WFPHA Newsletter October 2017

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


téléchargementWFPHA President Michael Moore, made the statement below to the Western Pacific Region of the WHO (WPRO) on behalf of the WFPHA during the week of October 9-13, 2017. 


Chairperson, Excellences, Distinguished Colleagues, 

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and pay my respects to their elders past and present.


WFPHA is an NGO composed of multidisciplinary national PHAs. This year we celebrate 50 years of bringing together PHAs globally to advocate for better public health. We believe that health systems and public health functions should be treated as global public goods. This goal can be achieved through political, social, environmental and economic change across all sectors for better and more sustainable health.


Health Promotion is one of three goals along with Protection and Prevention. Our vision for health, A Global Charter for the Public’s Health, was developed in collaboration with WHO, and in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The World Federation works with public health professionals and over 100 of their associations worldwide for better health outcomes for all and to improve and sustain planetary health. We strive ourselves, and we encourage others, to fully apply the mechanisms available to government, industry, private enterprise, academia and civil society to embrace health promotion, prevention and protection. In line with the SDGs we endeavor to promote equity and social inclusion and work with others to protect the health of our planet as fundamental to human health. Harnessing knowledge, skills and priorities through strong community engagement is fundamental to achieving these goals.


Public health is dependent on many sectors. We call on all governments to work with a wide range of professionals to immediately develop further public health functions and quality health and other systems as global public resources. We call on you to hold all sectors accountable for the health impacts of all policies and actions, consistent with their responsibilities in striving to achieve the reality and the intent of the SDGs.




Cardiovascular disease is the world’s leading cause of mortality – with over 75% of mortality occurring in low and middle income countries.  Inspiring a greater sense of priority and urgency to reduce this enormous burden, was the theme of the World Heart Federation’s 2nd Global Summit in Singapore in July of this year.  This later transpired the World Heart Federation’s desire to coordinate international advocacy efforts and form a Global Coalition for Circulatory Health to accelerate the fight against heart disease and stroke, as political leaders throughout the world prepare for the third UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs in September 2018.


Michael Moore, World Federation of Public Health Associations president, has joined the Global Coalition in September of this year.  This Global Coalition consists of international, regional, and national stakeholders.  Its goal is to achieve the 25% reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 2025 (25 by 25), through a substantial reduction in heart attack and stroke.  It hopes to accomplish this by leveraging a collective international voice of expertise to be heard by policy makers and politicians - so that increased prevention, control, and treatment of all circulatory diseases can commence. You can read the Global Coalition summary here


The World Heart Federation, alongside its partners in the Global Coalition, have recently co-signed a letter to the Editor of The Lancet condemning the recent launch of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.  This Foundation will receive funding from Philip Morris International (PMI), beginning in 2018, over the next 12 years. This being said, this Foundation is a vehicle for the tobacco industry as Philip Morris International continues to invest billions of dollars in marketing cigarettes worldwide, spread misinformation among the public, and block policies designed to protect public health.  Tobacco is one of the leading causes of premature CVD mortality thus all legitimate and honest efforts to protect the public from the harm of tobacco and smoking should be upheld. You can see the full letter in the Lancet here.


In addition to joining the Global Coalition, the WFPHA also joined a campaign alongside 113 other leading tobacco control and global health organizations in mid-September.  This campaign demanded through an open letter that Philip Morris International (PMI) cease the production, marketing, and sale of cigarettes due to the unnecessary death of millions as a direct result of tobacco use.  This open letter highlights that despite the overwhelming amount of scientific proof that tobacco is harmful to health, tobacco sales and consumption continue to this day.  The right to health and the right to life should be upheld. Thus, given the deadly nature of tobacco smoke and the extremely addictive nature of nicotine, companies should immediately cease the actions that cause or contribute to the impacts. In addition, it is monstrous that companies continue profiting from a product that they know will kill a significant proportion of their customers. See full letter to PMI here


Stay tuned for more exciting details on the accelerated fight against heart disease and stroke!




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On September 6, 2017, WFPHA, along with other Organizations, NGOs and professionals involved in Global Public health, signed a joint letter that was Submitted to the Director General of the World Health Organization Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urging him to endorse and establish a WHO process to implement a Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH).


FCGH aims to create a right to health governance framework. It would be a global health treaty based on the right to health and closing national and global health inequities. It would provide standards to ensure health care and underlying determinants of health, such as clean water and nutritious food, for all, along with an international and domestic financing framework to secure sufficient, sustained funds, while addressing the social determinants of health.


You can read letter to Dr. Tedros requesting his support to advance this proposed global treaty, which would make it legally-binding on governments to assure that everyone’s right to health is realized, here.



world disarmament 1The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), World Medical Association (WMA), International Council of Nurses (ICN), and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) welcome the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which was adopted on July 7th, 2017.  This treaty includes 122 non-nuclear-weapon states.


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


The TPNW parties must now work diligently and urgently in order to bring the nuclear-armed and nuclear-dependent states into compliance with this norm. We urge all states to sign the treaty after it opens for signature at the United Nations in New York on September 20th, 2017.  As of September 20th, 2017, 50 states have sigend the treaty. 


As highlighted in the Global Charter for the Public's Health, the WFPHA is committed to protecting the public. This includes protection from the health impacts of nuclear weapons. The WFPHA also call on governments to hold all sectors accountable for the health impacts of their policies and actions, consistent with the intent of the social determinants of health and their responsibilities to strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

2.-Global Charter for the Public's Health Implementation: AMR Workshop


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The WFPHA recognizes that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major global health concern that needs to be addressedglobally in line with the values stated in the Global Charter for the Public's Health. To contribute  to the fight, WFPHA will run the International Global Health and Antimicrobial Resistance workshop on May 23rd 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. 


This workshop will convene experts in AMR at the global level to showcase experiences, challenges and possible solutions to face AMR.  A special focus will be addressed on the need to set up resilient and secure health systems. 


Confirmed speakers include Marc Sprenger, Director, Antimicrobial Resistance Secretariat, WHO; Manica Balasegaram, Director, GARDP; Herman Goossens, Opinion leader & former member of JPIAMR; Anna Zorzet, Head of ReAct Europe; April Johnson, Animal Health Officer, FAO; Peter Beyer, Senior Advisor, Dept of Essential Medicines & Health Products, WHO. 


3.-WFPHA Latest Meetings & Activities:


demThe WFPHA was honoured to take part in the International Day of Democracy celebrations at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.  


Mr. John Githongo (Kenya), journalist and leading figure in the fight against corruption, discussed the role of young people in politics: "Education is essential for democracy. But education should not just serve young people for passing exams and getting a job. Many young people learn about democracy, but not in a manner that is self-aware. We need to take it to the next level. Digital technology for example, can be used as a tool for democracy, but it doesn’t necessary assure honesty. Digital technology is very good and works very well only if it's in the right hands!"


The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) recognizes that democracy and human rights are a fundamental part of health. As a public health actor, WFPHA too is striving for empowering young people and using digital technology as a tool to democratize health advocacy.



mercury 870Representatives from around the world gathered the week of September 24th, 2017 in Geneva to raise public awareness about mercury, its uses, and its effects. 


Disproportionate levels of mercury have been recently found in women of childbearing age from areas where the concentration of this metal had some of the highest levels of contamination. The study, which has been conducted by Ipen on 25 countries interested by the phenomenon, reported that 86% of women from the Pacific region had levels of mercury above three times the safety limit, resulting in a serious brain damage for newborns. The issue of mercury pollution, and the question whether international cooperation will be able to tackle it within the next 10 years, have been debated during the Minamata Convention, whose first major meeting was held in Geneva on 24 September.


Dr. Peter Orris participated in the Mercury Week events.  He is a diplomat of the WFPHA Global Charter and co-chair of the Environmental Health Working Group. He comes from the American Public Health Association (APHA) in the United States. His video can be found here.


4.-News from our Members

American Public Health Association`s 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo

2017AMLogoThe American Public Health Association (APHA)`s Annual Meeting and Expo, "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health",  will be held November 4-8th, 2017 in Atlanta, USA. Those who may be interested to register for APHA Live, selected sessions will be webcasted live throughout the conference. Click here for access. 






Association Congolaise pour la Santé Publique et Communautaire (ACSPC) 


The ACSPC has made several progresses in their association.  Some of these progresses include the organization of the National Public Health Days since 2005, fighting against a variety of public health problems (malaria, tuberculosis, tobacco and violence against women), surveys on the use of condoms by teenagers (Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire), and the management of health services (hospital of Tié-Tié and PDSS II-PBF Approach).  The ACSPC faced some challenges which include an insufficient number of active members who speak English, no financial autonomy, and an insufficient amount of computers which can hinder production capacities.  


Expectations of the ACSPC towards the WFPHA is strengthening its capacities and skills in organizational development and support for the mobilization of funds for the implementation of activities.  Promotional activities of the Global Charter for the Public’s Health include the distribution of the Charter by emails and letters to the actors of public health in Congo as well as the organizations of a workshop in Brazzaville from November 23-24th titled, “The public health on the ground: the Global Charter for the public’s health as the reference frame”.

The Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA)

logo phasaIn 2017, the PHASA actively participated in the discussion for a National Health Insurance to ensure Universal Health Coverage for all South Africans. The organisation contributed to the debate on the introduction of a sugar tax. The Climate, Energy and Health special interest group (SIG) hosted two international speakers at a public debate on Climate Denialis. The Art and Health SIG developed frameworks for using the arts in public health advocacy. The Health Promotion SIG successfully supported the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance in a drive to ensure the withdrawal of a campaign by the alcohol industry encouraging alcohol sales to raise funds to feed hungry students. The Mental Health SIG assisted with the organisation of the 5th Global Mental Health Summit.


The year culminated with the annual conference in September 2017. The event offered an opportunity to show case outstanding public health research in South Africa. A panel of local and international speakers deliberated on the Global Charter for the Public`s Health. Active participation from grassroots organisations challenged the debate on how to practically translate ideas from the Charter so they changed lives on the ground. The PHILA Awards is an annual recognition by PHASA for the outstanding work done by South Africans in Public Health. 


PHASA challenges include increasing and retaining membership, a paucity of financial resources, the absence of permanent staff to drive advocacy and fund raising efforts and under participation by members to contribute to the life force of the organisation.  


5.-Members' Newsletters


6.-WFPHA Members Communication

Meet The New Interns

valerieValerie Simpson joined the WFPHA as an intern in August 2017.  She comes from Toronto, Ontario in Canada and will continue to work with the Federation until mid November 2017.  Valerie is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Health (MPH) and will graduate next spring. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BScN) with a minor in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.  She has been an active registered nurse in the emergency department setting for almost 9 years. Valerie has also worked with the First Nations population doing outpost nursing in primary care clinics across remote locations in Ontario, Canada.  Valerie has a great interest in epidemiology, emergency preparedness, infection control and prevention, as well as improving health conditions and outcomes that exist among many population groups today.

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Giulia Conti joined WFPHA as an intern in September 2017, and plans to stay with the Federation until January 2018. She comes from Rome, Italy, and she is currently pursuing her Master in International Cooperation and Development at the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Milan. She also holds a Bachelor's Degree in International Affairs obtained at John Cabot University in Rome and studied for one semester at The New School in New York. Ms. Conti already has several years of working/volunteering experience for a non-profit regional organization based in Rome that strives for guaranteeing better living and working conditions for the community. Academically, she is interested in political science, project cycle management, and peace-building studies. Through her academic background and working experiences, Ms. Conti acquired a greater understanding of the importance of international cooperation to achieve global health security, and is passionate about becoming a specialist in the sector.


7.-WFPHA Working Groups

Indigenous Working Group


Adrian Te Patu (NZ Co-Chair), Emma Rawson (NZ Co-Vice Chair), Carmen Parter (Aus Co-Chair), and Summer May Finlay (Aus Co-Vice) are the interim working group chairs. This group met face to face for the first time since the conference in Tweed Heads, Australia, on Monday September 4th, 2017. This working group will be starting a Facebook page and Twitter account to keep in touch with everyone who is interested. They plan on having monthly teleconferences and hope to meet again face to face in December.


If you are interested in joining the working group, contact us.


Student and Young Professional Working Group

On September 25th, 2017, members of the Students and Young Professional Working Group (SYPWG) gathered together for an online call to discuss the ongoing project  "Report on the Future of Public Health and Engaging Students and Young Professionals". This report looks at the involvement and exposure of students and young professionals that is necessary to contribute to the future of public health. By underlining the focus on the next generation, new strategies may be considered to better engage the youth at a professional and community level.  


In addition, the SYPWG call discussed some objectives to be reached.  These objectives include to stimulate creative thinking and input on key public health issues, to facilitate the development and funding of SYP sections of public health associations, and to enhance the involvement of young students in public health association research. The discussion is still ongoing thus most of the key issues and concerns will have to be analyzed in more detail in order to get a more defined picture of the overall project.


8.-Advertising & Courses

Advertise with us on our media, newsletter and new Annual Report for 2017

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International Course on the Clinical Management of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

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

20-24 November 2017
Bangkok, Thailand


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.


Applications for foreign candidates to Masters and PhD in Collective Health – UFBA 2018 – Federal University of Bahia

isc 750x390 696x362For more info regarding the application process please click here.



9.-What's on


World Hunger on the Rise

world hungerAccording to a new United Nations report, despite the steady decline in over a decade, global hunger is on the rise again. In 2016, it affected 815 million people which equates to 11% of the global population. This is a 38 million increase from the previous year. In addition, different forms of malnutrition are affecting millions worldwide. While 52 million suffer from wasting, 41 million children are overweight. These trends are cause for concern. The report states that climate change, dietary habits, and economic slowdowns could be the culprits. Click here to read full article.

New Zealand has Eliminated Endemic Measles and Rubella

NZThe World Health Organization has just confirmed that New Zealand has successfully eliminated endemic measles and rubella for the first time. This means that for the past three years there has been no measles or rubella cases that have originated there. 

According to public health professor Michael Baker from the University of Otago, “"It's just a great success story for New Zealand... In the end it means a high level of safety and protection for our children." However, there is still work that needs to be done. Only about 80 percent of teenagers and young adults have received both doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) – leaving them at risk. It is also impossible to prevent cases all together as millions of people visit New Zealand each year who may have the virus. You can read the full article here


The WFPHA applauds this success. We urge people to check their immunization records and get immunized if they are not already. Prevention, promotion, and protection are three core components of the WFPHA’s Global Charter for the Public's Health.


The Rohingyas Flee Due to Genocide

img 20170906 wa0028.jpg2 The Myanmar authorities are killing the Rohingyas, a Muslim ethnic minority group of Myanmar, and forcing them to leave the country as a form of “ethnic cleansing” late this summer. The Rohingyas are currently fleeing the country to Bangladesh and India in fear of an unfolding genocide. Close to 700,000 people have crossed into Bangladesh. To make matters worse, India and Bangladesh are not welcoming of this population and thus these people are living in unsafe and unhygienic conditions. Clean water, sanitation, and low rates of immunization are very concerning. Full article can be found here


The WFPHA is appalled by this lack of humanity. We call for political acknowledgement, engagement, and leadership in order to combat these hateful actions that represents a threat to public health.



Historic Steps to End Childhood Marriage

201504 NPL 545According to the UNICEF global database, over 750 million girls and women today were married before their 18th birthday. Prior to 2012, approximately 29% of Latin American girls were getting married before the age of 18.


Central America and the Caribbean have recently made historic strides for girls and adolescent women in the region. Laws forbidding child marriage are relevant in order to prevent sexual abuse of girls and adolescents and to decrease underage pregnancy. Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is one of the SDGs and equality is one of the backbone of the Global Charter for the Public’s Health. Click here to read the full article.



CHLOCholera in Yemen

Cholera kills approximately 100,000 people per year. Yemen continues to fight one of the worst cholera outbreaks on record due to poor hygiene and sanitation conditions and disruptions to the water supply. Over 770,000 people have been infected, most of which are children. This disease can be easily treated with the right medical supplies and equipment.


Health officials from around the world met in France this week to commit to preventing 90% of cholera deaths by 2030. This marks the first time ever that governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), aid agencies, and donors have made such a pledge. Read the full article here


The WFPHA recognizes the importance of having access to clean water and sanitation in order to prevent illness and protect people. We applaud this commitment. We advocate for more political commitment in ensuring health for all through the Global Charter for the Public's Health.





In each issue of the Journal of Public Health Policy (JPHP), journal editors include an article commissioned by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), written by leading authors in the field. Edited by Bettina Borisch and Marta Lomazzi at the WFPHA, JPHP is pleased to make the Federation’s Pages free to view in celebration of JPHP’s continuing affiliation with the WFPHA.

2017 articles

More articles coming soon, stay tuned!



Antimicrobial Resistance 

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published an article, “One Health approach to tackle antimicrobial resistance in South East Asia” on September 5th, 2017. This article discusses how antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a dominant global health concern of our time. Projections suggest that by 2050, more individuals will die of bacterial infections than cancer. It also highlights the critical situation of AMR in the South East Asia region, home to 1.8 billion people. 


The increased use of antibiotics in hospitals and transmission of resistant pathogens between patients and to health care workers has accelerated AMR. At the prescriber level there should be better diagnostics, financial incentives, ongoing training regarding antibiotic use, professional and hospital practice standards for antibiotic usage, and feedback regarding antibiotic usage.  To see full article click here



11.-Upcoming events

No events
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