WFPHA Newsletter January 2016

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  In this Newsletter:



1.- Migrant health

Promoting the health of migrants @ WHO Executive Board

The world is going through the biggest migration and refugee crisis since Second World War. Taking into account the challenges and recent growth of displacements, the WHO 138 Executive Board Session decided to include, for the first time in its agenda, an item called Health of Migrants. According to the WHO Secretariat´s report Promoting the Health of Migrants, « There are many health challenges associated with today’s large migrant and refugee populations. Despite the existence of ratified international human rights standards and conventions to protect the rights of migrants and refugees, including their right to health, many such people lack access to health services and financial protection for health ».

Besides the high rates of mortality and morbidity associated with the migration process, risks due to abuse, violence, exploitation, discrimination and barriers to accessing health and social services are affecting migrants’ health in many countries. Moreover, migrants also face limited continuity of health care for chronic conditions.

Public Health may have new challenges to address different and specific needs, but the participation and inclusion of migrants and refugees in the health care system is mandatory to provide a good health for all, including national citizens. It is important, though, to highlight that « migrants and refugees do not pose an additional health security threat to host community », as emphasized the representative from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

In order to address the problem, WHO has identified eight priorities that should be followed by its member states, partners or other stakeholders. The priorities include: support the development and implementation of migrant-sensitive health policies that incorporate a public health approach and equitable access to health services , ensure that health services are culturally, linguistically and epidemiologically appropriate, and increase the capacities among the health workforce to understand and address the health issues associated with population displacement  and involve migrants and refugees in decisions relating to the delivery of health care and social services so as to enhance integration and self-reliance and improve public health.

An inclusive and multi sectoral approach is essential to guarantee that migrants and refugees will be able to live with dignity. According to the International Organization for Migration, «universal health coverage, health in all policies, equity and integration are effective responses to a successful migration outcome».

by V. Bianco

WFPHA engagement on Migrant Health

The WFPHA and European Public Health Association (EUPHA) have jointly developed a statement on the refugees’ crisis. The statement has been presented at the European Public Health Conference in Milan on October 15th 2015.



• 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.


To read the statement, click here.

Reflection on migrant health - Vietnam Public Health Association point of view

Improve the access to reproductive health service for women migrant workers working in industrial zones: opportunities and challenges


In Vietnam, researches have shown that most of the women migrant workers in general and the women migrant workers working in the industrial zones in particular have a tremendous need for reproductive health information and services; however, national programs on reproductive health have not met the need. These programs even ignore this group due to their unofficial position at migrant sites. Many projects aiming to improve the access to reproductive health information and services have been carried out by Governmental Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations; however, these projects have not promoted the role of Health Insurance and the available local based health service in helping the group to access to these services, which affects the sustainability of interventions. Meanwhile, Health Insurance is the only legal tool connecting migrant workers with the health system in ensuring their health in the situation that no legal document specialises in migrants' health in general. Besides, the coverage of women migrant workers working in the industrial zones having Health Insurance is very high, above 90%. In addition, the local health system includes health system inside and outside the industrial zones. The first one is a medical office of each company and a general clinic of each industrial park. The general clinic in the industrial park is the private company which was licensed and managed under the professional management of district health center that the industrial park located and its Provincial Health office. Some industrial zones located in HCMC, Da Nang and other in the North, such as Yen Phong Industrial Park in Bac Ninh Province have this kind of clinic. Locating in the industrial park and having Health Insurance service as prescribed are big advantages of the clinics. The health system outside the industrial park includes both public and private services with various types of reproductive health services. Therefore, to ensure the sustainability of the activities to strengthen the access to reproductive health care services for women migrant workers in the industrial zones, the policies/programs in the future should have strategic direction to maximize this available resource.

Opportunities and challenges

A study carried out by the Hanoi School of Public Health in 2013-2014 shown opportunities if this strategy will be implemented, including:

Women migrant workers in the industrial zones are well aware of the importance of health insurance. Most of them agreed that Health Insurance is very important, helping save spending when they need medical treatment, especially for intensive intervention services with the huge cost, such as surgical treatment, prenatal check-up, and birth giving. Some workers proactively purchased the voluntary Health Insurance because they understand the importance of Health Insurance and actively choose the initial clinical health service (public or private health services).

Employers have well implemented the Health Insurance service for their workers, which is shown by the very high rate of women migrant workers having health insurance. Many employers use large-scale labor and develop their medical office to the general clinic level which also is the initial clinical registration of workers. This service provides a favorable condition for the workers, at least, they can quickly and easily access to the service when needed. On the other hand, the service also helps the employers to be more proactive in implementing health care, especially reproductive health for women workers.

The local health sectors in the research areas were actively coordinating health facilities to provide Health Insurance for workers, avoiding overloading due to the large number of registrations. Besides, the local health facilities always ensure the equality and non-discrimination between the migrant workers and the local people when providing health service. Especially, many health facilities actively proposed and discussed with the social insurance agencies to be able to provide health care service and pay the social insurance cost during the days off like Saturday and Sunday, helping the workers to access and use the health service when needed.

Province/cities’ Reproductive Health Centres also aware of the current migration issues, especially, the issue of women migration to the industrial zones, and reproductive health issues that women migrant workers are facing. Therefore, the centres organize campaigns to serve the reproductive health care for workers on their days off. Besides, the centres at some districts/provinces suggested that the centre must be the initial health care registration of Health Insurance for women migrant workers.

However, the study also shows some challenges:

The inadequacy of procedures and time when using the Health Insurance still exist. Research shows that most of the women migrant workers used Health Insurance when they need health care service. Most of the immigrant women workers in Da Nang shared that the procedure is much more simple and the waiting time is shorter. However, sometimes the workers still use private services because they can not arrange the time to use Health Insurance service in the working days as they don’t want to be off in these days. Besides, some women migrant workers haven’t accessed to the Health Insurance due to lack of information and not having the labor contract with companies.

According to Provincial Health offices and Provincial/city Health Insurances, some companies, especially private enterprises in industrial zones haven’t well done the Health Insurance regulations for their workers, which affects to workers’ right in having the opportunity to have health care service, particularly for women workers when they are in pregnancy. Some people said that these companies still haven’t implemented Health Insurance regulations for their workers or paid for social insurance debts due to weak sanctions from the government.

In addition, the fund from the Health Insurance is low, making difficulties for medical facilities in industrial zones, especially for medical clinics. The deployment of Health Insurance is sensible, however, the funding for the Health Insurance at the medical facilities is limited, creating challenges for both health care centres to complete their duty and for workers to register at the health care centres.


In the Vietnam‘s Population and Reproductive Health Strategy during 2011-2020, migrants have been mentioned as one of the groups needing specific policies and interventions. This will promote the health sector in Vietnam to seize the opportunities and limit the disadvantages so that they can develop strategies to enhance the access to reproductive health service for the women migrant workers in general and the women migrant workers working in the industrial zones, in particular. Taking advantage of the available resources from the Health Insurance and local health care service networks is essential.


Le Thi Kim Anh1, Bui Thi Thu Ha1, Pham Duc Phuc1,2, Le Vu Anh2

1Hanoi School of Public Health, 138 Giang Vo, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

2Vietnam Public Health Association, 138 Giang Vo, Ba Dinh, Hanoi



2.- COP21 outcomes

The international political response to climate change started in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, where the ‘Rio Convention’ included the adoption of the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This convention set out a framework aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The UNFCCC entered into force in 1994 and has now a near-universal membership of 195 parties.

The main objective of the annual Conference of Parties (COP) is to review the Convention’s implementation. The first COP took place in Berlin in 1995 and significant meetings since then include COP3 (Kyoto Protocol), COP11 (Montreal Action Plan), COP15 in Copenhagen where an agreement to success Kyoto Protocol was unfortunately not realized and COP17 in Durban (Green Climate Fund creation).

In 2015 COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, aimed for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the goal of keeping global warming below 2°C.

Three elements make up the overall “Paris Outcome” of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:

The Paris Agreement: An enduring, legally binding treaty on climate action which contains emission reduction commitments from 187 countries starting in 2020. The Paris Agreement will enter into force once 55 countries covering 55% of global emissions have acceded to it.

COP Decision: The COP agreed a set of decisions with immediate effect to accelerate climate action and to prepare for the implementation of the Paris Agreement once it enters into force.

Paris Action Agenda: Alongside the formal agreements at COP21 the large number of commitments for additional action to reduce emissions and increase resilience were made by countries, regions, cities, investors, and companies.


The WFPHA has been represented at COP21 by P. Orris, Chair of the Environmental Health Working Group. For more information on this participation please refer to working group report  below (point 7).



3.- Ebola: A Game Change in Global Health?

The Ebola crisis raised many challenges to the world and highlighted the lack of preparedness of national health care systems as well as global health assistance. Different panels were put into place to analyze and propose priority reforms that are required in the governance of global health in the aftermath of the Ebola Crisis. An event organized at the Graduate Institute Geneva, on January 21st, gathered specialists from The Ebola Interim Assessment Panel established by the Executive Board (EB) of the WHO, The Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola convened by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Harvard Global Health Institute and The US National Academy of Medicine independent, multi-stakeholder expert commission to create a global health risk framework for the future. Experts from all these panels discussed their reports and highlighted differences, but especially common points between them that need to be urgently addressed to ensure a rapid response both to prevent and fight against new outbreaks.

The sense of unpreparedness, the need of a high level political commitment for significant reforms and the necessity of a sustained, increased domestic and global investments were highlighted by all the panels as the main costraints to the achievement of a stronger global health system.

Panelists pinpointed specific points in WHO structure that, according to them, led to the inneficience of the organization to provide fast response to the Ebola crisis. Ashish K. Jha, from the Harvard Global Health Institute, emphasized the need of more transparency and accountability within the organization. «The discussions need to be much more opened and transparent. Knowing the logical and the reasons that led to a declaration of an emergence is very important to make the processes much better», said. He also suggested that local capabilities must be strenghen. «Make countries able to surveil and report disease is crucial to avoid the rise of new outbreaks », said K.Jha.

Ilona Kickbusch, from the EB panel, stressed that member states had failed in the financing available to the organization for the work in health security and also in terms of not implementing the International Health Regulations or helping less developped countries implementing it. Moreover, she highlighted the importance of commitment of all international system, which goes beyond WHO, in ensuring health security.

Discussions also highlighted the importance of putting public health decisions away from political issues inside WHO, especially isolating them from funder’s control. According to Surie Moon, from the Independent Panel on the Global Responde to Ebola, “WHO must have a certain degree of technical independence“. Furthermore, the need to make health security go beyond the health sector was strongly emphasized.

According to Peter Sans, from the US National Academy Panel, a greater global health system should include the understand of health capacities of each State.« Although there are lots of things one can do at international level, if you do not have the fundamental infrastructure on the ground, everything is going to be much more difficult. There should be a commitment to introduce a robust way of assessing national public health capabilities and making them public. It is critical to know where are the gaps and what needs to be fixed», he said. Furthermore, Sans stressed the importance of community engagament in prevention and detection of outbreaks as well as the importance of a new fund structure within WHO .

Nevertheless all the problems faced by WHO in managing the Ebola crisis, all the panelists suggested that the authority responsible to address global health issues and crisis should remain with the organization. For Ilona Kickbusch, “The future of WHO rests on the fact whether it will fulfill ist role on global health security“.

It is clear that challenges remain for both global and national health system. Take this moment of impact to further discuss and increase capacities is the only way to prevent other crisis and guarantee that lives will be preserved.

by V. Bianco



4.- News from our Members

News from ABRASCO, the Brazilian Association of Collective Health

Manaus Declaration - THENIH-FIOCRUZ arbovirus seminar

Scientists, clinicians, epidemiologists, entomologists, environmentalists, research funding organizations, and others interested in arboviruses shared scientific knowledge to strategize how to best tackle the emergence and re-emergence of chikungunya, dengue, Zika, and other arboviruses during the The NIH-Fiocruz Arbovirus Workshop:  Global Health Challenges and Collaborative Opportunities in Arbovirus Research, developed in  November 30 to December 3, 2015 in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil.

To read the declaration, click here.

News from PHAA, the Public Health Association of Australia

M. MooreMichael Moore, VP/President Elect of the WFPHA and CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia, has been interviewed at Channel AsiaNew’s on WHO global burden of foodborne diseases.

To see the video, click here.




News from SESPAS, the Spanish Society of Public Health and Health Administration

SESPAS has sent several letters throughout the year 2015 to the Vice-President of the Spanish Government asking her to respect, implement and enforce the laws regarding health issues, and offering the expertise of SESPAS and its 12 scientific public-health related societies to collaborate in this direction. SESPAS together with SESA (Spanish Society of Environmental Health) has also reacted to the VW emission crisis collaborating in a so-called “Campaña contra los Malos Humos” (Campaign against bad smokes) with other scientific societies as well as organisations and unions, and writing a letter to the Ministry of Industry to demand clarification on a number of points in the process of approval of vehicles in Spain.

Regarding the global issue of the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), SESPAS has been also actively involved in it. A working group of SESPAS highlighted the risks of the TTIP through a statement which included the health, legal, economic and democracy related aspects, and calling citizens and political parties to position themselves against it. Furthermore, SESPAS participates in two symposiums aimed to explain and discuss the TTIP problem, one in Madrid (organised jointly with the Association of Jurists and the National School of Health, Carlos III Health Institute) and the other one in Barcelona (organised by the Public Health Society of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands).

Furthermore, SESPAS has endorsed the statement by the WFPHA on Climate Change and has prepared a press release highlighting the specificities of the Spanish situation further to the global challenges. Regarding the debate around lung screening, SESPAS explicitly warned that the evidence is not enough to support it and some of its members recently published an editorial on the JECH. In addition, SESPAS recently joined REDER, a network of several organizations and people involved in the protection and defense of universal access to health care.

On the other hand, the latest monograph of Gaceta Sanitaria (SESPAS’ scientific journal) has been recently published, this time with a focus on Traffic injuries and including 14 peer-reviewed articles on different aspects on the issue.

For more information, please visit our website.



5.- Members' Newsletters



6.- WFPHA Members Communication

Renewal of WFPHA partnership with Colgate

The WFPHA, through a partnership over the past several years with Colgate, lent its name to the promotion of handwashing to prevent illness and promote healthy environments. Several national public health associations also implemented handwashing promotion projects with funding support from Colgate. In December 2015, the WFPHA signed a new 3-year agreement with Colgate. Through it, WFPHA and Colgate will collectively launch and implement a global handwashing campaign and other global initiatives dedicated to better health and hygiene and as well support an oral health education and awareness campaign to promote a cavity-free future. The WFPHA, for its part, will encourage and provide support to national PHAs to become involved with health and hygiene at the country-level and to inform people via school programs and using healthcare worker toolkits in clinics and in communities for hand washing and oral health awareness campaigns and to disseminate educational materials to communities. These initiatives will contribute to achieve the health-related Sustainable Development Goals and as well improve public health around the world.

New intern @ WFPHA

Mrs. Viviane Bianco has recently joined the World Federation of Public Health Associations ‘team as an intern. She is from Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, and currently in Geneva to be part of the Master of Global Health at University of Geneva.

Her background is in social communication and marketing; she has always worked as a marketing professional and, more recently, journalist. Mrs. Bianco already had a short experience at the United Nations in Geneva and she is very interested in all subjects concerning international relations, especially human rights and health issues.

As student of Global Health, Mrs. Bianco believes that health – involving mental, physical and social aspects – is the basic element that can allow a society to develop itself. As a professional with a background in communication, she is keen to help the Federation and its members to enhance disease prevention through information, education and surveillance.

WFPHA LinkedIn page

The WFPHA LinkedIn page is now active! Join us!



7.- WFPHA Working Groups - annual reports

Oral Health Working Group

R. Bedi, OHWG ChairThe Oral Health Working Group (OHWG) has put into place several important initiatives in 2015.

The group has completed the survey to determine dental public health capacity globally and main outputs have been submitted for publication. Data collected highlight that dental public health capacity is limited in many parts of the world and action needs to be taken to reduce resultant global inequalities in oral health. If trained dental public health specialists are necessary in every country to advise national oral health policy and integrate oral health within public health systems, then more appointments are needed in government-funded agencies rather than solely in academia as it’s currently happening.
This work has been presented and discussed by OHWG members at different conferences and seminars.

In February 2015, the resolutions on "Oral Cancer Prevention" and "Dental Public Health Workforce Infrastructure" proposed by the Oral Health Working Group have been approved by the WFPHA General Assembly. The first resolution calls to detect, control and ultimately prevent oral cancer worldwide through control measures for tobacco, early detection and investments in health services, while the second one recommends having an oral health professional with public health training and experience in the Minister of Health’s Office, appropriate DPH infrastructure and integrating dental public health in the curriculum of all dental schools.

The OHWG has actively participated to the 14th World Congress on Public Health with one workshop on Oral Cancer Prevention and a concurrent session on Dental Public Health Capacity. The workshop on Oral Cancer Prevention has investigated the current status of oral cancer prevention and control in the world, with particular emphasis on the Indian sub-continent which contributes a lion’s share of global burden of oral cancer; the seminar has discussed also WFPHA resolution on Oral Cancer prevention and control.
The concurrent session has provided a general overview of Dental Public Health capacity in the world with a special focus on the Eastern Mediterranean region, taking advantage of the survey results. The session has been completed by the WFPHA resolution on Dental Public Health Workforce Infrastructure.

Of interest, one of the main congress output, the Kolkata Call to Action, has highlighted that oral health is an integral part of overall well-being and support must be given to stronger community action aiming to reduce poor dental health.


Dental Public Health Workforce Infrastructure seminar at the 15th World Congress on Public Health


In May 2015 in Mexico City, the resolution "Child Human Rights – Resolution on Access to Oral Health for Children" proposed by the OHWG and approved in 2013 was formally adopted by Mexico City government and staff as part of a program that will incorporate healthy eating, hand-washing and tooth brushing in schools.The resolution was also adopted in Chile under a different name. Moreover, the resolution has been widely cited in the literature from countries all over the world, and in some recent textbooks too.

Last, elections this year have confirmed R. Bedi (in the photo above) in the Chair position, K. Eaton, M. Allukian and M. Al Darwish as co-Chairs.

For more information, please contact R. Bedi.

Environment Health Working Group

P. Orris, EHWG ChairThis years activities focused primarily on climate health issues but maintained our relationships with other groups relating primarily to chemical issues in health care and society as well.

14th World Congress on Public Health

In preparation for the World Health Assembly in Kolkata in February, the Environmental Working Group participated in planning discussions and sponsored several sessions. It further worked on the Kolkata Call to Action and specifically emphasized the section:

Climate and Health

The profound threat to human health from global warming and resulting climate change is central to the challenges of this century. The human contribution to warming through energy generation from fossil fuels, and coal in particular, provide clear requirement to mitigate these effects and protect thousands of lives at risk as well from the air pollution inherent in these processes. These risks too fall unevenly on the poor within countries and poor nations globally. We must commit to sustainable and renewable energy technologies and not short term and potentially dangerous methods such as nuclear fission and hydraulic fracking.

At the meeting itself the Working Group had a face to face meeting which brought new energy and participation to its activities. Participation from the Australia, India, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, and the USA. Also participating were collaborating orgainizations Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) and the Global Climate and Health Alliance. The editor of the Journal of Public Health Policy and WFPHA Headquarters in Geneva also attended. Dr. Michael C Asuzu, Professor of Public Health & Community Medicine, Consultant in Community & Occupational Medicine and the Director of the Ibarapa Community & Primary Health Programme, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria, agreed to join Dr. Peter Orris (in the photo above), Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, Chicago, Illinois as Co-Chair of the Working Group.

COP21 The climate summit in Paris

As reported by diverse scientific and health research organizations (including the World Health Organization), climate change poses a central and increasing threat to the health of the world’s people in this century. However, little was known about how national governments were planning for this unprecedented public health challenge. To address this gap, the Group developed plans for an online survey of actions by national governments for completion by health non-governmental organizations from each country. This quickly brought support of the Climate and Health Alliance, Health Care Without Harm, and the Public Health Association of Australia. It was conducted during August and September 2015 by WFPHA with support from the World Medical Association and its Young Doctors Network.

National public health associations, medical associations, and other health professional organizations responded, providing information on the actions of thirty-five governments (15 developed and 20 developing nations). The respondent countries are spread across the globe, with six continents represented, and include USA, Canada, Brazil, Spain, China, Australia, Japan and the EU.

The survey revealed a lack of climate-health preparedness, with more than half of respondent countries (51%) having no national plan to protect their citizens from the health impacts of climate change in their countries. Twelve (35%) countries have yet not developed policies for long-range climate change and its impact on health and 13 (37%) countries did not have any policies for public health adaptation.

The majority of respondent countries (77.1%) have no comprehensive identification of health risks of climate change projections for their citizens and 65.7% had done little towards identifying vulnerable populations and infrastructure, developing public health adaptation responses, assessing coping capacity or gaps in knowledge. Some positive examples bucking the trend include Taiwan and Lithuania, reporting comprehensive climate change action plans with both mitigation and adaptation strategies, along with climate-health risk surveillance, and early warming systems for health risks from extreme weather.

The report was released in late November and received prominent attention during a number of health related events in Paris during the Climate Summit of 30 November to 11 December 2015. WFPHA was represented during the Paris events through leadership of the Working Group both at the Conference of the Parties itself and at many of the side events organized by several of our collaborating organizations. The Paris agreement signed on Saturday 12 December 2015 is binding and commits signatories to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. The more ambitious 1.5 degrees Celsius goal is also named as a serious aspiration. The agreement includes a commitment to a long-term goal to bring emissions down to zero and a regular review of national commitments every five years to check progress. This review mechanism, which will start in 2018, is vital if the 2-degree target is to be reached.

WFPHA welcomed and agreed to participate with these groups beyond Paris based on three pillars of mitigation within health care provision, building resilience of health care institutions, and providing public health leadership to civic society with respect to the impact of climate change on the world emphasizing the poorest countries and communities.

The Paris Platform for Healthy Energy

Parallel to all of our work with hospitals and health systems, HCWH’s Healthy Energy Initiative was also actively engaged in the lead-up to Paris and during COP21 as well. The Healthy Energy Initiative is a collaborative effort with partners in eight countries to address the health impacts of energy choices. Recognizing that more than 7 million people die every year from air pollution, much of it related to fossil fuel combustion, particularly coal, the Health Energy Initiative seeks to engage the health sector in advocating for a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy.

To this end, WFPHA endorsed the Paris Platform for Healthy Energy as a way to reflect this common agenda across borders and to engage ever greater numbers of health sector actors in this advocacy.  In this way we are continuing the joint efforts begun 4 years ago when the WFPHA and the South African Public Health Association with the WHO, World Medical Association, and others initiated these efforts at the climate summit in Durban SA.

In addition the Working Group continues to contribute to the efforts to enlarge the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals network taking part in Conferences in South Africa, USA, and most recently the founding of the Asia network in Seoul, Korea.

Finally, at the end of September, WFPHA concluded its representation of the Health Sector on the Bureau of the Strategic Approach to Chemicals Management Treaty administered by the United Nations Environment Program at its ICCM4 continuations meeting in Geneva. This meeting made plans for activities through 2020 and identified new areas of concern with respect to endocrine disrupting chemicals and residual pharmaceuticals in drinking water.

The working group will have a conference call in early 2016 to chart its course over the next period and prepare any policy issues needed for the General Assembly meeting in May in Geneva. It is actively seeking more members and interested in expanding its activities into new areas with impact on the public’s health.

For more information, please contact P. Orris.

Working Group on Women, Children and Adolescents

The Work Group on Women, Children and Adolescents (WCAWG) was approved by the WFPHA General Council at the February 2015 meeting in Kolkata, India. The group will address the health issues of these populations through advocacy, advancing public health practice through research and education, and expanding partnerships to reach women, children and adolescents. The WFPHA has not had a maternal and child health (MCH) working group and had very few policies addressing MCH. The need is clear—the only 3 MDGs that won’t be reached are MCH related. The name of this WG emphasizes women’s health including, but not exclusive to reproduction and parenting, newborn and children’s health and adolescents. This lifespan approach predated the UN/WHO Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030) which was launched in September. Our work will support and expand The Strategy’s roadmap to ensure that all women, children, and adolescents survive, thrive, and transform their societies for a healthy and sustainable future. This means eliminating inequity.


Left to right: Judy Lewis, USA, Chair; Mohamed Moukyer, Sudan/Saudi Arabia; Sarah Kiguli, Uganda, Kamayani Bali Mahabal, India; Deyanira González de León, Mexico


Founding WG members represent 10 countries (Mexico, Nigeria, Egypt, India, Sudan, Uganda, South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the United States) and have extensive experience in practice, research and education in women, children and adolescent health. Four members of this group presented a well-attended concurrent session at the WFPHA meetings in Kolkata (pictured above). The WG is reviewing WFPHA policies and will write one or more. We will work with planning committee for next World Congress to include WCA topics and voices. We are creating a sustainable structure for long term contributions to WFPHA. Prof. Lewis will be representing the WG at the workshop “School-based and School-Linked Health Services”, December, 2015 in London.

Members of WFPHA who would like to contribute to the WG activities should contact Prof. Lewis. We are aiming for broad global representation.  

Public Health Education and Training Working Group

P. Robinson, PETWG ChairThe PET Working Group has had a successful year, meeting at the World Congress in Kolkata and beginning the development of a number of new projects. The group will be exploring and consulting on whether there is a need for a clearer definition of both ‘education’ and ‘training’ related to public health, as well as looking at benchmarks for core curriculum contents within public health masters degrees.

The group explored the use of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in delivering baseline public health education and training, and particularly whether such platforms offer the potential to develop cross-institutional courses on topics such as Biostatistics and Epidemiology. The PET Working Group plans to undertake a survey of universities already using MOOCs on Biostatistics and Epidemiology to identify in which public health courses they are already used, and how. Finally the PET will also explore what skills employers are looking for in public health graduates, and whether many current courses provide the training for their graduates to meet these expectations.

For more information, please contact P. Robinson (in the photo above), Chair of the Working Group.



8.- What's on

UN announces first-ever High-Level Panel on Women Economic Empowerment

The Panel will provide recommendations for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to improve economic outcomes for women and promote women’s leadership in driving sustainable and inclusive, environmentally sensitive economic growth. It will provide recommendations for key actions that can be taken by governments, the private sector, the UN system and other stakeholders, as well as policy directives needed to achieve the new targets and indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals which call for the economic empowerment of women. The panel is backed by the United Kingdom, the World Bank Group and UN Women.For more information, click here.

From UNWomen website

138th Executive Board - World Health Organization

The 136th Executive Board meeting is currently taking place in Geneva.

Click here to follow the have an insight of the main outputs and documents.

The Panel will provide recommendations for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to improve economic outcomes for women and promote women’s leadership in driving sustainable and inclusive, environmentally sensitive economic growth. It will provide recommendations for key actions that can be taken by governments, the private sector, the UN system and other stakeholders, as well as policy directives needed to achieve the new targets and indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals which call for the economic empowerment of women. The panel is backed by the United Kingdom, the World Bank Group and UN Women. - See more at:

Transforming our world: Canadian perspectives on the Sustainable Development Goals

With 2016 comes the implementation of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted last September at the United Nations. At the time, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) in collaboration with the Canadian International Development Platform (CIDP), put together a blog series through Huffington Post’s Development Unplugged to collect perspectives of Canadian experts from domestic and international organizations on the new agenda and its 17 goals.

Given the popularity of the blog series, CCIC has compiled these articles into an English and French publication, updating all the short essays, and including a new longer overview that ties them all together.

There are four new articles exclusive to the booklet – providing children, disability, indigenous and youth perspectives on the new Agenda, as well as a short guide to help University and College professors use the publication to facilitate class discussions.

To download a copy, click here.

From CCIC website







9.- Publications

Global Public Health: A Review and Discussion of the Concepts, Principles and Roles of Global Public Health in Today's Society

Chris Jenkins, Marta Lomazzi, Heather Yeatman, Bettina Borisch

Global Policy DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.12302

Global public health as a concept needs examination. Given that the use of the term has become so common, across such broad topics, it is worthwhile to take stock, review and evaluate how it is being used. In an ever-changing and increasingly globalised context, how should global public health be understood and how should it adapt?

We conducted a literature review of articles between 1990 and 2014 that included the phrase ‘global public health’ in the title and/or abstract. Using these articles and some specifically selected influential articles from outside the search parameters we found that the articles rarely engage with political factors impacting on health, instead focusing on disease-specific challenges or technical issues.

This article seeks to contribute to a wider study and discussion on the role of global public health in today's global setting, conducted by the World Federation of Public Health Associations in collaboration with the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva.

Policy Implications

  • There needs to be a debate within the global public health community to create a vision and understanding of the term ‘global public health’, one that is not merely responsive, nor a euphemism for ‘health challenges’. A more explicit conceptualization will help shape the agenda for the field and will engage with the political landscape in which global public health is situated.

  • The ‘political landscape’ needs to be understood by the global public health community in a broad sense, recognizing the proliferation of actors working within the field.

  • The global public health workforce needs to recognize the importance of political and commercial determinants of health and strive to collaborate with, and where appropriate challenge, political and commercial actors to improve health outcomes.

  • Global public health professionals as well as other actors in global public health should be trained in how to understand the political context, and how to work effectively within it. Professionals need to see the importance of connecting different fields that impact upon population health.

To read the full article, click here.

2016 The World Federation of Public Health Associations 's Pages - Journal of Public Health Policy

The 14th World Congress on Public Health took place in Kolkata in February 2015. Hundreds of public health leaders and experts from around the world and across India attended. We took this opportunity to present the most challenging public health problems we face in India in sessions called ‘global consultations’. Participants helped elaborate the problems and discuss how to address them. We report here on one of several topics discussed.

Consultation on: ‘Sustainable Development and Environment – Conflict or Convergence?

Kumarjyoti Nath and Madhumita Dobe

J Public Health Pol 37: 107-113; doi:10.1057/jphp.2015.42

Full Text

How to understand the results of the climate change summit: Conference of Parties21 (COP21) Paris 2015

Anthony Robbins

Journal of Public Health Policy DOI: 10.1057/jphp.2015.47

In Paris on 13 December 2015, the Parties (state signatories) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reached an agreement to guide future global climate change policy and actions. No country dissented – a tribute to the advocates, scientists, and investors who made up most of the 40000 attendees at COP21. Reaching a global agreement, even a weak one, drew them together. They can now move forward assured that the world sees climate change as everyone’s problem and a global priority. How each party acts in the future will be ‘nationally determined’, a requirement that makes it hard to imagine that the global agreement will have revolutionary consequences.


to read the article, click here.

UN Political Affairs - Special Political Missions - Supporting Conflict Prevention, Good Offices and Peacemaking

Politically Speaking is the online magazine of the Department of Political Affairs


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