WFPHA Newsletter June 2019

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1.- Outcomes of the 53rd General Assembly 

WhatsApp Image 2019 06 03 at 11.35.49The WFPHA’s 53rd annual General Assembly was held on May 18th this year. The GA offered an invaluable opportunity for the representatives of the WFPHA members to share and discuss the achievements and future plans of their respective organizations within the context of public health.


Several matters were discussed. Dr R. Krech gave an overview of the transformation of the WHO in order to enhance cooperation for better health. He acknowledged the need for a strong relationship between the WHO and WFPHA.


Two Governing Council (GC) positions were elected as well: S. Buttigieg (Malta) will fill the GC position for Young Professionals; Y. Weizhong (China) will fill the GC position for the Asia Pacific region. The WFPHA graciously welcomes the new GC members and looks forward to working with them.


The WFPHA welcomes the creation of the Non-Communicable Diseases Working Group! The working group focuses on the prevention of NCDs. The activities of the workingIMG 4748 2 group will be in line with the WFPHA strategic plan and values and will promote effective policies to prevent NCDs. For more information, see here.

If you want to know more about the WFPHA’s activities in the past calendar year, please read our 2018 WFPHA Annual Report here. For all events from the General Assembly, see here.



2.- New Policy Papers adopted by the WFPHA

WFPHA GA has approved three new policies in May 2019.


Reducing Anesthetic Gasses Climate Foot Print

gassesWhile more study is necessary, a rough estimate published by the World Bank Group finds that the healthcare sector generated 2.6 billion out of the 52 Billion metric tons of CO2e globally emitted in 2011—or 5% of global emissions. Analysis has found that hospitals by far were the largest contributors of carbon emissions. Although the findings are worrisome, they suggest that greener health care delivery will have a large positive impact on our environment. The policy resolution, approved in May 2019, calls for the WFPHA join the professional organizations of anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists and take action steps that include: lowering greenhouse gas anesthetics, reducing gas escape from the operating theater utilizing practical modifications of practice, and providing national public health associations information concerning this issue to permit institution based professional members to aid in this effort.

Full policy resolution can be found here.


Transitioning at Safe Substitutes for Ethylene Oxide as a Medical Sterilant of Devices and Supplies in Healthcare

Ethylene oxide (EtO) is a chemical used to sterilize medical equipment in hospitals, healthcare facilities, and industrial settings. It is also b 220 auto 16777215 347 ethlrhnused to fumigate items that cannot be sterilized by steam such as spices, cosmetics, and plastic devices. While over 99 percent of industrial use of EtO is for closed reaction to less volatile, explosive, and toxic derivatives such as ethylene glycol, less than 1% is used in sterilizing processes designed to kill bacteria and other living organisms. It is estimated that 50% of medical supplies worldwide primarily composed of rubber, plastic, paper, cloth, or mixed material surgical trays are sterilized in this manner. Workers, including those in health care, engaged in these activities and the surrounding communities are exposed on a regular basis. While not compromising patient care, the orderly substation of less hazardous substances for medical supply and device sterilization is recommended where feasible and the immediate control of releases utilizing best available technologies. This policy recommends the biomonitoring of workers, communities, different exposure recommendations, and safer substitutes to be used in the healthcare setting. The policy concludes with a number of Action Steps for WFPHA to take to regulate the sterilization of medical supplies.

Full policy resolution can be found here.


A Pledge on Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labels

pexels photo 264537In 2018, WFPHA held a webinar on International Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labels. The webinar was a huge success and worldwide speakers provided valuable lessons and further reflections in bringing awareness and understanding to the consumer. At the conclusion of this webinar, a Call to Action was proposed on behalf of the WFPHA members. Food labeling systems can aid people adopt healthier diets by making easy and informed food choices. It can also have an impact on companies and lead to product reformulations to healthier versions. WFPHA encouraged government officials, health experts, food businesses, international organizations and consumers to adopt this call to action. Based on the results of the webinar and the Call to Action a policy paper on Front-of-Pack Nutrition Labels to continue these efforts, was developed and adopted by WFPHA. This pledge includes a background on unhealthy diets, NCDs, and nutrition labels, as well as the main purpose, application methods, and a call to action on how to implement this pledge. The full pledge can be read here.



3.- 72nd World Health Assembly

whawhThe World Health Assembly (WHA) serves as the highest decision-making body for the World Health Organization(WHO) and takes place in Geneva annually. The WHA hosted delegates from 194 of its Member States as well as representatives from organizations like the WFPHA. The 72nd World Assembly took place from May 20 to 28, 2019.


Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the current Director-General of the WHO gave a moving opening speech on the principles of primary health care. It has been 40 years since the formation of the Declaration of Astana. He emphasized the need to have strong primary health care. Without it, there could be no universal health coverage. He went on to discuss the Immunization Agenda 2030, which is a strategic initiative to maximize the power of vaccines. He mentioned all the emergency responses in the last year. The next year will be important for global health. There are three priorities for the assembly to keep in mind. Health is about political leadership, partnership, and about people.



4.- International Vaccination & Capacity Workshop 2019

The International Vaccination & Capacity Workshop hosted on May 22nd at Campus Biotech in Geneva, Switzerland was enormously IMG 4884successful registering 300+ public health professionals, doctors, diplomats, professors and students from each continent around the world. This was in addition to the 25,131 reaches via our Facebook livestream of the workshop event and 84 shares for participants who were not able to attend.


The workshop was full of robust and stimulating discussions between the audience (both in person and online) and our 20 high-level eloquent speakers from various health sectors around the world.


Professor Laetitia Rispel opened the workshop, Dr Marta Lomazzi spoke on the inspiration and idea of the workshop, explaining that the “WFPHA works towards increasing global public health and strongly believes the need to work intersectorally… this workshop was developed as a platform for debate to challenge, listen, and learn from each other”.


These interactions offered a strong interdisciplinary insight into the challenges and potential solutions around vaccinations and capacity. These speakers discussed strategies and good practices to increase primary prevention through increased capacity (from human to infrastructures to sustainable investments and beyond) applied to the vaccination context.


Ms Malebona Matsoso, Director-General in the Department of Health of South Africa, explained that “immunization is the most precious gift that healthcare worker can give to a child.. when you immunize children, women, men, and the elderly, we give people an opportunity to live… it remains the most cost-effective public health intervention.


Vaccinations are one of the World Health Organization's (WHO) top priorities. During this year's World Health Assembly, WFPHA's call to action aims to direct all actors to use an upstream approach as outlined in the Global Charter for the Public's Health. Effective health services are essential to facilitate ongoing prevention, protection, and health promotion strategies. “A truly all-society approach is needed or the situation will get even worse... the lesson learned from the Ebola crisis in 2015 was that integrating the prevention of an epidemic into a health system that are built into community engagement and to trust is key", explains Dr Rüdiger Krech, the Director for Universal Health Coverage and Health Systems at the WHO. The WFPHA recognises the dangers of increasing measles and other outbreaks and that the suboptimal resources for health are not only limited to HRH but also embrace infrastructures, institutional capacity, and strategic investment.

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Professor Walter Ricciardi, WFPHA president-elect did not need to be present in person to deliver an incredible message. Through his video, he explained that his commitment remains despite backlash and attacks of antivax and politicians.


Dr Svetlana Stefanet from UNICEF commented that “immunization is the biggest return on investment" as she proposed a number of ways forward to increase vaccination rates through advocacy, the strengthening health and community systems and positioning immunization as a driver for equitable delivery of integrated multi-sectoral interventions.


Mrs. Anuradha Gupta from GAVI stressed that immunisations have reduced child mortality by 60% and unfortunately where a child is born may dictate however whether or not they have access to life-saving vaccines.


Professor Bettina Borisch closed the workshop by explaining “we have this word trust… public health systems need to be part of society, and the people, we learn that it has to be with the people”.


With the success of these discussions and interactions, the WFPHA is confident that the information and thoughts presented at the workshop will feed into the deliberations of civil society leading up to the United Nations Assembly in September 2019 on Universal Health Coverage. Read the details of the workshop here



5.- The WFPHA Welcomes the Newest Diplomat of the Global Charter

The WFPHA extends its congratulations to the newest Diplomat of the Charter: Ms. Malebona Matsoso, the Director-General of the 24a28ace ba2d 4c75 ad24 b96c17bdbffeNational Department of Health in South Africa. Read her biography here


We are currently in the process of selecting new 'Diplomats of the Global Charter' for 2019. The Diplomat is a public health professional 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.

Some ideas on how Diplomats can sustain the Global Charter revolution:

  • Introduce the Global Charter in your lectures explaining why it is important in public health
  • Cite the Global Charter in your publications
  • Introduce the Global Charter in your teaching activities
  • Discuss the Global Charter with your colleagues
  • Suggest new Diplomats of the Global Charter
  • Keep you updated on the Charter implementation activities ongoing and share with us your activities as Diplomat


6.- Speak Up

Letter to WHO - Vision and Immunisation Strategy 2021-2030

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WFPHA co-signs the letter on Immunization Strategy: WFPHA, as 15 other International NGOs and members of the civil society, believes in the importance of a “life course approach to Immunisation” and welcomes the WHO Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals approach to engaging stakeholders in the co-creation and co-development of the next strategy. Consequently, the WFPHA decides to show its support to the letter, initiated by the International Federation on Ageing.

The full letter can be read here.



7.- WFPHA Working Groups

Indigenous Working Group

NCDs Side Event

igThe WFPHA’s Indigenous Working Groups recently hosted an event on Thursday, May 23 2019 to discuss the effects of non-communicable diseases on Indigenous people. Mr. Adrian Te Patu, the co-chair discussed the burden of disease on the indigenous people with a specific mention to mental health. Ms. Summer May Finlay, Co-Vice Chair of the IWG, explained the necessity of data collection of the population. Professor Carmen Parter, Co-Chair of the IWG, explained how relationships are critical in the fight against Indigenous NCDs. Ms. Emma Rawson, Co-Vice Chair of IWG, ended the event with having groups provide insightful solutions to the implementation of the Indigenous status on the Sustainable Development Goals. The press release details the results of the event, including a range of topics such as the burden of disease, solutions, the impact of racism, and data collection. NCDs contribute to 70% of deaths globally. Indigenous people, however, often carry a higher burden of these diseases.

Read the full press release here.



8.- 2020 World Congress in Rome 

Screen Shot 2019 03 27 at 4.22.15 PMWFPHA is proud to present the 16th World Congress on Public Health, together with the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) and the Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health (SItI).

The Congress serves as an international forum for the exchange of knowledge and experiences on key public health issues. In Rome 2020, we are expecting to attract over than 4,000 delegates!

The theme of the Congress, Public Health for the Future 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. 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. We aim to encourage your active participation in the WCPH 2020 programme!


• What happened to the Enlightenment?

• Leading the way to a healthier world

• The Earth: a strategy for survival

• Moving out of the silos

• Making a difference

• The information revolution

• Revolutionizing the public health workforce as agents of change

• High quality health systems to ensure health and well-being


Low cost registrations are now available until 30 November 2019. Don't miss the opportunity. To register click here.

Fees below are inclusive of current VAT (22%) and are quoted in Euro.

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Emerging countries are those states as "low-income" and "lower-middle income" as per World Bank country classifications. For a complete list, please check the World Bank website. Proof of status is required to finalize the registration. Reduced student rates are also available for full-time students.


World Leadership Dialogues (WLD) are high-level sessions on hot topics in public health intended to complement the plenary themes. The purpose is to provide in-depth perspectives on key issues integrated into public health strategic plans/policies/health budgets perspectives. WLD applications can be submitted by organizations, working groups (WFPHA, EUPHA, SITI), foundations but not individuals and should comply with the requirements provided on the website. Additionally, these dialogues should be self-sustainable with the organizing groups covering all expenses related to the development of the session and the participation of the speakers including congress registration fees. WLD submissions are open starting 1 August 2019 until 31 December 2019. Format and submission information can be found here.



The 16th World Congress on Public Health offers excellent opportunities to learn from the latest research and practice from around the globe. Abstracts are invited for workshops and single presentations on all areas of public health research, practice, policy and education.

Abstract submission is open from 1 December 2019 to 1 March 2020.



9.- The new interns

Morgan Lee

My name is Morgan Lee and I am the new intern at the WFPHA office in Geneva. I am currently about to graduate from a morgan portrait 1BA in International Relations at the University of Birmingham. Since my teenage-hood I have been particularly interested International Development, NGOs and public health. I have been fortunate enough to have worked in community development projects in Thailand, Tanzania, and Ghana, with focus on awareness of tropical diseases, sanitation, poverty alleviation and working to implement the United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals. During my internship I will mostly work on planning events and health advocacy. Before continuing my academic path with a Master in Public Policy, I am grateful to have the opportunity to gain practical experience in international health advocacy and collaboration as an Intern at the WFPHA. I am looking forward to working with the team to contribute to the WFPHA’s mission.



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Nishka Bommareddy

My name is Nishka Bommareddy. I am currently finishing up a Masters degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Global Health & Maternal and Child Health from Saint Louis University in the United States. I had my first experiences with Public Health from internship and volunteer opportunities in my hometown, Houston, Texas. In 2016, I was an intern with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, where I helped with patient education and learned about the needs of the patients and families going through the traumatic events of cancer. I also worked with Workshop Houston, an NGO where I tutored and helped teach dance to children from low-income areas. Both these organizations taught me that public health is more than physical health and that there are other ways that I can make my contributions to the field. I am grateful for the opportunity to intern with the WFPHA and learn about the ways they promote global health and health education.



Soleen Ghahraman

Hello! I am Soleen Ghahraman from Boston in the USA. I am completing my Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health Sciences at theScreen Shot 2019 06 21 at 3.56.27 PM University of Massachusetts Amherst. My literature review on the “Prevention of oral disease through diet” highlighted both my interests in nutrition and oral health which are the focus of my university studies and area of interest here at WFPHA. As the President of the Public Health Club at my university, I am eager to bring my health communication experiences to WFPHA while collecting new competences through the health promotion work I am engaging in here at the Geneva office.  

What attracts me to working with WFPHA is my strong interest in facilitating and supporting information that people need to know so they can stay healthy. Evidence-based health is a global concern in many areas (like mandatory clear labeling on food and soft drinks) that pose an unacceptable risk to public health. I am pleased to be part of the WFPHA team in Geneva this summer and looking forward to continuing the health literacy, communication, and research work that I have started here under the guidance of my engaging supervisors. I envision myself heartily engaging with the opportunities through WFPHA’s remarkable global network to further strengthen my skills, network, and culture. 



10.- News from our Members

phaa logo01The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) is taking a stand for agricultural activity! They sent a letter congratulating and urging the new Ministry of Agriculture, The Honorary Bridget McKenzie about the use of antibiotic in the agricultural processes. Australia is a participant of the Codex Alimentarius. The PHAA finds it essential to limit the use of antibiotics in both human medicine and agriculture. They propose three considerations to restrict the inappropriate use of medically important antibiotics for disease prevention.  Read the full letter here.



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The Ethiopian Public Health Association recently arranged an orientation session to

 Dr. Haddis Alemayehu High School students on the concept of COmpassionate Respectful Caring (CRC) and club formation from 8 to 9 June 2019 in Addis Ababa. The objective of the orientation is to create an awareness in the value of CRC and to help students in developing a positive attitude towards CRC. Health professionals who are compassionate, respectful, and caring, consider patients as human beings with complex psychological, social, and economic needs and provide person-centered caring with empathy. Read the article here.  



CaptureThe Society of Social Medicine in Finland is busy planning for the annual Nordic Conference of Epidemiology and Register-Based Health Research. The conference covers a broad spectrum of disciplines like public health, medicine, veterinary sciences, biostatistics, and health care research. The topics include disease occurrence and population burden attributable to various exposures, health inequalities, and issues in research methodology from study design and data analysis to causal inference. The Nordic countries provide unique opportunities for health research utilising extensive population-based registries of specific diseases or health conditions, health services use, socio-demographic factors in addition to population dynamics. Read the full details here



11.- Publications

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Advertise with us on our media, newsletter and new Annual Report for 2019

For more information contact: 


Maîtrise Avancée en Santé Publique à l’Université de Genève



L’Université de Genève a le plaisir d’ annoncer l'ouverture des inscriptions pour la Maîtrise en Etudes Avancées (MAS) en Santé Publique (Faculté de Médecine, Université de Genève, Suisse).

Ouverte aux professionnels disposants d'un diplôme universitaire ou d'une haute école en santé ou en sciences humaines, le MAS s'effectue durant trois ans en cours d'emploi, à hauteur de cinq semaines  par année d'enseignement présentiel en français, complétées par des projets personnels (en français ou en anglais). Cette formation est reconnue par les sociétés médicales et professionnelles (FMH et la SSPH+).

A ce jour, plus de 180 diplômé-es de par le monde ont bénéficié de cette formation. Ils-elles occupent des postes à responsabilité dans la santé publique en Suisse et à l’étranger. Pour sa trentième année qui commencera en septembre, le MAS accueillera le Professeur Jean-François Etter en tant que nouveau directeur, ainsi qu'une équipe enseignante et administrative largement renouvelée, afin de répondre au mieux aux besoins des étudiant-es, tant en termes de méthodologie que de connaissances dans les différents champs de la santé publique.

Les inscriptions pour cette formation qui commencera en septembre prochain sont ouvertesjusqu'au 15 juin.

Vous trouverez davantage d'informations ici:

Par ailleurs, l’équipe du MAS se tient à votre disposition pour toute question à l'adresse:  


Menzies - School of Health Research

study at menzies

Study Public Health at Menzies!

You want to gain an effective framework and reliable tools, which will enable you to comprehend and tackle complex population health and social issues in cross-cultural, local and global environments? Choose Menzies public health courses! Celestine Aho, postgraduate student tells you everything about her experience as a researcher.

menzies malaria


The Menzies malaria research program spans a broad range of research activities aimed at both prevention and treatment, from epidemiology, diagnosis, pathophysiology, immunology, molecular parasitology, clinical trials, and evaluation of the impact and cost-effectiveness of public health interventions.

Read about the student's experienceand find more information about the programs here.






e-Precision Global Health

image session e precision global health


Introduce participant to the relevant technologies

Examine the current state of the art in applying those technologies to outbreak prediction and response

Explore where these applications might evolve in the future


Actor from international organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and foundations based in Geneva or other regional office, as well as professional PhD candidate of the Global Health programme at UNIGE


Five two-hour lectures broadcast over the web, each of which will take place on Tuesday. Each lecture will focus on a particular topic, bringing experts from data sciences, life sciences, and social sciences together to present and discuss their areas of expertise.

  • 2.10 How analysis using “big data” can help detect and respond to outbreaks

  • 9.10 How remote sensing and spatial analysis can help solve health issues due to outbreaks

  • 16.10 How blockchains and cybersecurity can impact outbreak detection and response

  • 23.10 Modelling epidemics and pandemics– predicting the next outbreak – driven health crisis

  • 30.10 mHealth and innovative technologies – using new developments to improve outbreak detection and response


Session - E-Precision Global Health - Centre pour la formation continue et à distance - UNIGE


12.- Upcoming Events

No events

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