The International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) has proudly launched a training manual, titled Climate and Health: Enabling Students and Young Professionals to Understand and Act Upon Climate Change Using a Health Narrative, developed in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the United Nations Alliance on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness. Over 15 authors from the five continents have come together to create this brand new innovative tool.

Climate change is posing an unprecedented threat to our health. Its effects will continue to be numerous and disastrous unless we seize the opportunity today, and engage in a meaningful dialogue for a sustainable future. IFMSA believes that dialogue starts with education. Therefore, the Federation has created this manual in response to a lack of resources available and easily accessible for young professionals and students who were interested in leading educational activities in the field of climate change and health.

We believe health professionals, medical students, and the youth must come together to address the challenge posed by climate change on our health, and must be given opportunities and resources to train themselves in understanding and acting upon climate change. – Skander Essafi, IFMSA Liaison Officer for Public Health Issues

The training manual aims to provide training and education opportunities for students on the health consequences of climate change, the co-benefits of mitigation, and the role of health sector in adaptation and mitigation efforts. It discusses climate change with a unique perspective on the health implications, impacts and opportunities; and showcases good practices and policies that protect and promote our health. Finally, it provides resources to create, organize and lead activities in communities around the world through non formal education; and highlights the necessity of having a politically engaged youth.

The manual gathers academic knowledge, field experience and a youth dynamism in one single resource, for whomever is interested in learning about and leading capacity building activities on climate change and health – climate activists, political sciences students, health professionals. The authors have selected the most relevant topics and subtopics to explore, and have made sure to include concrete tips on organisational management, workshops planning and advocacy.

There is nothing more important than to remind ourselves why we are taking this road together. Using health arguments in the climate change debate allow ourselves to shift to a positive and hopeful message, that together we can do different, we can do better, we can do more. – Claudel P-Desrosiers, Medical Student and Project Leader of the Training Manual

This manual shall serve as a first step into the interlinkages between advocacy, climate change, health and capacity building. IFMSA believes that it provides insightful content, innovative training methods and useful tools, and will inspire young people and professionals to ignite discussions, trainings, activities in their home communities.

I encourage you to use this manual created by the IFMSA and go for this training as an eye opener to the way we see public health. We count on you to have a positive role in moving society forward.– Dr Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization.

The manual is available here.

During 2014, the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) conducted an on-line survey of its then 82 national public health association members, to identify the state of organizational governance of national public health associations, as well as the factors that influence optimal organizational governance.

The survey focused on the main elements of organizational governance: cultivating accountability; engaging stakeholders; setting shared direction; stewarding resources; and, continuous governance enhancement.

Global public health today: connecting the dotsphoto article

The Word Federation of Public Health Associations recent study Global public health today: connecting the dots has been published at Global Health Action journal. The publication is a result of the WFPHA's collaborative consultation with the World Health Organization to encourage a debate on how to adapt public health to its future role in global health. To read the full publication, click here.

bookGlobal public health as a concept needs examination. Given that the use of the term has become so common, across such broad topics, it is worthwhile to take stock, review and evaluate how it is being used. In an ever-changing and increasingly globalised context, how should global public health be understood and how should it adapt?
We conducted a literature review of articles between 1990 and 2014 that included the phrase ‘global public health’ in the title and/or abstract. Using these articles and some specifically selected influential articles from outside the search parameters we found that the articles rarely engage with political factors impacting on health, instead focusing on disease-specific challenges or technical issues.