WFPHA Newsletter August 2018

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1. Message from the President

Professor Laetitia RispelProfessor Laetitia Rispel

Since assuming the presidency of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) in May 2018, I have been humbled by the messages of support and goodwill from many fraternal organisations and colleagues in my home country, South Africa, and elsewhere. I recognise what a tremendous responsibility it is to lead the Federation at this fragile time in history, especially as the first woman president from Africa. I see that part of my responsibility is to ensure that the path is smoothened for other or younger women, by mentoring them, and by making sure that they believe in themselves, and that they value their own accomplishments. To this end, I have written a letter to all national public health associations to encourage them to enhance diversity, and to support the participation of women and young people within their governance structures. We have already received examples of success stories from some member organisations which we will share with you at a later stage.

As many of you know, I am passionate about advocating for health equity, which must be a centre piece of all disease control priorities or health service delivery strategies in every country across the globe. My own research on human resources for health will constitute an important part of health equity promoting endeavours.

Five strategic priorities inform the work of the Federation: (1) advocate for health equity and global policies to improve the health of populations; (2) promote, support and strengthen member associations; (3) develop and advance public health practice, education, training and research; (4) grow new, and strengthen existing partnerships with groups and individuals who share our values; and (5) build an effective, responsive and sustainable WFPHA.

I have set as one of my first priorities to raise money from ethical sources, in order to achieve these goals. I have already set up a small task team to help me do that, and to link financing to our new strategic plan. In the coming month, I will be having meetings with the Telkom Foundation of South Africa and with the Carnegie Corporation of New York to discuss the possibility of providing financial support for the activities of the Federation.

I want to thank the headquarters staff in Geneva and all of you in our member organisations for your hard work, dedication and commitment to public health and to assure you of my support for your efforts. Please do not hesitate to contact me on  or  should you have questions or to wish to make any suggestions.



2. International Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labels Webinar

Webinar Heart

Register today!

October 16, 8am CEST   |   October 18, 5pm CEST

The WFPHA is proud to present the webinar "Promoting Healthier Diets: Is Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labelling Part of the Solution?". The webinar is one of our Global Charter for the Public's Health implementation activities and will use the Charter to analyze Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labels (FoPL) as a strategy for obesity prevention and improving the publics' nutritional health. Experts from different regions of the world will attend to share their insights on how such labels can assist consumers' choice. They will also engage with the audience to develop new and innovative ideas on how to establish FoPL as an effective strategy. Attendance for the webinar is free, but registration is mandatory. Register here to save your spot.



3. Charter Implementation

In addition to the webinar, the WFPHA is implementing the Charter through various means including active engagement of our diplomats, advocacy for effective vaccination policies, and follow-up of previous events such as the International Global Health and Antimicrobial Resistance Workshop. We count of the support of each public health professional to support the Charter's revolution.


Charter MeetingFirst Face-to-Face Meeting of the Diplomats of the Global Charter

The event "Global Meetings for Universal Health: Views, Agreements and Actions for the Americas", organized by the faculty of public health of University of Antioquia, will take place at the University of Antioquia Research Headquarters (SIU), between 12th and 16th November 2018. A large influx of the public is expected throughout the week with the objective of reaching a consensus on local governance initiatives and promoting true Latin American alliances for universal health. During the event, the first face-to-face meeting between the Diplomats of the Global Charter will take place.

The WFPHA calls upon professionals and health organizations to continue the development of the Global Charter for the Public's Health to fully embrace and promote its services of protection, prevention and health promotion as well as its four enabler functions of good governance, accurate information, effective advocacy and capacity building. Utilization of these services and functions will serve as a pathway to resilient health systems globally.




Become a Diplomat of the Global Charter!

BECOME A DIPLOMAT OF THE GLOBAL CHARTER NOW and sustain the global public health revolution! Diplomats are public health professionals committed to improving global health and willing to sustain the Global Charter for the Public’s Health's revolution within his/her working and living context.

If you wish to become a Diplomat of the Global Charter, please contact  and connect here for additional information.


vaccination 1215279 960 720

Reaffirmation of Mandatory Vaccination Policies

One of the core services highlighted in the WFPHA and WHO's collaborativeGlobal Charter for the Public's Health is Prevention. Vaccination plays a key role in primary prevention as reported in our CharterVaccines are recognized as one of the greatest acheivements in public health for their role in the elimination of infectious diseases and promotion of better health outcomes worldwide. Vaccines are also considered one of the most effective public health interventions from an economic standpoint when considering return on investment. The WFPHA encourages organizations to use the framework of the Charter to promote policies that encourage primary prevention. These policies include, but are not limited to, mandatory immunizations for school-age children in order to establish herd immunity. The WFPHA recognizes that the anti-vaccination movement has gained attention in Europe and worldwide, even 20 years after the publication of the later-retracted Lancet article of a false link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Recent news of mass distribution of ineffective immunizations in China has also exposed difficulties with universal access to efficacious preventative medicine. The negative effects of missing immunizations are clear: the WHO recently announced that cases of measles have hit record highs in the European region.

The WFPHA encourages all member associations to use the Charter to advocate for thorough immunization coverage in their states or regions, as well as to hold governments and pharmaceutical companies accountable for access, affordability, and effectiveness of vaccines. In 2019, the WFPHA will host an event on vaccination policies and public health's role in promoting accurate information and research. Additional information on the webinar will be announced in the coming months. To learn more about current global immunization initaitives, visit the WHO Global Vaccine Action Plan website. The WFPHA is planning future educational initiatives regarding vaccinations and the Charter's framework to take place next year.


Videos from the International Global Health & Antimicrobial Resistance Workshop

AMR YouTube2In May, the WFPHA held the 2018 International Global Health & Antimicrobial Resistance Workshop as part of our Charter implementation activities. This multisectoral approach to combatting AMR resulted in a productive dialouge regarding innovating solutions and policies. A publication regarding the success of the event will be released soon. Visit the WFPHA's YouTube Channel to view recordings of our keynote speakers and panels of experts. Topics include AMR in food and agriculture, antibiotic efficacy, and the WFPHA's Call to Action. New videos will be posted weekly.


4. Indigenous Working Group News


Following ratification of the Indigenous Working Group by the WFPHA Governing Council in November 2017, the interim Working Group members have been working towards the official launch. The Indigenous Working Group was formally launched on May 24th in Geneva alongside the World Health Assembly. The launch was held at the University of Geneva and attended by over 60 people in person and viewed online by over 900 people. Attendees were from all around the world and were active participants in the yarning circle. A yarning circle is an Aboriginal methods of facilitating sharing amongst its members with a focus on deep listening.

Since the 15th World Congress on Public Health held in April in Melbourne last year, the WFPHA's first Indigenous working group has been in process of establishment. To progress the Group, interim Co-Chairs Carmen Parter from Australia and Adrian Te Patu from New Zealand were appointed. Emma Rawson from New Zealand and Summer May Finlay from Australia were interim Co-Vice Chairs. These four members were the driving force behind the establishment of the group from its endorsement at the World Congress. Under the framework of the Global Charter, the Indigenous Working Group aims to reduce the health disparity and inequities experienced by Indigenous people globally. The Working Group’s objectives are to:

  • bring together Indigenous peoples from around the world to share and learn from each other
  • engage in collective advocacy,
  • partner with existing international groups working in Indigenous affairs,
  • source any funding or in-kind support to support the work of the IWG and,
  • seek out research opportunities that develop the evidence base that informs global Indigenous public health policies.

To support the Indigenous Working Group and connect with Indigenous people around the world, a Twitter account and Facebook page have been created. The aim of the group now is to increase its membership and develop its three year plan. Indigenous people who are members of a WFPHA member association are invited to join the working group. Non-Indigenous members of a WFPHA member are able to join as an associate member. Indigenous people can join at this link. Non-Indigenous people can join by clicking here. More information about the Group can be found on the WFPHA website.


5. 16th World Congress on Public Health - Rome 2020

2020Monday 12 October - Saturday 17 October 2020

The 2020 World Congress on Public Health, to be held in Rome, comes at a critical time for our planet. Several commentators, looking ahead over the next few decades, have warned that the very survival of humanity is at risk. This year, temperatures in the Arctic and Antarctic are far higher what has been seen since records began, and there are real fears that we are reaching a tipping point. Threats to food and water supply, biodiversity, and in some parts of the world, the ability to survive in extreme temperatures are leading to mass migration and conflict. Political structures, at national, regional, and global level are struggling to respond. International agreements on climate change, nuclear weapons, and much more are being torn up. The Enlightenment view that policy should be shaped by evidence, is being rejected by some leading politicians. At a time when global solidarity is required, populist politicians are exploiting divisions. Democracies are being subverted by poorly understood forces that have taken advantage of the information revolution.
Rome, the setting for our Congress, serves as a reminder that continued progress is not inevitable. A Roman citizen, standing in the forum 2000 years ago, could never have imagined that the society that they observed, with its culture and technological achievement, would be swept away within a few hundred years.
The theme of the Congress, "Public Health for the Survival of Humanity: Analysis, Advocacy, and Action", reflects our firm commitment that we in the global public health community have an obligation to respond to these new circumstances. We must make visible the threats to health, some of which are already emerging. We must challenge and hold to account those with the power to make a difference. And we must act, making real our commitment to health in all policies.



6. News from our Members

PHAA logoPublic Health Association of Australia

The Public Health Association of Australia released a statment in support of the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy in honour of World Breastfeeding Week 2018. The PHAA recognizes the role of breastfeeding in the promotion of positive health outcomes of infants as well as the need for more regulations on the marketing of infant formula. Read the full statement here.

RSPHRoyal Society of Public Health

The Royal Society of Public Health announced their Scroll Free September initiative, which encourages users to take a break from social media for a month in order to limit negative mental health outcomes like anxiety, depression, and poor body image. Learn more and get involved here.

world heart federationWorld Heart Federation 

In June, the World Heart Federation held the first meeting of their Rheumatic Heart Disease Task Force. The Task Force will focus on the prevention and control of rheumatic fever and RHD. Learn more about the group here.


Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva 

The Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva held their 12th Congress in July. Topics included the Sistema Único de Saúde, future initatives, and health education. Read more about the congress and its outcomes here.



7. Meet the New WFPHA Interns

The WFPHA strives to create a supportive, diverse work environment for our staff and interns. We are proud to host students of various nationalities, genders, and academic backgrounds. Each of our interns brings a unique perspective to global health and helps establish the WFPHA as a truly international federation.


Ayat HeadshotAyat Abourashed

My name is Ayat Abourashed, an American-Egyptian Master’s student. Currently, I am enrolled in the Erasmus Mundus Infectious Diseases and One Health Master of Science program. I started working with WFPHA in June and will stay in Geneva until the start of September. My main focus has been creating a Food Labelling Webinar for October 2018. Even though my time working on-site is fairly short, I plan on continuing my work with the Food Labelling Webinar once my courses start again in the fall. I really wanted to gain experience in the public health sector, and WFPHA seemed like a great way to connect various networks and organizations and promote health education through modern communication methods like digital technology. That and the fact that it is located in Geneva, the heart of the international organizations and an endless melting pot of cultures. During this time, I’ve really learned how to juggle multiple projects at once and work with different groups.


WFPHA Headshot2Becky Brosch

My name is Becky Brosch and I am a graduate student from Chicago, United States. I am completing my Master of Public Health degree at Saint Louis University with concentrations in Global Health and Biosecurity & Disaster Preparedness. My academic background is rooted in political science and graphic design, both of which have helped spark my interest in health policy and innovation. During my undergraduate career, I was fortunate to travel to Brazil and Ghana where I learned more about public health, neglected tropical diseases, and comparative health systems. My graduate career has been focused on diplomacy, evaluation, infectious disease control, and environmental health. I began interning at the WFPHA in early July and will complete my work in late September. I look forward to promoting the WFPHA’s mission and the Global Charter for the Public’s Health through advocacy, communication, and research.


Scott Chiossi

Scott Headshot

My name is Scott Chiossi, I am an Italian-Scottish student currently living in Barcelona. I am undertaking a Masters in Infectious Diseases and One Health, with a particular interest in integrative policies; current and emerging disease prevention and health improvement as a whole. I began working for WFPHA in May 2018, where I started planning for our first International Webinar on Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labelling (FoPL) to be held in October 2018. The aim of the Webinar is to discuss with experts from different regions in the world how to establish FoPL as an effective strategy for improving the publics' nutritional health and preventing diet-related diseases. What fascinates me most about the WFPHA is its ability to connect public health systems from all over the world, strengthening such systems and developing new strategies through the core principles of Protection, Prevention, and Promotion. So far I have not only learned the value of networking and communication, namely when attempting to conduct inter-sectorial work, but also the importance of online platforms as a means of reaching the public to further advocate certain health behaviours.


Marie Anne HeadshotMarie-Anne Pham

My name is Marie-Anne Pham. I am currently doing my bachelor’s degree in medicine at the University of Geneva. I am also enrolled in a summer research program for medical students. I chose to do my summer internship at WFPHA because it is based in Geneva, it met my school requirement for the summer program and because of my interest in public health. I was curious to know how organizations based in my hometown are able to make health policy changes. I started working at the WFPHA since the beginning of July and I will complete my internship at the end of August. I am currently working on the interest of medical students regarding global health and humanitarian health during their undergrad medical studies. I was surprised to learn the importance of social media in public health.



8. Follow the WFPHA on Social Media!

Did you know that the WFPHA is active on social media? Follow us on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram for more updates on the WFPHA's work and for more information about what our members are up to worldwide.



9. Advertising & Courses

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10. Upcoming Events

PHSASPHASA Annual Conference 2018

10 - 12 September, Khaya iBhubesi, Parys, South Africa

The Public Health Association of South Africa extends a warm invitation to their 14th annual conference. The conference programme will feature expert plenaries and panel discussions, oral and poster research presentations, skills development workshops, and the opportunity to engage with special interest groups. In commemoration of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 70th anniversary celebration, the theme for this year’s conference is “Health For All- Thinking Globally, Acting Locally.” Read more...


DubaiAnnual Emergency Medicine and Acute Care Conference
Thu Sep 13, 2018 Dubai, UAE
"Annual Emergency Medicine & Acute Care Conference" will be held September 13-15, 2018 in Dubai, UAE. The 2018 theme is "Medicine and the Present Emergency".
We cordially invite all the participants who are interested in sharing their knowledge and research in the area of Emergency Medicine & Acute care. Emergency medicine is currently the prime focus of research in medicinal research. Read more...



Titelbild SPH18 1920px.5b3547fd.fill 940x400Swiss Public Health Conference 2018

Wednesday 07 November 2018 - Thursday 08 November 2018
The social sciences describe the influence of the social environment, our living environment and our behavior on health. How can social sciences contribute to our health system? How can a health-oriented health policy be put into practice? These questions will be at the heart of the 2018 Swiss Public Health Conference. Come and discuss with us! And with researchers like Sir Michael Marmot and politicians like Dominique de Buman, president of the National Council. Read more...


2018 AM LogoAmerican Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Expo 

10 - 14 November 2018, San Diego, California, United States

APHA's Annual Meeting and Expo is the largest annual gathering of local, state, national, and international  public health professionals in the United States. More than 12,000 people attend, and thousands of new abstracts are presented each year, making APHA 2018 the most influential meeting in public health. This year, the theme of the event is "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now". Read more...



EPH11th European Public Health Conference 

28 November - 1 December 2018, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The EPH Conference is the largest public health event in Europe. We expect over 1,500 delegates to attend the Ljubljana conference. Get in touch with public health practitioners and representatives from European and international health organisations. Theme of the conference is ‘Winds of Change: Towards New Ways of Improving Public Health in Europe’. Read more...


WHFWorld Heart Federation (WHF) - World Congress of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Health – WCC 2018
Wed Dec 05, 2018 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The World Heart Federation (WHF) is looking forward to the next World Congress of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Health in Dubai on 5-8 December 2018. #WCCDubai 2018 will be held in partnership with the Emirates Cardiac Society & the Gulf Heart Association, and it will be an opportunity to network with other CVD health specialists and to share best practices on a variety of topics including advocacy, genetics, hypertension, and more. Read more...


Uganda3rd IFEH Academic and 16th MUEHSA Scientific Conference
Tue Apr 09, 2019 Hotel Africana in Kampala, Uganda
The International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) in conjunction with Makerere University Environmental Health Students' Association (MUEHSA) has announced the call for abstracts for the 3rd IFEH Academic and 16th MUEHSA Scientific Conference that will take place from 9th to 11th April 2019 at Hotel Africana in Kampala, Uganda. Read more...

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