14th World Congress on Public Health concludes in Kolkata
At the closing ceremony of the Congress which concluded in Kolkata on Sunday, Mike Moore, WFPHA Vice President informed about the Declaration and some of its salient features. The five day Congress was jointly organised by World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) and Indian Public Health Association (IPHA).
The Closing Ceremony was attended by Subrata Mukherjee, West Bengal Minister for Public Health Engineering, Panchayats and Rural Development, Mengistu Asnake, President, WFPHA, James Chauvin, immediate past President, WFPHA, J.Ravi Kumar, President, IPHA, Dipika Sur, Secretary General, IPHA and Madhumita Dobe, Organizing Secretary 14th WCPH, among others.
About 2 thousand delegates gathered from over 100 countries around the globe took part in the Congress.
‘The Kolkata Call to Action – Declaration’ said the time for action has arrived. Referring to the Social, Economic and Environmental Determinants of Disease and Development, the declaration said with the proximity of the 2015 UN General Assembly, it is essential to stress to the unfinished agenda and the progress and failures of the MDG.
Stressing on social equity the Declaration says health cannot and should not be purchased for the rich but rather a human right of all. Without such a commitment disease will grow in prevalence and no one rich or poor will be without risk.
The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa illustrates the problem. The disease spread so widely because of poverty.
Turning to the issue of Climate and Health, the Declaration said that commitment must be made to sustainable and renewable energy technologies and not short term and potentially dangerous methods such as nuclear fission and hydraulic fracking. The human contribution to warming through energy generation from fossil fuels and coal in particular, provide clear requirement to mitigate the effects of global warming and resulting climate change.
Referring to non-Communicable Disease and Its Causes, the Declaration termed the unequal distribution of wealth and power among people in each country and among countries and regions worldwide as the root causes of NCD-related morbidity and mortality.
The Declaration called for giving support to stronger community action to influence exercise and lifestyle and to control tobacco, alcohol, obesity, poor dental health, chemical exposures and the occupational environment.
Laying emphasis on Universal Health Coverage, the Declaration said as the risks fall unevenly upon the poorest countries and peoples so does the lack of adequate access to medical care and least recognition in practice of health care as a human right. Better analysis and study are always needed but it is time to “roll up our sleeves” and advocate for action to protect the public’s health, the Declaration iterated.
The West Bengal Minister, Subrata Mukherjee in his speech described the 14th World Congress on Public Health as the right forum to build National, Regional and Global capacity to find solution, translate them and enable their acceptance and implementation so far as the theme Healthy People- Healthy Environment is concerned.
He said that all gamut of public health has been discussed debated and deliberated upon during the five day Congress to derive effective policies, programme and best practices in support of the public health for arriving at remedial solution.
The 15th World Congress on Public Health will be held in Melbourne, Australia from April 3-7, 2017.