Letter to the President of the Swiss Confederation: expressing disagreement regarding tobacco control in Switzerland

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The WFPHA along with other non-governmental organizations from all over the world have signed a letter addressed to the President of the Swiss confederation.

In fact, Switzerland is hosting the FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) but remains one of the very few countries in the world, which have not ratified it.

The signatory organisations rightly accuse Switzerland of protecting the economic interest of the tobacco industry rather than focusing on protecting public health.

They underlined that “Switzerland has everything to lose by continuing to complacently give this industry political and other privileges while sacrificing the health and human rights of its own people”.

To read the letter click here.


Letter to the Austrian Minister Sebastian Kurz

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The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) was a landmark treaty in the history of public health. Though its regulations have reduced the burden of non-communicable diseases caused by tobacco smoke, the battle for worldwide tobacco control has yet to be won. Some non-smokers are still heavily exposed to secondhand smoke, especially those working in hospitality industries where smoking is allowed indoors.

 

The Austrian government cancelled a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, putting workers and patrons at a higher risk of emphysema, cancer, and other NCDs. The decision may also reverse the nation’s improvements in reducing rates of smoking among youths. Austria’s action contrasts the goal of the FCTC and represents a step backward in public health.

 

Immediate Past President of the WFPHA, Michael Moore, wrote an open letter to Minister Sebastian Kurz of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs in support of the FCTC and implementing stricter tobacco control policies in Austria.

 

“There is a long history of the tobacco industry intimidating, bribing, cajoling, and using a myriad of other techniques to prevent governments from interfering with their domination in the ‘free market of tobacco’. They continue to do so. Governments that have prioritized the health of their children and community have resisted this domination by following the strategies agreed to in the FCTC,” said Moore, urging Austria to take action to support full implementation of the FCTC.

The letter has been quoted by a number of journals:

https://orf.at/stories/3036961/

https://diepresse.com/home/innenpolitik/5503624/Dont-smoke_Australischer-Experte-schreibt-offenen-Brief-an-Kurz

https://www.kleinezeitung.at/service/newsticker/5503632/Dont-smoke-Offener-Brief-an-Bundeskanzler-Kurz

https://www.wienerzeitung.at/nachrichten/oesterreich/politik/992313_Oesterreich-hat-weiterhin-ein-derart-grosses-Tabakproblem.html

http://www.heute.at/politik/news/story/Michael-Moore-Australier-schrieb-Brief-an-Kurz-44924367

https://derstandard.at/2000088198683/Fehlender-Nichtraucherschutz-Offener-Brief-an-Bundeskanzler-Kurz


image005 Letter to Austrian Minister Sebastian Kurz


The WFPHA is a Founding Supporter of the Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge

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The goal of the Pledge is to help create a tobacco-free world through addressing the tobacco industry from an economic standpoint via policies, awareness, and partnerships.

By reducing investments in and challenging corporate relationships with the tobacco industry, signatories will tackle the tobacco epidemic from an innovative angle. The Pledge was launched at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on September 26th and advances Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 17 (Partnerships for Goals), and the WHO Organizational Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

To read the full pledge click here.


The WFPHA is proud to be an Initial Endorser of the Call to Action on Climate and Health

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Climate change is a pressing international health issues that knows no borders. Not enough is being done to reduce the rate of climate change, and we must do more to highlight this as a public health issue. If not, countries around the world (especially low- and middle-income countries) will suffer from new or worse health outcomes, undoing years of progress made in international development. The WFPHA is proud to be an Initial Endorser of the 'Call to Action on Climate and Health' (written by the Global Climate and Health Forum), which prioritizes for environmental and public health actions and calls upon those in the healthcare field to do more.

Read the full statement here.

Sign-on as endorser: https://www.globalclimateandhealthforum.org/call-to-action/


The WFPHA adopts a new resolution formally approved in May 2018 by the General Assembly, for an integrative approach to Oral Health using the Global Charter framework

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Oral diseases are a neglected epidemic as almost everyone is affected. Although most oral diseases are preventable and have common risk factors with other non-communicable diseases, integration of oral health into public health systems is still limited. The Global Charter for the Public’s Health, developed by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), is a framework that aims to streamline the functions and services of public health. This policy statement describes how oral health can be integrated into public health systems using the components of the Global Charter for the Public’s Health framework. Additionally, it is an international call to action for all public health professionals in all countries of the world to advocate for the full integration of oral health into public health systems.

To read to full resolution click here.


The WFPHA adopts a new resolution formally approved in May 2018 by the General Assembly, on the Ban of Asbestos Worldwide

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Asbestos refers to a group of naturally occurring minerals with fibrous structures, used in construction work and other industries. In 1972, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), concluded that lung cancer and mesotheliomas were induced in laboratory animals when asbestos was injected or inhaled. Fifteen years later, the same group classified asbestos as IARC Group 1, carcinogenic to humans. Recent estimates suggest that each year asbestos-related diseases accounted for 41,000 lung cancer deaths, 43,000- 59,000 cases of mesothelioma, and 7,000-24,000 cases of asbestosis. These numbers are expected to increase in the future, given the latency period between exposure and symptoms. This is a renewed call for global action to ban asbestos, in order to avoid further exposure and consecutive morbidities and deaths.

To read to full resolution click here.


The WFPHA adopts a new Statement, formally approved in May 2018 by the General Assembly, condemning attacks by Israeli Defence Force personnel on Health Care Workers and Palestinians

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The WFPHA commends the Public Health Association of Israel and in general the public health community, human rights NGOs and civic society for providing emergency and medical assistance to people in need, regardless of their nationality, and for its ongoing efforts to ensure that the human rights of all people are protected. . It also calls upon the WHO to increase its assistance to multilateral agencies and non-state organizations that provide health services to Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank.  The WFPHA calls upon the United Nations to ensure the protection of the human rights of all people, to encourage the relevant stakeholders to return to the negotiating table, and to increase its efforts to bring a just resolution to the Middle East conflicts and the needs of people living in desperate conditions in Gaza. 

To read to full resolution click here.


WFPHA @ 71st WHA. Statement on Digital Technologies in Public Health

The World Federation of Publich Health Associations (WFPHA) presents a statement at the 71st World Health Assembly in May 2018 on the Responsible Use of Digital Technologies in Public Health.

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71st World Health Assembly, Geneva, 21 – 26 May 2018

Agenda Item: 11.6 Global strategy and action plan on public health, innovation and intellectual property

The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) is the only international, nongovernmental organization serving the broad field of public health on a global level.

The WFPHA salutes the global strategy and plan of action on innovation and intellectual property (A71/13). Additionally, the WFPHA acknowledges the efforts for mHealth, (EB142/20) use of appropriate digital technologies for public health. The goal to reach health for all will inevitably utilize digital technologies, as we seek to integrate emerging technologies into our health systems.

If public health practitioners and institutions embrace technology – as they must do in response to consumer market demands – we have to be aware of how they’re applied across different models of society. Public health must build and maintain the trust of the public by ensuring individual rights and privileges are preserved. In using data for research, public health must also address ethical considerations with the responsible use of “big data” in the interests of the public’s health.

In general, we already know about the accomplishments, limitations, and consequences (both intended and unintended) of using these technologies in public health and clinical medicine. As the digital technology industry continues to grow, all public health professionals must be aware of the effects and examine the pressures that can indirectly influence their basic values.
Engaged stakeholders in the realm of public health have the responsibility to take a proactive role and express the views of the society we seek to protect. Our vision is for a society where technology enhances access and equity towards health for all.


GCDF Resolution on Reinvestment of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Taxation Revenues into Oral Health

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The WFPHA supports the Global Child Dental Fund (GCDF) resolution calling for 20% of the revenues generated through a taxation on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) to be allocated to oral health promotion programs.

Currently, 28 countries have introduced a sugar tax on food and drinks. The revenues generated from this sugar tax have been invested in efforts to reduce and prevent obesity and type II diabetes, such as the development of physical education and healthy eating programs in schools with less or no focus going towards oral health promotion and prevention.

Nearly half of the world's population (48%) is affected by oral diseases and has suffered disabilities from oral diseases. 2.5 billion people have dental carries on permanent teeth, including in developed countries. Sugar is the primary factor responsible for the development of tooth decay. In the "Fiscal Policies for Diet and Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs)", the WHO has clearly highlighted the negative impact of SSBs on obesity, diabetes, AND tooth decay. Twhy, then are resources only being allocated to obesity and diabetes prevention, and not towards promoting oral health as well?

While oral health is an integral part of overall health, well-being and quality of life, it has traditionally been compartmentalized in healthcare and segregated from public health systems. Thus, oral diseases have become a neglected epidemic. The WFPHA calls for oral health to be integrated into overall health policies using cross-sector and holistic approaches for health promotion and led by good governance, in accordance with the Global Charter for the Public's Health. We need to educate the public about the detrimental effect of sugar on teeth and the importance of affordable fluoridated toothpaste.


Swiss Federal Act on Tobacco Products Proposal

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As is outlined in the Global Charter for the Public's Health, the WFPHA is committed to the Promotion of the public's health and the Protection of the human right to a healthy life. In March 2018, the Swiss Parliament in Berne is discussing a bill proposal that will defend the position of the tobacco industry at the expense of the public's health, giving bigger freedom to advertising of Tobacco Products, so further distancing Switzerland from the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Thus, the WFPHA has joined a petition of signatories, initiated by the SSPH+, in opposition of this proposed Federal Act on Tobacco Products. We call on others to join in the refusal of this bill.


The WFPHA has signed the Cape Town Declaration on Human Rights and a Tobacco-free World

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The 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH2018) resulted in the creation of the Cape Town Declaration on Human Rights and a Tobacco-free World. The marketing and sale of tobacco is a violation of the human right to a healthy life. As is outlined in the Global Charter for the Public's Health, the WFPHA is committed to the Promotion of the public's health and the Protection of the human right to a healthy life. Thus, the WFPHA has signed this Declaration and calls upon individuals, public health organizations, and government bodies to support it as well.

To read the Declaration Summary click here

To read the Whole Declaration click here 


WFPHA in support for the Global Prison Health Data Survey

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There is currently an opportunity to enable countries and researchers to access useable, directly comparable data on prison health governance, systems and administration.

During 2016 and 2017 WHO (Europe) regional office provided the questionnaire to WHO national contact points in member countries in the Europe region. So far 38 of these member countries have completed the survey, in consultation with their prison health authorities, via a system for on-line data entry.

The next stage is to expand this questionnaire to other WHO regions. A coalition is forming to undertake this work and make the minimum dataset truly global, with an initial focus on Asia Pacific countries.

The project is being developed in collaboration with the WHO (Europe) Health in Prisons Program, which will host the results on the existing platform.

To read the whole document click here.


Support to SESPAS

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On March the 5TH 2018 the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) followed up on a letter that member organization SESPAS (Sociedad Española de Salud Pública y Gestión Sanitaria) submitted to the Minister of Health, Social Services, and Equality regarding their Assessment Council of Health. The WFPHA agreed with the two points raised by SESPAS in their letter and expressed our support of them.

The WFPHA stressed that public policy on health needs a public health vision in order to be comprehensive and effective. The values and principles of public health are inherent to any action aimed at improving the health of the population as shown by the history and performance of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global health related organizations.

Equity is among the principles of public health; this is why the WFPHA encourages the consideration of gender issues as suggested by SESPAS. As the Minister not only of Health, but also Social Services and Equity, the WFPHA felt that they held the power to make decisions that could directly impact their populations and promote social changes towards gender equality. To read the letter click here.


WFPHA Joint Satetement on Antimicrobial Resistance

The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) has committed to addressing global health issues that require an innovative, collaborative, and multidisciplinary approach. The WFPHA recognizes the threat antimicrobial resistance poses to human health, and the burden it has on the systems that designed to for ensuring positive health outcomes for all. Therefore, we have worked strategically to implement a new framework which has been developed in collaboration and consultation with the WHO called the Global Charter for the Public’s Health. The WFPHA is organizing a workshop called the International Global Health & Antimicrobial Resistance Workshop in 2018 to analyze this treat through the Global Charter lens. This is a workshop that will provide guidance and insight to face antimicrobial resistance through the sharing of knowledge and development of innovative ideas.
Our support on the Joint Statement on Antimicrobial Resistance along with other civil society organizations is unequivocal. We agree that civil society plays a key role in combating AMR through an integrative, and collaborative approach on AMR-One Health policy making and the AMR Action Plan. Civil society members must work together by sharing information, research, ideas, and hosting events to raise awareness if we plan to have an effective impact on this global problem. We support the development and implementation of the National Action Plans and we plan to mobilize our global members to raise awareness on this issue. We recognize that the action against AMR requires significant investment in the overall schematic of a countries health system. We support the plan for the establishment of a dedicated European AMR fund to support Member States efforts. The development of the Global Charter for the Public’s Health conceptually shares very similar characteristics and concepts with the One Health approach. We cannot ignore the relevance of animal health and its influence on the dichotomy between human health and the environment. While utilizing this approach, it is vital for civil society and other stakeholders to adequately regulate and disseminate AMR data. Transparency during collaborations among groups will limit redundancy and wasting of resources on ineffective approaches. The AMR workshop planned for May 23rd as mentioned will create an environment for this transparency, and exchange of best practices among those in attendance. This will include members from the World Farmers Organization, Global Fund, WHO, GARDP to name a few. The role of health professionals are vital in this collaborative effort to mitigate the impact of AMR. Health associations such as ICN, FIP, WMA, and WONCA will be at this workshop interacting with a broad audience of CEOs and presidents of national and regional Public Health Associations worldwide from LIC, MIC and HIC. Here at the WFPHA we are in unified support with the other organizations on this Joint Statement and will continue to empower our members to implement the needed prevention strategies that will eliminate the threat AMR poses to the global society today.

Read the Call to Action

Read the AMR Joint Statement


WFPHA@ WHO EB. Statement on UHC and the Global Charter

The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) presents a statement at the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) in January 2018 on Universal Health Coverage and the Charter

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142th session of the WHO Executive Board, Geneva, 22 - 27 January 2018

Agenda item: 3.7 Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property

The WFPHA is the only worldwide non-governmental representation of public health professionals whose prime focus is to promote and strengthen public health at the local, national and global level.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC), as part of Universal Health Care, has been on the public health agenda since the declaration of Alma Ata in 1978. The quest for UHC has been reiterated on many occasions since with the most recent being the Tokyo Declaration of 2017.

UHC is technically and financially feasible and is already working effectively in low, middle and high income countries. UHC is based on a political decision and, therefore, needs political will. There are social, economic, and political preconditions for UHC to be a realistic political goal including: a sufficient tax revenue base to finance public goods, a relatively equitable society, as well as legislative and institutional structures.

To achieve and maintain UHC the WFPHA, together with WHO, has elaborated four enablers in the Global Charter for the Public’s Health (Charter). They are capacity building, good governance, accurate information and effective advocacy.

We call upon the WHO to fully embrace the Charter’s functions of protection, prevention and health promotion as well as the four enablers as a way of creating the preconditions for UHC.

The WFPHA stands ready to mobilize our members worldwide to accelerate political leadership for UHC. Every country faces a unique policy context, but we will enhance cross-country “learning” through our world-wide membership. We will support the WHO in its norm-setting functions and in its assistance to implement policies. To do so, we call upon the WHO, its member states, and the related UN-organizations to openly support what is a fundamentally political process.

Management and governance solutions should be consistent with the values of the citizens they serve. We call for implementation of the Charter to focus on systemic approaches for strengthening health systems to deliver UHC.

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) was a landmark treaty in the history of public health. Though its regulations have reduced the burden of non-communicable diseases caused by tobacco smoke, the battle for worldwide tobacco control has yet to be won. Some non-smokers are still heavily exposed to secondhand smoke, especially those working in hospitality industries where smoking is allowed indoors.

The Austrian government cancelled a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, putting workers and patrons at a higher risk of emphysema, cancer, and other NCDs. The decision may also reverse the nation’s improvements in reducing rates of smoking among youths. Austria’s action contrasts the goal of the FCTC and represents a step backward in public health.

Immediate Past President of the WFPHA, Michael Moore, wrote an open letter to Minister Sebastian Kurz of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs in support of the FCTC and implementing stricter tobacco control policies in Austria.

“There is a long history of the tobacco industry intimidating, bribing, cajoling, and using a myriad of other techniques to prevent governments from interfering with their domination in the ‘free market of tobacco’. They continue to do so. Governments that have prioritized the health of their children and community have resisted this domination by following the strategies agreed to in the FCTC,” said Moore, urging Austria to take action to support full implementation of the FCTC.

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