep working with Public Health. The young professionals are the new leaders on this field, they see Public Health as an opportunity to use their skills and motivation to make a change in the lives of millions of people that can be directly or indirectly affected by the results of their actions.

by Arthur Mello, IFMSA


4. New intern @ WFPHA Headquarters

Chris Jenkins is currently a Masters student in Geneva studying at L'Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement.  He has a background in global health in Uganda, working mainly on malaria prevention programmes and issues related to access to services. These issues, along with outbreak control and mental health issues are particular areas of interest for Chris, as are questions of how to involve communities in public health programmes.


Chris is originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and will be working as an Intern with the WFPHA to help coordinate and organise the 14th World Congress on Public Health in Kolkata in February 2015.



5. News from our Members

2014 Policy advocacy statement of the Cameroon public health association 

An overview by Dominique Kondji Kondji, President Cameroon Public Health Association (CAMPHA)



Following a thorough and independent analysis of Cameroon’s health policy and health system , the Cameroon Public Health Association, a full member of the World Federation of public health Associations (WFPHA) and the African Federation of Public health associations (AFPHA), acknowledges that, “after 50 years of important investments in health care delivery, envisaged performances of the sector is still below expectations”.


This deficit in the results is justified by the following critical points that are illustrated by evidence-based data:

* the absence of a political vision that is strategic and clear, coherent and pertinent based on a holistic health model ;

* a weak national health system with no viable health district in Cameroon in 2014;

* the revitalization of the primary health care is still being awaited ;

* a great number of health infrastructures which are unequally distributed over the national territory;

* the persistence of an outdated hospital-centered health system approach;

* health programs that are vertical, drain the budget and are less performant;

* the absence of an evaluation culture which cultivates self-satisfaction and the tendency to routine and inertia

* human resource in the health sector that need a reorientation in their training and practice towards primary health care and community health.

* the health promotion concept not yet understood and Cameroonians are yet to be empowered in health;

* health inequalities are a threat to be taken seriously in Cameroon;


Dominique Kondji Kondji, President Cameroon Public Health Association


Through a citizen’s appeal and twelve recommendations, the Association calls on the Executive and Legislative powers supported by bi and multilateral partners, the private sector, the civil society and councils, to invest on the health system’s strengthening and the reduction of health inequalities for the emergence of Cameroon come 2035 as planned. Among these recommendations, the association proposes the creation of a Public Health High Council that will better tackle in holistic way, the various social determinants of heath within and mainly far beyond the health sector and an observatory on health inequalities in Cameroon.


Pour lire ce résumé en française, cliquer ici.

To read the Statement, click here (available in French only)

To read the Recommendations, click here (available in French only)

Comemoração dos 35 anos da Abrasco 

Em 27 de setembro de 1979, em Assembleia realizada na sede da Organização Pan-Americana de Saúde (OPAS/OMS), em Brasília, foi fundada a Associação Brasileira de Pós-graduação em Saúde Coletiva (Abrasco). Passados 35 anos, em 2014, a Abrasco, agora Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva, retornará ao local de sua Assembleia de fundação para celebrar sua história de compromisso científico e político com a Saúde Coletiva brasileira e internacional.

YemenYemeni Public Health Association


On Thursday 17th of August 2007, the Association has been established during the conference held in the Population Studies and Training Center of Sana'a University, under the supervision of the Ministry of social affairs and labor, at the presence of 122 founders from various governorates of the Republic of Yemen, representing different related to Public Health specialties. The constitution of the association has been discussed and approved, president and managing board have been elected.



A community whose members are socially and economically productive, and enjoy equitable access to the right for health.



The YPHA is a professional, scientific, voluntary organization striving with all partners to promoting and improving the health of the community.



1. To promote Community Public Health, and preserving it

2. To increase community members' ability to promote and protect community's and environmental health.

3. To co-ordinate with related institutions and organizations (governmental, non governmental, local , regional, and international) .

4. To contribute effectively in designing health policies and strategies.

5. To contribute effectively in citizens'' right on equitable health services.


 Meeting with Partners


Some conducted activities

• Meeting with Health and Development Partners

• Hemorrhagic fevers workshops for health workers

• Series of meetings with other NGOs

• Celebrating World Health Days (health of elderly, smoking, hand washing etc.)

World Health Day

World Health Day Celebration


• Series of workshops for building capacity for YPHA members (scientific paper writing, fund rising etc.)

• Conducting an evaluation for midwives training (for Yamman Foundation)

• Designing, printing, and distributing educational materials for public (smoking adverse effects on health, dengue fever, diarrhea prevention, adverse effect of pesticides use etc.)

• Contributing with the Parliament on issuing Public Health Law


Chekingonia Seminar


Chekingonia Seminar

The Swedish Association of Social Medicine

The Swedish Association of Social Medicine was established in 1923, with the aim to promote the field of social medicine within education, research and practice. Our main knowledge areas include epidemiology, public health; especially social inequality in health, health services development and the welfare system. The association is a section within the Swedish Society of Medicine (the scientific organization of the Swedish Medical profession) and also a member association within the Swedish Medical Association (the doctors’ professional organisation). However, not all members are medical doctors: our association has about 150 members, with different academic backgrounds, but a shared interest of social medicine and public health including also professionals within the fields of sociology, psychology, nutrition, epidemiology, statistics, health economy and behavioural sciences.
With the aim to promote social medicine within theory and practice, we arrange seminars and courses, we have developed a modern updated webpage, respond to inquiries and suggestions on proposed issues regarding social medicine and public health, and take active part in the general debate.
We also hold, together with the other associations of public health within the Nordic countries, the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, which is an international peer reviewed scientific journal, publishing research on global public health. During the last years, one focus for our work has been to promote the opportunities for specialist training and employment for physician with specialty in social medicine. This has been urgent as the mean age is high, but now many young physicians show their interest and in parallel the interest from the employer is increasing. We have also increased our activities on the field of equity in health. In the aftermath of the Marmot commissions report “Closing the gap” (1), similar, regional, commissions have been launched in Sweden. In these commissions colleagues within social medicine have made large contributions. We have also, as a society, arranged several seminars on these commissions work and content at the national meeting of Swedish Society of Medicine, we arranged a seminar earlier this year on “Malmö’s path towards a sustainable future” (2) and now plan for a postgraduate training course on this topic early next year.

For contact information regarding our association, please visit our webpage:



6. Members' Newsletters



7. WFPHA Members Communication

New WFPHA member's platform

The new website is now available. In this new version the "For Members Only" area has been replaced by an interactive members' platform. Thus login information that you or your association's members used to access to the previous "For Members Only" are no more active. The primary contact person of your association has received an email containing the instructions to modify the association's profile at

Resolutions submission to the WFPHA policy committee

Resolutions from Public Health Associations Member of the WFPHA can be submitted every year to the WFPHA Policy Committee. The resolutions should be submitted at latest 3 months before the General Assembly through the on line system.

The WFPHA Headquarters move to a new building

From October 2014, the WFPHA Headquartes will be based in chemin des Mines 9 in Geneva, Switzerland. Phone numbers and emails keep unchanged.



8. WFPHA Working Groups

Tobacco Control Working Group

The World Health Organization, through its Secretariat for the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC), recommended that the WFPHA continue to be accredited as an observer to the FCTC Conference of the Parties process. The WFPHA is one of 16 non-governmental organizations approved to maintain its observer status to the COP. In its published report (available here), the WHO FCTC bureau made special mention of the assistance provided by the World Federation of Public Health Associations, through its national member organizations, in the creation of smoking cessation clinics and in the development and promotion of cessation guidelines addressed to health-care staff in several countries.

The next (6th) COP meeting will take place in Russia in late October. The WFPHA is exploring ways and means of being represented at this important event.

Stay tuned for more information about the WFPHA’s Tobacco Control Working Group.



9. What's on

WHO Health and Climate Conference, Civil Society Call To Action

At the World Health Organization Conference on Health and Climate, HCWH and a range of civil society organizations called on the health sector to "mobilize to lead the transformation to a low-carbon, healthy and climate-resilient society.

For more information, click here.

Environmental assessments of foodborne illness outbreaks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Center for Environmental Health has two new food safety tools. Foodborne illness is a significant problem in the United States, but addressing environmental causes can help prevent it.

•       The e-Learning on Environmental Assessment of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks is a free interactive online course to help prepare individuals to serve on a team that investigates foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurants and other food service venues. Continuing education units (CEUs) are available.

•       The National Voluntary Environmental Assessment Information System (NVEAIS) is a new surveillance system targeted to jurisdictions that inspect and regulate restaurants and other food venues such as banquet facilities, schools, and other institutions. The system provides an avenue to capture underlying environmental assessment data that describes what happened and how events most likely led to a foodborne illness outbreak.

Formation de haut niveau Diplomatie et Santé

(info and course available in French only)

10 - 14 novembre 2014

Directeurs du cours: Professeur Michel Kazatchkine et Ambassadeur Fodé Seck

Organisée par le Global Health Programme (Programme de santé mondiale) en partenariat avec l’École nationale d’Administration du Sénégal (ENA)


La santé fait aujourd’hui partie intégrante de la politique étrangère. De nouvelles compétences sont nécessaires pour négocier des accords internationaux et entretenir des relations avec un large éventail d’acteurs. Cet enseignement met l’accent sur les questions de santé qui transcendent les frontières nationales et comment elles sont traitées par les acteurs impliqués et à différents niveaux de gouvernance.

L'Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement (IHEID) organise dorénavant un enseignement francophone annuel sur le thème « Diplomatie et Santé ». L'édition de cette année se tiendra du 10 au 14 novembre 2014 à Genève. L’enseignement est organisé par leGlobal Health Programme (Programme de santé mondiale) de l’IHEID en partenariat avec l'École Nationale d'Administration du Sénégal (ENA). Le Programme de santé mondiale de l’IHEID a acquis une expérience reconnue internationalement dans la mise en œuvre de formations sur ce thème en plein essor. Ces enseignements, jusqu’à présent conduits en langue anglaise, ont démontré l’intérêt de ces formations, ainsi que le besoin de développer un curriculum en langue française.

American Mock World Health Organization

The American Mock World Health Organization (AMWHO) is an authentic simulation of the World Health Assembly, the sole decision-making body of the World Health Organization. Participants assume the role of a WHO ambassador, non-governmental organization member, or media representative, and form health related positions based upon their respective roles. Throughout the conference, participants will engage in debates and discussions about a thematic health topic, and work together to create a final working resolution to send to the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

For more information, click here.



10. Publications

Millennium Development Goals: how public health professionals perceive the achievement of MDGs

Autors: Marta Lomazzi, Ulrich Laaser, Mareike Theisling, Leticia Tapia, Bettina Borisch


There have been various consultations on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by different groups. However, even if it is clear that the health sector has led the development success of the MDGs, only a few MDG reports consider public health experts’ points of view and these are mainly government driven.

The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) has executed a global survey to consult public health professionals worldwide concerning the implementation and achievements of the MDGs.

The survey was conceived by WFPHA health professionals and promulgated online. Public health professionals and organisations dealing with MDGs responded to the survey. Content analysis was conducted to analyse the data.

Survey participants attributed the highest importance worldwide to MDGs dealing with women, poverty and hunger reduction, and disease prevention and management. Moreover, they underlined the role of education, referring both to school children and professionals. In high and upper-middle income countries, environmental challenges also received considerable attention.

Notably, respondents underlined that weak governance and unstable political situations, as well as the gap between professionals and politicians, were among the main causes that detracted from MDG achievements.

The public health workforce felt it would be imperative to be included from the outset in the design and implementation of further goals. This implies that those professionals have to take an active part in the political process leading to a new and accountable framework.

To read the article, click here.

Vietnam Journal of Public Health

The Vietnam Public Health Association respectfully introduces the Vietnam Journal of Public Health, iss 1, vol 2.

In this issue, the main contents include:

1. A Time to Mourn: Cultural Considerations and Community Preferences for Verbal Autopsy in Vietnam

2. Assessment of Health Status across Different Types of Migrant Populations in Hanoi - Vietnam: A Cross-Sectional Study Using SF 36 Version 2

3. Vulnerable road users in India: An assessment of road traffic accidents, injuries and deaths

4. Sex with female sex workers and HIV risk behaviours among general population of males aged 15-49 in Viet Nam

5. Economic Burden of Tuberculosis Treatment from Healthcare Provider Perspective in Vietnam

6. Genetically Modified Agriculture: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

To read and download the full texts, click here.

WHO Public Health, Social and Environmental Determinants of Health (PHE) e-News

The September issue of WHO Public Health, Social and Environmental Determinants of Health (PHE) e-News brings you the latest on:

* WHO calls for stronger action on climate-related health risks  

* International lead poisoning prevention: Week of action  

* WHO at the 2014 Stockholm Water Week

* Re-inventing the toilet for 2.5 billion people

* Children’s environmental health  

To download the e-news, click here.



11. Upcoming events

No events
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