WFPHA Newsletter August 2017

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In this Newsletter:


1.- Hot Topics in Public Health: WFPHA Speaks Up

First Nations Wellbeing statement


wellbeingThe 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 Leader's 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.

Treaty on The Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

nuclear article

History was made at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on July 7, 2017, when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weaponswas adopted by a vote of 122 Member States to 1 (The Netherlands, with 1 abstention, Singapore).


This Treaty prohibits development, testing, production, manufacture, acquisition, possession, stockpiling, use, and threat of use of nuclear weapons.


The World Federation of Public Health Associations welcomes this historic Treaty, and urges all states to sign, ratify, and implement it as a key step to safeguard global health.


The long process that it took to get to this point shows the power of joining together and speaking with one voice. While this Treaty can be considered a great achievement, we must continue the fight against nuclear weapons as there is still a lot of work to be done. The nuclear-armed and nuclear-dependent states that are not a part of this Treaty have been provided with practical and flexible ways to comply with these prohibitions once they decide to join. If they persist in defying the norms established by the Treaty, they will be declared as outlaw states.


John Loretz, the program director of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) has stated that, “The nine nuclear-armed states, which refused to participate in these negotiations, are now faced with a stark choice. They can comply with the norms that have been clearly and unambiguously established by the Treaty and eliminate their nuclear weapons, as they should have done decades ago, or they will be stigmatized as outlaw states.” These nine nuclear-armed states are: Russia, the United States, France, China, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea. While these nine countries are recognized as owning nuclear weapons, it does not mean that they are the only countries that possess them.


Other countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and the Netherlands, deploy and store American nuclear weapons as part of NATO agreements. Other non-nuclear countries, such as South Korea, Canada, and Greece, previously have had similar agreements with the United States. These countries have also been recognized by Loretz, who said, “The states that base their security on the nuclear weapons possessed by other states can either withdraw from extended nuclear deterrence arrangements and cease all military planning and preparation for the use of nuclear weapons, or face similar global condemnation.”



Overall, this Treaty is great for the shared interests of humanity. In addition, it provides a powerful legal, moral, and political tool moving forward. It has been a long and difficult process leading up to this point, and we must continue to work together and speak with one voice to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely in the world.


WFPHA stands in solidarity with the dismissed academics of Turkey

dismissed academicsOn July 3, 2017, the World Federation of Public Health Associations decided to take action against the arbitrary dismissal of thirteen academics from the Dokuz Eylül University in Izmir, Turkey on June 28, 2017.


The Federation demands a withdrawal of the dismissals as a consequence of seven statutory decrees targeting academics that signed the peace declaration of the Academics for Peace group, which has been working since November 2012, to establish peace conditions in Turkey.


WFPHA President, Micheal Moore, addressed this issue by sending three statement letters respectively to Prof. Dr. Adnan Kasman, Medical Faculty Dean, Prof. Dr. Oguz Dicle of Dokuz Eyül university in Izmir, as well as the President of The Turkish Council of Higher Education (CoHE) Prof. Dr. Yekta Saraç.


Thousands of Turkish academics that signed the declaration have been dismissed since its publication on January 11, 2016, and hundreds have been jailed. Many of them are highly respected academics that only asserted their freedom of speech and their desire to put an end to state perpetuated violence.


Among them, acclaimed surgeon Prof. Dr. Cem Terzi recently expressed his own opinion regarding the dismissals in the following words, “We are here for the truth and the peace.  We, as academicians, might pay for it. We are ready to pay for the peace…Academics do not obey.

A public health approach to the proposed legislation to legalize and regulate Cannabis in Canada

Cannabis Stock Image 360x240The President of WFPHA, Michael Moore, recently wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, on Canada’s proposed legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis. WFPHA sustains 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 could be point of reflection for the world.

To view the entire letter, please click here.


2.- Global Charter for the Public's Health implementation

Professor Bettina Borisch Shared the Global Charter with Dr. Margaret Chan!

Bettina and Margaret ChanOn Tuesday, 27 June, WFPHA attended the event, "10 Years of Leadership on Global Health: Farewell to Margaret Chan." This event celebrated the many achievements of Dr. Chan during her 10 years as Director-General of the World Health Organization.


At the conclusion of the event, Professor Bettina Borisch of the WFPHA, took a moment to share the Global Charter with Dr. Chan. The Charter aims to bring together the best of all existing public health models, and provide a comprehensive, clear, and flexible framework that can be applied globally, and within individual countries, whether they are low, middle, or high-income.

For more information on the Global Charter, and the many goals that it aims to achieve, please click here.

The Global Charter chosen as theme for the 13th PHASA conference in Johannesburg

phasa conference

The World Federation of Public Health Associations is proud to announce that this year The Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA) chose the Global Charter for the Public’s health as the main focus of their 13th annual international conference.

The event will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from the 4th to the 7th of September and the theme is “A Global Charter for the Public’s Health”: Implications for Public Health Practice in South Africa.


The four different components of the Global Charter, Governance, Advocacy, Capacity and Information serve as guiding tools for governments, institutions and all actors that wish to apply a broader approach to public health promotion, protection and prevention.  

The different workshops of the conference are also based on the Charter and will cover 6 topics:

  • Sustainable Health Care Solutions: An Environmental Health Model for Governance, Advocacy

  • Developing an Advocacy Strategy for Mental Health Care in South Africa

  • The Role of Information Technology in Implementing A Global Charter for the Public’s Health

  • Arts Health Project Design Strategies

  • Building Capacity for Advocacy in Undergraduate Health Sciences Programmes

  • International Health Regulations and Requirements to Build Epidemiology Capacity in South Africa

  • Eliminating Gender Based Violence: A Theory of Change Guided by “A Global Charter for the Public's Health”

The WFPHA looks forward for a successful meeting and for an even greater Charter implementation in South Africa.


3.- New Diplomats of the Global Charter 

Meet the new Diplomats of the Global Charter for the public'shealth

Yves Charpak photoProfessor Yves Charpak is vice-president of the Société Française de Santé Publique (SFSP) and president of its international commission. He represents SFSP in the Governing Board of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA). He graduated as MD and specialized in Public Health.

He has a PhD in Biostatistics and was a researcher in Clinical epidemiology during 6 years in INSERM. He then created and headed a consultancy company dealing with evaluation in the health sector during 12 years (EVAL). He joined WHO EURO in 2000 as Senior policy advisor to the Regional Director. He was also WHO Euro’s representative at the EU from 2004 to 2007. He came back to Paris to be Director of international affairs in Institut Pasteur during two years and then Directior for studies and prospective within the French Blood Transfusion System (EFS).

He published a lot in scientific and non scientific journals. He wrote a book in 2016 with Marc Danzon, former Regional Director of WHO regional office for Europe : “Notre santé dans l’arène politique mondiale”, Ed. Belin.

dr. yang

Professor Weizhong-Yang has been working in public health areas for more than 3 decades, with a high reputation and visibility in the field of health emergency, preparedness and response, public health management, infectious diseases prevention and control especially in the infectious disease surveillance and auto-early warning etc.

As the important technique principal, participated in the response and control of SARS, streptococcus infection among human and human infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza in China. As the 1st responsible leader, coordinating and taking a lead to successfully apply and implement dozens of national and international projects including SINO-US EID Program, Early Warning Systems Development and Forecasting Stimulation Technology for Infectious Diseases, Epidemic Situation about Three Gorges Reservoir Area in China, etc. 

Since 2001, he has published more than 60 papers in international and national core academic journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Vaccine, Public Health, PLoS One, Emerging Infectious Disease, etc. He has supervised more than 20 students at MSc and PhD levels.

ildefonso hernandezProfessor Ildefonso Hernández-Aguado is the Former President of the National Commission for Postgraduate Training (Residency) on Preventive Medicine and Public Health and he has conducted research in diverse areas. These areas include epidemiology of infectious diseases, clinical epidemiology and health service research. At present, his priorities lie in health governance, public health policy and ethics. He has authored over 180 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is co-editor or author of several books on public health. He has directed 15 doctoral theses and 14 funded research projects. He was Deputy Editor of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (1998-2008).

Dr Hernández-Aguado was Director General of Public Health in the Spanish Government (2008-2011). He was also member of the Management Board of the European Centre for Disease Control and of the WHO Scientific Committee: European Review on Social Determinants and the Health Divide. He was 
elected to the Standing Committee of the Regional Committee for Europe (WHO). As Director of Public Health, he directed the drafting of the priority of the Spanish Presidency of the European Union on Social Determinants of Health. He directed the work on the Spanish Law of Public Health and on the anti-smoking legislation. He has been member of the Steering Committee of the Spanish Centre for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health.

He was President of the Spanish Epidemiological Association (2003-2007) and is now Past President of the Spanish Public Health and Health Administration Association. Dr. Hernández has been a member of international and national panels on research policy, planning and evaluation. He has been temporary advisor to several institutions including the WHO, Spanish Government, EU and South American and Middle Eastern Universities. He is founder of the Summer School of Public Health (Menorca, Spain).

dkwalkerDr. Deborah Klein Walker, EdD, is a former Vice President and Senior Fellow at Abt Associates and has more than 40 years of experience as a behavioral science researcher, public health leader and advocate for public health and social justice. She is in currently the Governing Council and in the Policy Committee of the WFPHA.

Dr. Walker spent 16 years with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where she was the Maternal and Child Health Title V Director and Associate Commissioner for Programs and Prevention. Prior to state service, she was a faculty member for over a decade at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Currently, she is the President of the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice; an editorial board member of the Maternal and Child Health Journal; an adjunct faculty member of the Boston University School of Public Health; and a Board Member of Family Voices, the Institute of Community Health and the Cambridge Health Alliance Foundation. She is a former president of the American Public Health Association and in 2017 she received the prestigious Paul Revere Award for her vast contribution to the public health space.

Peter Archer photo Aug 2017 225x300Mr. Peter Archer is President of the International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH). The IFEH represents globally more than 50,000 environmental health practitioners working in 40 individual national member organisations and 20 associate members, mainly universities offering first and second degrees in environmental health. The IFEH has been a Partner of the WFPHAs for three years and was represented at the Federation’s General Assembly in Geneva in June 2016.

Peter qualified in the United Kingdom as an environmental health practitioner in 1968. He has specialised in the fields of urban renewal, inner city regeneration, housing renewal and adaptations to homes of disabled people. Most of his experience has been in the cities of Birmingham and Bristol. Latterly he worked for the UK Government’s Audit Commission carrying out inspections of local authority and housing associations’ services. As President of the IFEH Peter’s interest is concentrated on health inequalities and the Marmot Agenda of ‘Closing the Gap in Generation’.

The IFEH is running a series of projects specifically aimed at reducing health inequalities. Each year on September 26th the IFEH runs ‘World Environmental Health Day’ which all member organisations are encouraged to participate. This year’s theme is ‘indoor and outdoor air quality’ a growing area of concern worldwide.




4.- What's on


Follow-up to the G20 Summit held in Hamburg on 7 and 8 July 2017

This year global health was for the first time in the agenda of the G-20 summit held in Hamburg, Germany. The G20 leaders’ declaration was published on July 10, including a section on Safeguarding against Health Crises and Strengthening Health Systems and on Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance. World leaders recalled their goal to achieve universal health coverage and committed to fully eradicate polio. They also addressed the issue of drug-resistant infections, especially tuberculosis, with an increased financing commitment to tackle this disease that affects mostly developing countries. The need to advance preparedness and responsiveness against global health emergencies was recognized as well. The World Health Organization has been identified as having a central coordinating role for capacity building and response to health emergencies. G20 leaders expressed their commitment to foster research and development activities through globally coordinated models to improve health and encouraged countries and International Organizations to strengthen cooperation in order to overcome the significant health challenges posed by mass movements of people.


However, some other global health issues deserving attention were not discussed during the Summit. In particular, the topic of attacks on medical facilities was not addressed. Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, intentionally directing attacks against hospitals and medical units using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts. Many NGO’s and International organizations, and in particular the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), called on G20 leaders to address this urgent issue and take action to stop the practice of bombing medical units and killing medical personnel in countries at war.You can read the press release of MSF on this topic here.


WFPHA calls governements 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 to set up resilient, sustainable and secure health systems as highlighted in the #MelbourneDemandeForAction and in the #GlobalCharter for the Public's Health.

hospital bombed in gazaHospital bombed in Gaza, 2014, Photo credit: CNN

Celebrating the World's indigenous peoples

Indigenous WGEvery year on 9 August, the international community comes together to celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, paying tribute to indigenous communities around the globe.

WFPHA acknowledges the contribution of indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups and the injustices committed against them throughout the world and the impact on their health and well-being and we pay respect to their elders past and present.
During the last World Congress on Public Health, WFPHA has created a working group on Indigenous health, chaired by Adrian Te Patu, indigenous men and public health experts from New Zealand, as well as members of WFPHA Governing Council.

Anti-vaxxers have embraced social media. We’re paying for fake news with real lives

anti vaccinationThe WFPHA regrets the fact that anti-vaccines propaganda is gaining popularity due to fake and biased studies or claims posted on social media from personalities that have little to no medical or immunization experience. The spread of misinformation over this topic constitutes an actual threat to public health and is leading to the resurgence of diseases that could be easily and safely prevented.


As Seth Berkley, the CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, says in this article, public health actors need to rethink their communication strategy and focus on facts and positive aspects of vaccinations to tackle hesitancy over vaccination.


Vaccination is one of the most effective preventive measures as highlighted in the #GlobalCharter for the Public's Health.


United Kingdom campaign on Mental Health

Thrive LDn LaunchOn July 4, the Mayor of London, Mr. Sadiq Khan, launched Thrive LDN, a citywide movement to help the two millions of Londoners that suffer from mental health problems and tackle the stigma and discrimination around mental illnesses. On July 14, a new poster campaign with the message « Are we OK London » has been launched in local underground stations and tubes.


The WFPHA welcomes this initiative that brings more awareness, understanding and accountable information on the determinants of mental health problems and strives towards better social dialogue to prevent the deasese and promote mental wellbeing for all as highlighted in its #GlobalCharter for the Public's Health. Find out more about this movement on the Thrive LDN website.


Cholera outbreak in South Sudan

cholera south sudanThe world is witnessing a resurgence of cholera accompanying several hunger crises that threaten more than 20 million people in four countries. The cholera and hunger crises share the same cause – government failure and conflict. This is particularly the case of South Sudan, where the cholera outbreak might even get out of control due to the rainy season that facilitates the spreading of this disease.


UN camps in the region host more than 200,000 refugees and medical facilities are badly equipped to contain epidemics. According to the humanitarian information source ReliefWeb, campaigns to raise awareness on how to prevent this disease will be launched in schools, but in order to really contain the cholera outbreak South Sudanese authorities should start to recognize the emergency state and take action to fight against this disease. Find out more about this issue here.


WFPHA is saddened by this crisis and calls for resilient and secure health systems as highlighted in its #GlobalCharter for the Public's Health.

First WHO Africa health forum calls for universal health coverage

 Africa health forum During the first Africa Health Forum, held in Kigali, Rwanda, delegates emphasized the need for strong health systems to ensure public health security, including better preparedness and response to disease outbreaks and epidemics. The forum, held under the theme, “Putting people first: The Road to Universal Health Coverage in Africa” is set to be a biennial platform to engage key stakeholders in reviewing progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A “Call-to-Action” read at the closing ceremony included commitment and appeals reached by the delegates.


"We recognise that the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development provides a unique opportunity for repositioning primary prevention in health service delivery and it is also an ideal platform for catalysing inter-sectoral engagement and action,” said WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti at the closing ceremony. “I’m also gratified by commitment to stronger collaboration and engagement among all stakeholders behind the goal of achieving UHC to ensure and improve financial protection for the vulnerable people in Africa,” she said.


WFPHA congratulates delegates for this important achievement and joins their effort to put people first and promote their health and wellbeing #GlobalCharter for the Public's Health

From New Times


Tragedy in Gorakhpur Medical hospital and hospital, india

gorakhpur childEarlier this Month, 63 Children died in only six days in Gorakhpur Medical Facilities (Uttar Pradesh, India) due to lack of oxygen supplies. After being accused of misconduct and negligence the local authorities denied any responsibility.


The World Federation of Public health Associations is appalled by this demonstration of apathy. Public spending on healthcare should always be a priority, especially when children lives are at stake.

This is one of the main reasons why we advocate for more political commitment in ensuring health for all through the Global Charter for the Public's health.


WFPHA thoughts are with the grieving families affected by the Gorakhpur Tragedy and calls the governement 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 to set up resilient, sustainable and secure health systems as highlighted in the #MelbourneDemandForAction and in the #GlobalCharter for the Public's Health.


Brazilian united healthcare system under threat of dismantling

SAUDE rio 1

The World Federation of Public Health Associations joins its member association, Abrasco Divulga, to condemn the dismantling of units dedicated to Basic Care by the Rio de Janeiro City Prefecture in Brazil. We need to prevent diseases and promote health and wellbeing for all in Brazil #GlobalCharter for the Public's Health.


According to several sources, the City intends to close 11 health units, between Family Clinics and Municipal Health Centers in the West Zone, an area that already suffers a shortage of healthcare units.


Healthcare equality in the Country has greatly improved since the introduction of the  Brazil’s Sistema Único de Saúde (SUS). Less Federal spending for this system would have a negaive impact on the lives of millions of middle and lower class Brazilians that would be unable to receive any kind of at-cost medical assistance without SUS.

Congenital syphilis cases are on the rise in Panama

congenital syphilisCongenital syphilis (CS) is a disease that occurs when a mother with syphilis passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy. Public Health experts in Panama are getting worried about the rise of this disease in the Country.


Congenital syphilis could be easily prevented through adequate prenatal care. The health ministry of Panama registered 141 cases of this disease in 2016, compared to the observations of the year 2009, this number is ten times higher. More information on this topic can be found here.


WFPHA shares these concerns: we need to prevent CS through appropriate measures within a resilient and secure health system #GlobalCharter for the Public's Health.


5.- Members' Newsletters


6.- WFPHA and Members' Communications

Call for Resolutions and Statements

We strongly encourage WFPHA Members to develop policy papers and statements and to advocate with us for a better local and global public health!


If you wish to submit resolutions or statements on important public health issues relevant locally and globally and to the Federation as well, please consider the wider spectrum of the Global Public Health, reaching far beyond the medical paradigm. Issues such as equity, trade, violence, social health insurance, environmental health, public health training and research, schools of public health, professional organizations, and workforce development – to mention only a few – have an impact on the health of the people.

You can reach a worldwide audience by passing a resolution in the next WFPHA Assembly. To submit your resolution, please follow the Guidance on Development of Policy (updated in 2017).


Resolutions should be submitted by December 31st, 2017 through the on-line system.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information!

Engaging students and young professionals in public health

The purpose of the WFPHA Student and Young Professional (SYP) Working Group is to represent the interests of SYPs within the WFPHA and support and enhance WFPHA work, particularly in reference to issues of their concern. The Working Group will accomplish this by supporting the work of WFPHA, building partnerships with other student/young professional organisations with an interest in public health, and advancing student and young professional issues within public health.


Your Feedback on this matter is very  importantThe World Federation of Public Health Associations is seeking feedback for a report on how public health associations can better engage students and young professionals. All young people studying and working in public health are invited to complete the survey.


7.- Advertising & Courses

Advertise with us on our new Annual Report for 2017!

Advertising annual report


Union logo


Organised by: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union)

20-24 November 2017
Bangkok, Thailand
Registration closes on 20 August 2017

The International Course on the Clinical Management of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis is a five-day intensive training course, consisting of interactive in-class presentations, discussions and practical exercises and a field visit in Bangkok, aiming to strengthen participants’ capacity in clinical and programmatic management of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

To learn more, please visit For more information about The Union’s training courses, please visit and sign up for our newsletter. To learn more about The Union, please visit

Download course brief here.


8.- Publications

Social media: a new source for the discussion on Global Public Health? 

A. Favre, M. Lomazzi, B. Borisch - The international journal of communication and health


Global Public Health is facing a new era with the increasing usage of internet and social media. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of how social media, and particularly Twitter and Blogs, are used to transmit Global Public Health by different organizations and actors including Global Public Health professionals. Manual and computational methodologies have been applied to determine the platforms with highest impact, frequencies of selected keywords, hashtags etc., using Global Public Health and Global Health as main keywords. We observed that these two keywords are not often well perceived or referenced even by organization dealing with Global Health.This stresses the fact that a definition of Global Public Health today is needed and that consequently, social media would make up a better platform.


Different health issues are debated in the social media; those that gain most attention are the “hot” and probably more transient topics such as Ebola, in partly SDGs and Environment. Topics like HIV, Women, Children and Poverty instead remain on the scene since a long time. In general, we observed that the ongoing topics or ‘hot topics’ are more represented than abstract issues, confirming previous literature. Taken together, we demonstrated that Twitter and Blogs contribute to the ongoing discussion on Global Public Health and arepart of the debate around global public health in today’s global setting. Thus a better use of social media by organizations and individuals in public health should be considered. 


You can reed the full paper here.

The global war on tobacco is far from over

In this Article Dr. Sandro De Maio provides an interesting insight into the achievements and new challenges for all actors involved in the fight against tobacco. Whill most countries today have adopted at least some sort of policies to regulate the tobacco market and discourage the use of tobacco products, tobacco companies are now adopting more complex tactics to market their toxic products.


Evidence of obstruction attempts by big tobacco firms to reduce the impact of public health policies against smoking is also a disturbing display of the power of tobacco industry. Therefore, "while we should be proud of the progress made to date, not for a moment should we think that the battle is even close to ending".

All Roads lead to Universal Health Coverage

The World health Organization’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, recently expressed his ethical view of the concept of Universal health Coverage.


He argues that even States that do not have a high national income level or economic development can make progress in Public health. Each country is responsible of making the right political choice to achieve Universal Health Coverage and the WHO can help them to do so by will catalysing proactive engagement and advocacy with global, regional, and national political structures and leaders including heads of state and national parliaments.


Read the full article here.


9.- Upcoming events

No events
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