Online Program

Defining the New Public Health for the 21st Century and Beyond

Monday, November 4, 2013: 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The purpose of this session is to begin defining the new Public Health for the 21st Century and beyond. Public health has been defined by many people in various ways. It has been categorized into a set of essential functions, with their number and definition varying across continents and among countries. But today’s conditions differ significantly from those of the 20th century. Disease patterns have changed and continue to do so. The trends in urbanization, fast epidemiologic transition in low- and middle-income countries, changes in the roles of governments in relation to population health and health care demand a new way of thinking about public health. The new focus should be based on the principle of social equity, the quality of living conditions, life and contextual circumstances and systems, including health care systems. In its essence, public health creates and supports the conditions in which people can live healthy, productive lives. Indeed, the opportunity for people and their communities to be healthy, productive and resilient begins long before they need medical care and treatment. The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) is the unique global civil society organization representing the voice of the world’s national public health community. It is a NGO in official relations with the World Health Organization. Within the recently approved three-year WHO/WFPHA Collaborative Plan, the two organizations intend to clarify what Public Health is (roles, mission, opportunities, and constraints) within today’s global setting. This initiative will be implemented through a survey of national public health associations and key stakeholders and will serve as basis for a think tank in 2014 to rethink public health, with the aim to hold a side event at the 2014 World Health Assembly on this issue. It would also be the basis for a plenary session at the 14th World Congress on Public Health (11-15 February 2015: Kolkata, India).
Session Objectives: Explain and discuss the proposed WFPHA/WHO collaborative initiative to define the ‘new public health’ (what, why and how?) Discuss the various perspectives about what constitutes ‘public health’ and the value add of creating a new definition Describe how the WFPHA intends to move forward with the initiative
Mengistu Asnake, MD, MPH
Vina HuLamm, MS and James Chauvin, MA, MSc

WFPHA’s work on defining the ‘new public health’   
Bettina Borisch, MD, MPH, FRCPath

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: APHA-World Federation of Public Health Associations