Media releases

Find out how to future-proof cities

Speakers announced for the Ecocity World Summit, Melbourne, July

·      Cooling urban heat islands: in Australia, India and Spain

·      Urban transport politics: how did Canadian cities get through it?

·      Australian housing: we’re (sadly) getting what we paid for

·      Women leading sustainable and resilient cities

·      How will India’s coastal megacities cope with climate change?

100 sessions with 300 speakers from 30 different countries will explore these and many other topics.

How do cities become resilient, and how do you measure it? What are the hidden costs of cheap buildings? Can we increase density without losing green space? Can we grow food on rooftops? And what can cities and sub-national governments do when national governments don’t want a piece of the climate action? All this and more are on the agenda of the Ecocity World Summit in Melbourne this July.

“In Australia, we’ve just come through Cyclone Debbie, and seen severe storms and flooding across the Eastern states,” says Brendan Gleeson, Director of Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and Summit co-convenor.

“We urgently need to safeguard our cities, towns and their people, in Australia and across the planet. The Ecocity World Summit program is designed to bring leading thinkers, researchers and practitioners together to share the evidence, strategies and tools we need to keep our cities liveable and sustainable in the face of global challenges.”

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Smashing the road toll: Easter and beyond

World Congress on Public Health points towards safer roads

  • Australia has been a leader in road safety policy but we’re still losing more than 1,200 lives on our roads each year
  • First year of driving critical for keeping adolescent drivers awake, alert and alive
  • Paving the way for autonomous vehicles
  • Aboriginal Australians three times more likely to die on roads: can we close the gap?

Road deaths in Australia peaked in 1970, when 3,798 people died. A long-term downwards trend in road deaths means our road toll is now less than a third of that peak figure, but the road toll and the burden of injuries from road accidents remain a public health challenge.

Globally, the road toll has plateaued at 1.25 million per year, but there are still high fatality rates in low income countries and it’s the number one cause of death among people aged 15 to 29 years.  [click to continue…]

International spotlight on Indigenous public health equity

Media release from the World Federation of Public Health Associations

Monday 10 April 2017

The World Federation of Public Health Associations has formed its first Indigenous Working Group on its 50th Anniversary.

At the 15th World Congress of Public Health Melbourne conference, 40 Indigenous and non-Indigenous conference delegates of the yarning circle unanimously supported in principle the establishment of the World Federation of Public Health Associations Indigenous Working Group.

The Public Health Association of Australia, on Tuesday 4th April 2017, hosted a yarning circle to talk about establishing an Indigenous Working Group. The yarning circle was led by Adrian Te Patu, the inaugural Indigenous representative on the World Federation of Public Health Association (WFPHA) Governing Council.

Once supported by the delegates, the formation of the Indigenous Working Group was accepted by acclimation by the world assembly of Public Health Associations. Under Mr. Te Patu’s leadership, the next steps are to formalise the Indigenous Working Group and develop its vision. [click to continue…]

Demand for Action on World Health Day

  •    On public health
  •    On chemical weapons
  •    And a call to Rome in 2020

Today, at the final day of the 15th World Congress on Public Health, delegates from over 83 countries carried by acclamation two Demands for Action.

Demanding that the World’s leaders make the public’s health a priority

  • Improving health outcomes for all
  • Fighting inequity as the primary driver of poor health
  • with political, social, environmental, and economic change across all sectors for better and more sustainable health.

The full text of the Demand is at http://www.wcph2017.com/d/WCPH2017-Melbourne-Demand-for-Action.pdf  [click to continue…]

World Health Day Statement: Meagre Rate Of Newstart IS A Health Issue – Time For A Raise

Joint Statement from Anti-Poverty Network SA and Public Health Association of Australia

Info: Anti-Poverty Network SA spokesperson Pas Forgione on 0411 587 663 or at antipovertynetwork.sa@gmail.com.
Public Health Association of Australia CEO Michael Moore on 0417 249 731 or at mmoore@phaa.net.au.

World Health Day, Friday April 7th, presents a timely opportunity to address the gross inadequacy of Newstart Allowance, which severely impacts the physical and mental health of the 800,000 Australians receiving the payment.

While none of Australia’s welfare payments are generous, it is alarming that Newstart, at $267 per week (roughly $13,800 per year), is over $160 per week (roughly $8,000 per year) below the poverty-line. It has not been raised in real terms since 1994. [click to continue…]

Thursday’s highlights from the World Congress on Public Health

  • congressPouring water on fast food kids’ meals
  • The inside story on Syria and eliminating chemical, nuclear, and bio weapons
  • WHO guru on what globalisation means for health security
  • Labia Library reveals ‘normal’ and fights genital cosmetic surgery trend
  • Providing abortion by telehealth: safe and effective
  • Making Melbourne a global health epicentre
  • Healthy Parks for public health
  • From dental health to MasterChef to Sugar Free Smiles

Thursday 6 April at the 15th World Congress on Public Health in Melbourne
Call Niall on 0417-131-977 for interviews

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Women’s health roundup from the Public Health Congress

  • congressLabia Library reveals ‘normal’ and fights genital cosmetic surgery trend
  • Women have gained 20 years of life expectancy since 1960 but 1 Australian woman dies each week due to domestic violence—today the WHO reveals the global problem
  • A smartphone app puts health advice in women’s pockets
  • Economic abuse is a form of domestic violence
  • Dead or Deadly: an Aboriginal women’s health that’s working
Women’s health, Thursday 6 April at the 15th World Congress on Public Health in Melbourne

Media contacts

1 in 3 women experiences violence from their partner

More than broken hearts says WHO’s Claudia Garcia-Moreno, head of research on violence against women at the WHO.

Worldwide, almost 1 in 3 women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner.

Claudia García-Moreno from the World Health Organization has studied the serious consequences of domestic violence for women’s physical, sexual and reproductive, and mental health—and what can be done to address it. [click to continue…]

Built environment codes and standards: an oft-overlooked determinant of the public’s health

Media release from Public Health Association of Australia

6 April 2017

phaPublic health discussion about the built environment often focuses on factors such as walkability, green spaces, liveability and transportation, yet overlooks the fact that most of the world’s population spends the greatest amount of their time in buildings, and that as a result the codes influencing their design, construction, operation and use are key determinants of health.

This issue will be addressed at the 15th World Congress on Public Health 2017, where over 2500 international delegates are gathered to share research, knowledge and ideas about public health, including its social determinants.

“Standards that govern design and construction regularly affect our health, security, safety, accessibility and wellbeing” said James Chauvin, former Director of Policy at the Canadian Public Health Association who sits on the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes. [click to continue…]

Public Health on Wednesday

  • congressSyria, chemical weapons, and industrial chemicals
  • Self-driving cars will save lives
  • Best of times, worst of times for Australian adolescents
  • Obesity and climate—two linked global crises we’ve created
  • Multi-nationals and mozzies—both great at spreading diseases
  • Big bad companies blocking life-saving public health policies

More at www.wcph2017.com/media.php and @wcph2017 on Twitter.
Contact Niall on 0417-131-977, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or Tanya on 0404-083-863 for interviews

The World Congress on Public Health is on from 3 to 7 April at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Researchers at the World Congress on Public Health in Melbourne available for interview Wednesday, 5 April including

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RACP: Australians concerned about the health impact of extremely hot weather

Media Release: Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)

April 5 2017

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New research* from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has revealed more than two thirds of Australians (68 per cent) are concerned about the rise in extremely hot weather and the impact it will have on health and wellbeing.

The topic of climate change and health will feature prominently at the World Congress on Public Health this week, with more than 2,000 health professionals descending on Melbourne for the World Federation of Public Health Associations event.

RACP Faculty of Public Health Medicine President-elect Associate Professor Linda Selvey, who will share the RACP research during her session this afternoon, said it was pleasing that the majority of Australians are united in viewing climate change as a significant health issue. [click to continue…]

Tobacco: Australian achievement, Global challenge

  • congress6 trillion sticks sold per annum
  • Killing half its users – over five million people a year
  • Australia, UK, and Canada are winning the fight – we’re smoking less and pension funds are pulling their money
  • Tobacco’s new ruthless tactics for blocking health policy
  • Multinational companies, like mosquitoes, are vectors of disease
  • What’s happening for the 800 million smokers in developing countries?

Researchers at the World Congress on Public Health in Melbourne available for interview.

Plus, Mike Daube, the man behind Australia’s plain packaging laws receives the highest honour from the World Federation of Public Health Associations—the Hugh Leavell Award for Outstanding Global Health Leadership.

Contact Niall on 0417-131-977, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or Tanya on 0404-083-863 for interviews

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Even ‘healthy’ weight gain raises pregnancy diabetes risk

Media Release from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) 

Mothers who gain weight in the years leading up to pregnancy have an increased risk of gestational diabetes, even if their weight remains within the healthy body mass index (BMI) range.

University of Queensland School of Public Health researcher Akilew Adane said women who gained more than 2.5 per cent of their body weight each year had almost triple the risk of gestational diabetes compared to women who maintained a stable weight. [click to continue…]

Healthy parks create healthy communities – biodiversity protection in Victoria linked to public health

Media release from the Public Health Association of Australia

Apha new biodiversity protection plan released this week by the Victorian Government which aims to ensure the long-term protection of the State’s natural areas and encourage the local population to make greater use of their parks and green spaces is a significant step forward in recognising the intrinsic link between thriving natural environments and human health.

Michael Moore, CEO of the Public Health Association Australia said, “As the incidence of non-communicable diseases in Australia such as diabetes, heart disease, depression and anxiety continues to rise, it’s crucial that governments consider the body of research which demonstrates the connection between these public health issues and increasing levels of urbanisation”.

“There is a wealth of evidence which shows the link between time spent outside in the natural environment and greater levels of health and wellbeing, due to the increased physical activity that results from being outdoors in park and recreation areas and the positive mental effects associated with nature,” said Mr Moore.  [click to continue…]

Parents Pour Water on Fast Food Kids’ Meals

Media release by Parents’ Voice

#waterwiththat Launch at the World Congress on Public Health 7.15am, Thursday 6 April, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Australian parents want water to become the standard drink offered to their children when eating out. In a Parents’ Voice survey of Australian parents, 89 per cent agreed that water should be the default option in kids’ meals.

Advocacy group Parents’ Voice presented those findings at today’s launch of the #waterwiththat campaign in Melbourne. Alice Pryor, Campaigns Manager for Parents’ Voice, said: “Our parents are sick of seeing advertisements for fast food kids’ meals that don’t match the in-store reality. These companies have pledged not to market unhealthy food and drinks to children, yet their meals come with a sugary drink as standard.”

With 47 per cent of Australian children consuming at least one sugary drink every dayi, the campaign #waterwiththat is urging all signatories to the Quick Service Restaurant Initiative for Responsible Advertising and Marketing to Children (QSRI) to put water with their kids’ meals. [click to continue…]

Surviving the dark side of adolescence

congressAt home, on the streets, across the world

Adolescence can be the best years of your life—exploring your freedom to think, party, travel. But it can also be the worst—accidental injuries, street crime, depression, stress, and putting on unwanted weight.

Melburnian George Patton explored these issues for the 2016 Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing.

Wednesday evening George will join a panel of teen health experts for the Melbourne Conversations event The light and dark sides of adolescence for the World Public Health Congress in Melbourne on 5 April.

George is available for interview on how we can help our own children and our city’s children, survive and thrive through adolescence.

Other stories from the World Congress on Public Health include

Risky drinking; what’s making our teens fat; standing desks for schools; sun safety; and more

Researchers available for interview, contact Niall Byrne on 0417 131 977 or niall@scienceinpublic.com.au [click to continue…]

Public Health Congress: Monday daily wrap up

  • CT scans have raised kids’ cancer riskscongress

  • Sex after 65: sexual activity and physical tenderness are important to healthy ageing

  • Are celebrities bad for your health? Just 12 per cent of star endorsements are for healthy choices

  • Your phone could be telling you to eat more veggies

  • Public health – enemies of the people?

Stories from the 15th World Congress on Public Health
Monday 3 April 2017, Melbourne Convention Centre

@wcph2017 #wcph2017

 

More at www.wcph2017.com/media.php and @wcph2017 on Twitter.
Contact Niall on 0417-131-977, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or Tanya on 0404-083-863 for interviews [click to continue…]

Public Health on Monday

congress

  • Public health – enemies of the people?

  • Poor need not = unhealthy, making the world fairer through policies on eating, chronic disease and trade

  • How to eliminate HIV and hepatitis B and C by 2030

  • Is President Trump’s stand on free trade agreements good for public health

  • We’re getting fatter and sicker

  • Self-governance and health for Indigenous peoples

Monday 3 April 2017, Melbourne Convention Centre
Researchers at the 15th World Congress on Public Health available for interview from Monday 3 April

More at www.wcph2017.com/media.php and @wcph2017 on Twitter.
Contact Niall on 0417-131-977, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au or Tanya on 0404-083-863 for interviews

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4,000 lives lost each day: ending the TB death toll

Tuberculosis (TB) is treatable and preventable. So why does it still kill more than 4,000 people each day? And what do we need to do to end the epidemic by 2030? We need to talk about solutions on World TB Day, Friday 24 March 2017.

Tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in Australian 130 years ago. Rates have plummeted since then, from 1,200 per million to four per million for males and from 900 to two per million for females, thanks to better living conditions, antibiotics, TB sanatoriums, immunisation and better screening.

Globally, we’re gaining ground in the fight to end TB:

  • Between 2000 and 2013, TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment programs saved an estimated 37 million lives.
  • The TB mortality rate fell by 45 per cent and the prevalence rate by 41 per cent from 1990 to 2013.

tbTB can lie dormant and undetected for months. But a weakened immune system leads to infectious ‘active’ TB, with fever, coughing up blood, and weight loss, the last of which gave the condition its historical name, ‘the consumption’. It’s a far cry from the Hollywood or BBC versions of TB, such as Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge! elegantly dying while singing ‘Come what may’.  [click to continue…]

Celebrating longer, healthier lives on International Women’s Day

What is saving and taking women’s lives in 2017?

The global average life expectancy for a girl born today is about 74 years. That’s 20 years more than women born in 1960.

An Australian girl born today can expect to live to 84 years. She’s gained a decade since 1960. Life expectancy for our Nepalese sisters has doubled from 35 to 71 years.

Around the world there’s been a remarkable transformation in the human condition. It’s come from a host of public achievements, including the following:

  • Improvements in living conditions in the early 20th century—better water supplies, sewerage systems, food quality and health education, have led to overall lower death rates and longer life expectancy at all ages.
  • In Australia, childbirth is 10 times safer for babies, and in USA, childbirth is 100 times safer for the mums than it was 100 years ago.
  • In Australia, we’ve seen a 95 per cent decrease in death rate for children aged zero to four years (including infants).
  • We’ve seen an 80 per cent reduction in cervical and uterine cancer mortality.
  • We have universal education for all children with no discrimination towards girls achieving their goals.
  • The protection of human rights of women and girls are improving, though we have more to do.
  • Women are less likely to die of breast cancer thanks to screening and improved treatments.

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