Three cheers for the nanny state: World Congress on Public Health kicks off in Melbourne, Monday morning

Bulletins, Media bulletins, World Congress on Public Health

Two and a half thousand public health leaders are discussing how to transform lives by the million for the next 50 years.

And they want to talk to you.

  • Celebrating billions of lives transformed by public health.
  • Australians are living more than twenty years longer.
  • China’s life expectancy has doubled since 1949.
  • The roads are much safer, and we’re less likely to die from smoking.
  • Childbirth is 10x safer for the baby and 100x safer for mum.
  • And we’re not dying of TB, dirty water, deadly workplaces.


  • Globally, why are 4,000 people still dying from TB every day?
  • We defeated SARS in style, but Ebola and Zika were harder; what’s next?
  • Tobacco will kill six million people this year.
  • We have new plagues—sugary drinks and over consumption.
  • Chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, are now responsible for 85 per cent of deaths worldwide.
  • Violence against women and children continues.
  • Indigenous peoples from Nunavut to Alice Springs are dying too young.
  • And people with mental illnesses are losing even more years.
  • Climate change.
  • Trump.

Keynotes and speakers include:

  • From tobacco to ‘goon bags’ to sport sponsorship: what’s threatening the health of our young people?—Mike Daube, Curtin University and McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth.
  • How we can eliminate HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B by 2030—Margaret Hellard, Burnet Institute.
  • Jobs and growth, investment and security: public health in a globalised world—Rüdiger Krech, World Health Organization.
  • How European health policy helped fight Ebola—Ilona Kickbusch, The Graduate Institute Geneva.
  • How international trade agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, affect our health—Deborah Gleeson, La Trobe University.
  • Last century, it was clean water and sanitation, and this century, it’s clean air, air pollution and climate change—Maria Neira, World Health Organization will explore if we’re at a turning point in public health.
  • Divestment movements versus increasing taxes: how linking health and finance can cut the number of lives lost to tobacco use—Prabhat Jha, Centre for Global Health Research, and Bronwyn King, Tobacco Free Portfolios.
  • Is food the key to healthier people and planet? Alessandro Demaio, World Health Organization presents on the parallel problems of obesity-related disease and the climate change impacts of our food systems.
  • How do vested interests use astroturfing, sowing doubt and lobbying to steer governments away from evidence-based public health policy? Peter Miller, Deakin University, will explore alcohol, tobacco and gambling examples.
  • Can Africa’s health problems can only be improved by African people doing work in Africa?—Alex Ezeh, African Population and Health Research Center.
  • Can communities help fight obesity, starting with sugary drinks?—Anna Peeters, Deakin University.
  • Can cutting sugar and looking after our teeth cut preventable emergency room visits?
  • Sex after 65: how sexual activity and physical tenderness is part of healthy ageing.
  • Are our heart attack education efforts accidentally sexist?

And many more. 

We’ll send you an update each day next week with story leads.

For interviews, contact:

If you’d like to attend the conference, media passes are available—contact Ellie Michaelides on to register.

We’ll be tweeting news and interesting content from the Congress from @WCPH2017 using the hashtag #WCPH2017.

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