WFPHA Newsletter October 2016

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  In this Newsletter:



1.- WFPHA @ World Health Summit Berlin 2016 


The World Health Summit  (WHS) is the annual conference of the M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities and National Academies. Through the Inter Academy Medical Panel (IAMP), it is organized in collaboration with national academies of science in more than 67 countries.

The M8 Alliance is a collaborative network of academic institutions known for its educational and research excellence. The network was founded in 2009 at the inaugural WHS.

The 2016 edition of the WHS focused on Migration and Refugee Health,  Technological Innovation for Health, Women, Empowerment and Health,

Translational Research, Infectious Diseases and Sustainable Development Goals.

The plenary on refugee health underlined the reality that we will live with this situation and that we better adapt to it rather quickly and professionally instead of waiting for « solutions » that would stop a phenomenon that simply is part of our reality.

The WHS enjoys the patronage of the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, the President of the French Republic and the President of the European Commission. There was a broad , high level participation of public health professionals,  private sector (corporates and start-ups) but also politicians and policy makers.

The WFPHA through its Executive Director, Prof Bettina Borisch, had the possibility to present its Global Charter for the Public's Health in the session on SDGs; this was followed by an animated discussion.  The WFPHA has created links with the WHS officials and will continue to collaborate.

The next regional meeting North America of the WHS will be held in Montreal, May 8-9, 2017. 



2.- Hot topics in Public Health: WFPHA speaks up

Banning nuclear weapons is crucial for global health

Before this year ends, the United Nations general assembly can take a decisive step toward ending one of the most urgent threats to public health and human survival in the world today. UN member states can and must mandate negotiations on a new treaty that prohibits nuclear weapons.

The dangers posed by these weapons are utterly unacceptable, and the only sure way to prevent an unthinkable catastrophe is to eliminate them completely. That’s not only possible, it’s essential and long overdue.

A single nuclear weapon can destroy a city and kill most of its people, making it impossible to provide meaningful aid to the survivors. A nuclear war could kill many more people in an hour than were killed during the entire second world war.

Nuclear detonations in cities would ignite massive fires with extreme and long-lasting environmental consequences, disrupting the Earth’s climate and agricultural productivity. Less than 1% of the nuclear weapons in the world today could cause a nuclear famine with the potential to put two billion people at risk of starvation.

The thousands of nuclear weapons in the countries with the largest arsenals alone could bring about nuclear winter, with the prospect of destroying the essential ecosystems on which life depends and thereby threatening human extinction.

Nuclear weapons release intense ionising radiation that jeopardises any immediate survivors; causes acute and long-term illnesses, including cancers, that are often deadly; and leaves a legacy of genetic and intergenerational health harm.

A nuclear war has an extremely high likelihood of creating a refugee crisis orders of magnitude larger than the one we seem unable to cope with today. Nuclear weapons eradicate the physical and social infrastructure required for recovery from conflict.

Earlier this year, our federations, the main bodies representing millions of physicians, nurses, and public health professionals around the world, presented these facts to a special UN working group on nuclear disarmament. The International Red Cross/Red Crescent and UN agencies charged with responding to humanitarian disasters warned that health professionals and relief workers would be unable to mount any meaningful response to the consequences of a nuclear conflict.

One hundred and twenty-seven states have said with common voice that their security is directly threatened by the 15,000 nuclear weapons that exist in the arsenals of nine countries, and they are demanding that these weapons be prohibited and abolished. They have lost patience with the refusal of the nuclear-armed states to fulfill their obligation to disarm. Moreover, they rightly see the massive and expensive nuclear re-armament programs underway in these states as confirming their bad faith and recklessly endangering our collective security.

The working group recommended – by a majority of more than three to one – that the general assembly mandate negotiations, to start next year, on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. A ban treaty will create a new and explicit legal, moral and political norm – comparable to the treaty prohibitions that already apply to chemical and biological weapons, antipersonnel landmines, and cluster munitions.

A ban treaty will close a legal gap with regard to nuclear weapons by making it unequivocal that no state has a legitimate claim to possess, build, test, deploy, use, or threaten to use them.

A minority – the nuclear-armed states and those claiming to rely on their nuclear weapons – object to a ban treaty because they believe that nuclear weapons make them more secure. In fact these weapons, whose use has the potential to destroy human civilisation, are the greatest threat to the security of everyone, including the nations that possess them.

An evidence-based understanding of what nuclear weapons actually do invalidates all arguments for continued possession of these weapons by anyone, and requires that they urgently be prohibited and eliminated as the only course of action commensurate with the existential danger they pose. The working group has sent this clear message to the general assembly, where governments must now muster the courage to act on behalf of humanity’s future.

Banning and eliminating nuclear weapons is a high global health priority. The general assembly has the opportunity to move us towards this critical goal. It must not fail to act.


Ira Helfand and Tilman Ruff are co-presidents of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; Sir Michael Marmot is president of the World Medical Association; Frances Hughes is CEO of the International Council of Nurses; Michael Moore is president of the World Federation of Public Health Associations.

From The Guardian

Global Health Leaders Identify Top Priority for Next WHO Director-General

WASHINGTON (October 13, 2016) – What should be the highest priority for the next World Health Organization Director-General in the face of mounting health challenges and a shortage of funding?


Global health leaders from across the world say “the answer lies within the WHO’s main constitutional pillar, the right of everyone to the highest attainable standard of health.”

Writing in The Lancet Global Health published Oct. 13, the global health leaders from all corners of the world say the next WHO Director-General should make the human right to health their “highest priority,” with the Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) as “the centerpiece of this endeavor.”

The FCGH is a proposed treaty that would be based in the right to health and aimed at national and global health equality.

The article comes as the campaigning for the next WHO Director-General gets underway, just days after the WHO announced the candidates for the upcoming election of the next head of the world’s health agency, which will take place in a two-step process next January and May.

The health leaders describe the FCGH as a tool that “would reform global governance for health to enhance accountability, transparency, and civil society participation and protect the right to health in trade, investment, climate change, and other international regimes.”

They write, “It would usher in a new era of global health with justice—vast improvements in health outcomes, equitably distributed.”

Lawrence Gostin, of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, says the proposed global health treaty, “is founded in the recognition that global health justice today requires global cooperation.” Yet, he says, “Systems for global cooperation today are deeply deficient, from inadequate funding and accountability to other international regimes undercutting health. For example, agreements on trade and intellectual property impede access to essential vaccines and medicines.”

“Meanwhile, extreme marginalization and health disparities within countries persists, often leaving poor and excluded populations with far worse health outcomes than their better off neighbors,” Gostin says.

The Lancet Global Health article further explains how the FCGH could advance health accountability, including through national health accountability strategies and a global health accountability framework.

The authors say the treaty could enhance equity, including through “standards on disaggregated data, non-discrimination, equitable resource distribution, and pro-poor pathways to meet health targets.” And it could improve global governance for health, including through a domestic and global health financing framework, which would for the first time set health finance benchmarks for all countries, and right to health impact assessments and public participation to ensure that international agreements respect the right to health.

The authors also emphasize the responsibility of all sectors for the right to health.

The health leaders point to another reason that the next WHO Director-General should prioritize the FCGH, observing that the “FCGH would reinvigorate WHO’s global health leadership,” and “become the platform for reforming WHO as a rights-based 21st century institution, with badly-needed reforms, such as community participation, new priorities favouring social determinants of health, and a culture of transparency and accountability.”


In addition to Gostin, other authors of the article include Eric A. Friedman, JD, O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center; Paulo Buss, MD, MPH, FIOCRUZ Center for Global Health, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, National Academy of Science, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Mushtaque Chowdhury, MSc, PhD, BRAC, Dhaka, Bangladesh, James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Anand Grover, BSc, LLB, Lawyers Collective, New Delhi, India; Mark Heywood, SECTION27, Johannesburg, South Africa; Churnrurtai Kanchanachitra, PhD, Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Phuthamonthon, Thailand; Gabriel Leung, MD, MPH, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; Judith Mackay, MB ChB, Vital Strategies, Hong Kong Office, China, Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control, Hong Kong, China; Precious Matsoso, BPharm, LLM, National Department of Health, Pretoria, South Africa; Sigrun Møgedal, MD, Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services, Oslo, Norway; Joia S. Mukherjee, MD, MPH, Partners In Health, Boston, MA, USA, Division of Global Health Equity, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; Francis Omaswa, MB ChB, MMed, FRCS, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation, Kampala, Uganda; Joy Phumaphi, MSc, African Leaders Malaria Alliance, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; K. Srinath Reddy, MD, DM, MSc, Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi, India; Mirta Roses Periago, MD, MPH, Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, BuenosAires, Argentina; Oyewale Tomori, DVM, PhD, Nigerian Academy of Science, Lagos, Nigeria; Miriam Were, MB ChB, MPH, Dr PH. Moi University, Kenya; and Debrework Zewdie, PhD, CUNY School of Public Health and Public Policy, New York, NY, USA.


Letter in support of FCGH

Complementing the article in Lancet Global Health, a letter to the WHO Director-General nominees in support of the FCGH has been signed by many of the Lancet authors and others global health experts, including Paul Farmer, of Partners In Health and Harvard University.

Dozens of leading global and regional health, humanitarian, and human rights organizations also joined the letter. These include Action for Global Health (a European network), AMREF Health, the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, BRAC (the world’s largest NGO), CARE International, the Global Health Council, Handicap International, the Helen Keller Foundation, the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations, the International Network of Women Against Tobacco, the International Rescue Committee, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Oxfam International, REPOAC (Network of West and Central African NGO National Platforms), WaterAid, and the World Federation of Public Health Associations. Demonstrating local support for the FCGH, major national health and human rights organizations, including from countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe, also endorsed the letter.


For more information, please contact Karen Teber



3.- Photo competition @ 15th World Congress on Public Health

As a part of the 50th anniversary of the World Federation of Public Health Association, you are invited to participate in a photo competition to be held during the World Congress on Public Health 2017 in Melbourne.


The topic for your entry is either

a) a photo about an achievement in public health over the last 50 years (up to now) or

b) a photo describing a challenging situation that your country is facing where improvements in public health are needed.

For category (a), you may submit an historical photo taken by someone else.


New photos can be taken with a camera or a smartphone (high resolution – minimum pixel requested: 2048x1536 px). Photos including historical photos with a lower resolution cannot be accepted.

Provide the name of your photo, and a one-sentence description of the topic, the country where the photo was taken, plus your name and organization.

Photos will be projected during the 15th World Congress on Public Health as well as on WFPHA media and social media.

The best three photos will receive an award during the Congress.


Photos must be sent to

Closing date: December 31st 2016. 



4.- News from our Members

Alliance of Public Health Associations of the Americas - Declaration of Panama

In July 2016, the Panamanian Society of Public Health (SPSP) organized the "First International Conference on Public Health of Panama", whose theme was "Social Determinants and Intersectoral Coordination in Health" and hosted the Second Meeting of the Alliance of Public Health Associations of the Americas The "Declaration of Panama" represents the main outputs of this conference and of the joint work of the Alliance of Public Health Associations of the Americas:


Declaration of Panama:


Representatives of the Public Health Associations of the Americas named below, gathered together on July 28, 2016, in Panama City, upon establishing the Alliance of Public Health Associations of the Americas (APHAA) as a regional member of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA),



- Our support of the principles, concepts and goals outlined in the resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2015 – Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as in the Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health (WHO, 2011) and in A Global Charter for the Public’s Health (Charter for the Public’s Health - WFPHA, 2016).

Taken as a whole, these documents put forth and expound the best conceptual traditions of public health worldwide, as well as their successes and shortcomings.

- Where the health of the people of the Americas is concerned, we note that considerable progress has been made in the last two decades, such as reduced infant mortality rates and increased life expectancy at birth. Nevertheless, we live with growing risks of non-communicable diseases, injuries and mental disorders, and infectious diseases continue to pose healthcare challenges for our health systems.

- In relation to various causes of morbidity and mortality, profound inequalities persist among countries and within countries. In Latin America and the Caribbean, although extreme poverty and social inequality have been reduced in recent years, the region remains the planet’s most unequal: in 2014, the wealthiest 19% accumulated 71% of the region’s wealth. Moreover, the resulting social inequalities in health have a particular impact on the descendants of First Nations, Afro-descendants, immigrants, displaced peoples, and other vulnerable groups.

- One of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is specifically to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. Several other SDGs, if not all of them, are closely related to public health, for example: ending poverty in all its forms everywhere; ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture; ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all; achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls; ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all; reducing inequality within and among countries; making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable; ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns; and taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

- We stand by the findings of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health: Closing the health gap for the people of the Americas requires improving the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work and age […] tackling the inequitable distribution of power, money and resources. It is therefore necessary to assess the magnitude of health problems, evaluate interventions, expand the knowledge base, train personnel on the subject of social determinants of health, and promote awareness in terms of public opinion in that regard. Efforts toward strengthening public health systems are essential to ensure universal health coverage.



Our commitment to act in co-operation with multilateral, governmental and non-governmental organizations, under the concepts of health as a basic human right and the socio-environmental determinants of health, combining efforts to expand democratic governance, the self-determination of all peoples, respect for human rights, the promotion of the spirit of democracy and the fight against corruption in its various forms.

- Lastly, we salute the efforts to create a culture of peace and co-operation in our region. We commend and support the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, the announcement of the easing of the economic and financial embargo that affects the well-being of the Cuban people, and the peace process in Colombia.


Vina Hulamm American Public Health Association APHA
Eduardo Faerstein Brazilian Association for Collective Health ABRASCO
Hernando Nieto Colombian Public Health Association ASOCOSAP
Miguel Marrero Puerto Rico Public Health Association PRPHA
Ramón Anulfo López Dominican Society for Public Health SODOSAP
Ian Culbert Canadian Public Health Association CPHA
Alcides Ochoa Cuban Society for Public Health SOCUSAP
Alfredo Calvo Bolivian Society for Public Health SBSP
Miguel Lombera Mexican Society for Public Health SMSP
Claude Betts Panamanian Society for Public Health SPSP
Julio Bello Argentina Public Health Association AASAP
Mario Salazar Guatemalan Association of Public Health Specialists AGESP
  Chilean Health Society SOCHISAL
Bernarda Vivas National Public Health Association of Nicaragua ANSAP
Cecilia Severi Uruguayan Society for Collective Health SUSAC
  Costa Rican Public Health Association ACOSAP


To read the spanish version, click here.

The Public Health Association of Australia – Annual conference in Alice Springs

Not only is the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) the host of our upcoming World Congress for Public Health, to be held in Melbourne, April 2017, but also is PHAA’s CEO Michael More the actual president of the WFPHA. The PHAA held its 44th Annual Conference from September 18th – 21th in Alice Springs, Northern Territories jointly hosted with the 20th Chronic Diseases Network Conference.
The conference theme was based around the WFPHA’s Global Charter for the Public’s Health, with a focus on services proposed in the Charter of protection, prevention, and promotion. In addition, the theme of indigenous health was a main topic.
The opening of the conference was characterised by important contributions of local and federal Australian politicians. Prof Bettina Borisch Executive Director of the WFPHA introduced “We only have one chance – what public health has to do”. The Bazil Hetzel oration – honouring an important Australian Public Health pioneer – was held by Adrian Te Patu, newly elected member of the governing Council of the WFPHA, Co-Vice-President of the New Zealand PHA and a Maori Caucus member (photo left). He introduced the audience to the knowledge of population’s griefing. At the last day of the conference this topic was taken up with a slightly different angle by Prof Gracelyn Smallwood in her talk “How the gap is not closing and solutions to rectify this”.
This conference covered other fields including nutrition and obesity, immunisation, health literacy and many more. The conference town, Alice Springs was best suited to render the topic of aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders visible. The PHAA team deserves great applause for their inspiring conference.

ABRASCO - ‘Austerity is bad for health’ (Portuguese only)


Intitulado 'Sociedade, subjetividade e saúde: desafios do SUS em tempos de crise democrática' contou com a coordenação atenta de Marta Gislene Pignati, e com a participação de Gastão Wagner, Alcides Miranda, Roseni Pinheiro e Luis Eugenio Souza.

International Pharmaceutical Students' Federation

Established in 1949, IPSF now represents more than 313,000 pharmacy students and recent graduates in over 80 countries worldwide. IPSF is the leading international advocacy organization for students promoting improved public health through provision of information, education, networking and a range of publications and professional activities. IPSF is constituted by 5 different offices: African Regional Office, Asia Pacific Regional Office, Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office, European Regional Office and Pan American Regional Office.

Within the portfolio of Public Health, we have turned our efforts into developing campaigns and activities of health promotion that our members can use and disseminate within their communities, but also for their own development and knowledge. In this way, we design, develop and implement activities that focus on: humanitarian affairs and human rights; non communicable diseases and healthy living; communicable diseases and sexual and reproductive health; rational use of medicines and chemical management (photos).
The scope of activity of IPSF on public health is applied to the needs of our members, having in consideration their input and the work they expect us to develop. The regional division of the federation brings an interesting dynamic to our work, challenging us to not only recognize and work towards very different members, but also the specificity of regions and their problems and trials. A very interesting example of this is the topic of skin bleaching, which can be worked as a cross cutting topic among regions.


The work plan in IPSF regarding Public Health is built around the international health days defined by the World Health Organization. As we develop these themes, then our members apply them nationally/locally in order to celebrate and create awareness for these topics at community level. Within these, our major campaigns include: Diabetes Awareness Campaign, Healthy Living Campaign, HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign, Tuberculosis, Awareness Campaign, Tobacco Alert Campaign, World Health Day and Vampire Cup (blood donation). One of our biggest achievements during the year is the Public Health Campaign developed during the IPSF World Congress, in the past 3 years we had Cardiovascular screening in Porto, Portugal (2014), Tuberculosis and Hygiene campaign in Hyderabad, India (2015) and Neglected Tropical Diseases health fair (2016). Campaigns such as this are developed every year in our regional symposium as well. In addition, since 2 years we have started an humanitarian campaign as well, where our members bring some specific items to the world congress venue, to be donated to an humanitarian cause.

On the other side, IPSF is starting to further develop public health advocacy activities and work on articles/statements that represent the global view of the federation in regards to the role of pharmacy students and recent graduates in the global health issues of today. On this topic, we have been developing our relationship with WHO and its different departments, and now being able to have a voice within the sector of public health associations. Achieving the status of sustaining member of WFPHA is a big achievement for IPSF and we hope to join efforts for a successful work in the future.


For more information you can visit IPSF website at or contact Ana Catarina Duarte.

Ana Catarina Duarte,
Chairperson of Public Health 2015-16

WFPHA Members Annual reports

To read the annual reports, click here.



5.- Members' Newsletters



6.- WFPHA Members Communication

WFPHA Instagram

Greve Nord Projektet er kommet på Instagram #grevenordprojektet

The WFPHA now has Instagram! Follow us @wfpha_fmasp

Call for Resolutions on Global Health Issues!

WFPHA members are encouraged to submit resolutions on hot topics in public health. The resolutions will be evaluated by the WFPHA Policy Committee and Governing Council and presented for approval to the General Assembly in April 2017 (Melbourne, Australia).

Resolutions should be submitted to Marta Lomazzi or using the on-line system by November 30th 2016 at latest. Detailed information on resolution submission and format is available here.

New intern @ WFPHA

Ms. Carmen Risimini recently joined the WFPHA in September 2016. Since then, she has lived in Milan, Italy, where she has been studying for her combined Bachelor and Master in Law at Bocconi University. She has gained valuable experience through various projects abroad, such as her internship in an NGO based in Brussels. She has developed an interest in all the subjects concerning Human Rights, International Relations, and, in particular, she is passionate about Western Balkan Geo-Politics. She has chosen to study Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, in order to develop a better understanding of the dynamics and cultural differences in that part of the world. She joined the WFPHA with the goal of acquiring experience from the daily work of an NGO in a stimulating multi-cultural environment and to enhance her knowledge about effective responses to public health challenges through the application of human rights concepts and methods.



7.- WFPHA Working Groups

Oral Health Working Group

Dental public health capacity worldwide: Results of a global survey   

Lomazzi, M., Wordley, V. & Bedi, R. J Public Health Pol (2016)

The World Federation of Public Health Associations’ Oral Health Working Group (WFPHA OHWG) carried out a survey to establish the extent of global dental public health (DPH) capacity. Senior stakeholders in DPH completed 124 surveys, covering 73 countries and all WHO regions. The survey evaluated DPH workforce within the country, funding, education, current services, and integration between public health and DPH in countries across the world. In 62 per cent of countries, DPH is only partially integrated in the public health system, while in 25 per cent of countries it has not yet been formally integrated. DPH programs at Masters level are available in 44 per cent of countries. Over half of countries have 0 to 10 trained DPH professionals. Because both poor oral and general health share several common risk factors, DPH must be integrated into national health systems and budgets, with an emphasis on having trained DPH specialists available in every country to collaborate in healthcare policy and provision.


To read the article, click here.



8.- What's on

Geneva Peace Talks 2016


Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The Day’s theme for 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.” In Geneva, the 4th edition of the Geneva Peace Talks, has been organized under the theme “Peace Happens!”. Speakers from different backgrounds came together to share experiences and ideas about the theme. The goal was to underline the need of defining peaceful solutions to solve conflicts and invite each one to act in their daily life.
The conference was opened with an ispiring violin concert from the orchestra Director, Karim Wasfi, Founder of the «Peace through Arts» which aims to foster music passion especially among teenagers and orphans in countries hit by terroristic attacks. Karim intervention was followed by Lionel Aeschlimann, Executive Committe of the Mirabeaud & Cie, who showed how finance can play a key role in building bridges between people and economy, create welfare and support development using tools of cohesion such as microcredits. Marc Bonnet, Risk Management Head at Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, presented the difficult portrait of Colombians cohabiting with the consquences of decades of conflicts. Helen Calle Lin, MireilleWidmer and Nicolas Witschard were the three representatives of the Geneva civil society engaged in developing social and cultural projects aiming to reduce the gap among people from different cultures and social class while highlighting similarities rather than differences, in the multicultural setting of Geneva.
The Pososhok, a musical group who put together sounds from Africa and from all over the world, was in charge of closing the ceremony. Estelle Baroung Hughes, the charismatic Cameroonian singer and dancer of the group, was able in a few minutes, to get the audience involved in a traditional dance where the sounds merged together and the atmophere of peace reigned supreme.

For further information, click here.

Bi-Annual Civil Society Briefing: meeting beetwen NGOs and UN

On 7 October 2016, Michael Moller, Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, emphasised in his opening remarks to the Bi-Annual Civil Society Briefing the importance of strengthening UN partnerships with civil society. Highlighting the important developments in the work of the UN over the past year, he discussed the Paris agreement on climate change, which will come into force November 4, and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. In regards to the latter, he emphasised the need for shared responsibility and announced the creation of the SDG Lab in January 2017, which will develop a multifaceted network to strengthen the implementation of the sustainable development goals. Furthermore, he highlighted the contribution that civil society makes to multilateral disarmament treaties, such as the Biological Weapons Convention, which is due to be reviewed in December.

Advocacy accelerator

The Advocacy Accelerator is an emerging model providing online and in-person platforms for country-based advocates to share information, resources, and opportunities to increase their advocacy capacity and impact.

To get connected with the Facebook page click here.



9.- Meetings and Committees reports

Brief report of the 2nd African Federation of Public Health Associations (AFPHA)/3rd Society for Public Health Professionals of Nigeria (SPHPN) Conference held at International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Public health professionals from across Africa gathered in the ancient city of Ibadan to discuss, program and plan for better public health practices in Africa under the theme “Public Health in Africa and Sustainable Development Goals”. There have been participants and scientific presentations from African nations (Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Benin Republic, South Sudan, etc.), the United Kingdom and Bangladesh. Discussions were wide-ranging, including the training of public health personnel in Africa, ensuring high quality of essential medicines and vaccines, universal health coverage/m-health, adolescent health and health challenges of humanitarian crisis in Africa and climate change.

Dignitaries from all walks of life graced the opening ceremony and included: AFHA Vice-president, SPHPN president, WHO representative in Nigeria, Development partners such as APIN, Association of Schools of Public Health in Africa and Public health experts from South Africa, Republic of Benin, Ghana and Nigeria.

The highlights of the conference were as follows:


Pre-conference workshop

  • First session featured presentations on the concept of big data and how data can be used to drive public health action as well as a presentation on the use of mobile phones as data collection and information dissemination devices. The session was primarily driven by an health information expert and a researcher with experience in use of mobile technology for data collection purposes
  • The second session featured interactive presentations on media advocacy and its practical applications. Participants also had the opportunity to practice framing agenda and media bites. The session had a lot of examples from the media advocacy on tobacco control in Nigeria and showcased the partnership between academia and public policy advocates
  • The third session focused on effective leadership and its usefulness in public health practice. It was delivered by a public health leader who has tremendous experience in crafting adolescent and reproductive health leadership programmes

All the presentations were well received by the students and young professionals and this increased their enthusiasm for the general meeting of AFPH Students Association and the SPHPN Young Professionals & Students, at which many joined the organization.

Day 1:

The key note presentation was given by Professor Adetokunbo O Lucas, a foremost and internationally renowned public health expert, who shared the history of the transition from international to global health with emphasis on the five pillars of sound basis of ethics, good use of science in decision-making, design and management of healthcare services, collaboration and monitoring and evaluation. His address set the stage for excellent deliberations over the five-day period.

The Public Health Roundtable featured a robust discussion on the status of Universal Health coverage and Community Based Insurance in Africa using Nigeria and South Africa as case studies. The key issues that came out very clearly in the roundtable discussion was the need to ensure proper coordination and expansion of coverage.

The plenary on training of public health professionals in Africa highlighted the challenges and opportunities for training public health professionals in Africa and the competencies needed for faculty development and public health physicians including community physicians. The session included the sharing of experience by a recent trainee of an African wide doctoral level training programme. This session had a rich interplay of experience from the Association of African Schools of Public Health, CARTA programme, Faculty of Public Health of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria and the Medical Education Programme Initiative in Nigeria (MEPIN).

Thereafter parallel oral abstract presentations on Universal Health Coverage and training of Public Health Professionals were held.

Day 2:

Parallel oral abstract presentations on health promotion, health care access, reproductive and family health, and mitigating the health impact of climate change took place on day two with great participation by young professionals as well as mid-top career experts in public health.

The sponsored plenary session on impact of Synflorix (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine) on invasive Pneumococcal diseases took place amidst a lot of interest from public health experts. Critical questions on the effectiveness of the vaccine and challenges to optimizing vaccine uptake and coverage were raised and deliberated upon. The need for synergy of efforts and a robust evidence led implementation was stressed.

A framework for UK-Africa collaborative partnerships was set with the sponsored plenary session by the Faculty of Public Health UK and Public Health England. The UK Public Health team, in deliberations with AFPHA, the Association of Schools of Public Health in Africa (ASPHA) and the West African College of Physicians (WACP), during this conference, recognized the importance of developing health human resources as part of veritable means for achieving Universal Health Coverage in Africa. Discussions were also held on opportunities for collective action.

The day ended with a well-attended plenary session on adolescent health and the launch of the Lancet report on adolescent health.

Brie report on the 6th WFPHA Asia-Pacific Conference on Public Health and 1st ASEAN Health Promotion Conference, held from August 23 to 25 at the Asia Hotel Bangkok

The theme of the conference was Public Health Approaches toward Sustainable Development. About 400 participants from 17 countries attended this meeting. Dr.Supa Pengpid, Director of ASEAN Institute for Health Development delivered the welcome remarks at the opening ceremony. Prof. Bettina Borisch, Executive Director of WFPHA, and Dr. Thawat Suntrajarn, Vice Minister of Public Health, Thailand and the President of National Health Association delivered the opening remarks.

WHO Thailand representative Dr Daniel Kertesz made a report on SDGs and Public Health. Dr Daniel Kertesz gave a comprehensive overview of the United Nations SDGs on health indicators, and affirmed Thailand's efforts to contribute SDGs. Prof. Bettina Borisch defined the role of WFPHA in promoting the effective implementation of

the United Nations SDGs and presented the contents of the Global Charter for Public’s Health initiated by the WFPHA. Ms.Yi Heya, on behalf of Dr Yang Weizhong, the Director of WFPHA/APRLO, introduced the Infectious Diseases Surveillance, Early Warning and Control in China. The presentation clarified 3 Main surveillance systems in China including notifiable infectious disease reporting system, enhanced surveillance for selected diseases and vectors and other surveillance system such as case-register information system, media and so on. Professor Kyungho Choi, from Korea Public Health Association gave a speech on Determinants of Disease and Epidemics: Chemical Exposure and Health among Population. According to incomplete statistics, 147 papers were received including 108 oral presentations and 39 posters.

During the 6th APCH, APRLO host the 6th Work Meeting with the WFPHA Asia-Pacific Regional Members. 15 PHAs Participants from Australia, China, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam attended the meeting. Prof. Bettina Borisch, Dr Li Li, the Deputy Secretary General of Chinese Preventive Medicine Association and Dr. Prokom Vuthipond, the Special Advisor of National Health Association of Thailand gave the opening remark respectively. Ms. Yi Heya reviewed the APRLO activities since its founding. Prof Borisch gave us the overview of the Global Charter for Public’s Health. Heather Yeatman, President of Public Health Association of Australia, gave an update on the 15th WCPH preparation.



10.- Publications

Harm reduction and e-cigarettes: Distorting the approach

M. Moore, M. McKee, M. Daube

Public Health Policy (2016). doi:10.1057/s41271-016-0031-2​


Some supporters of electronic cigarettes have argued that they shouldbe considered a form of harm reduction, analogous to that which has been succ-essful with narcotics. In this viewpoint, we contend that this argument is based onhighly selective use of the evidence, coupled with a fundamental misunderstandingof a comprehensive harm minimisation strategy. This includes not only harm re-duction but also reduction in demand and supply — two elements that are expli-citly rejected by many advocates of electronic cigarettes. We contend that, in theabsence of all three elements, there is a danger that electronic cigarettes will delaythe achievement of a tobacco-free world.Journal of 

To read the article, click here​.

The United States and Cuba — Turning Enemies into Partners for Health

C. William Keck, M.D., M.P.H.

N Engl J Med 2016; 375:1507-1509 October 20, 2016DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1608859

To read the article, click here.

Adolescents’ psychological health during the economic recession: does public spending buffer health inequalities among young people?

BMC Public HealthBMC series

DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3551-6

To read the article, click here.


11.- Upcoming events

No events
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