Over the past decade WHO Kobe Centre has supported city and national officials in their efforts to tackle health inequities. The Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool (Urban HEART), since 2008, has provided a step-by-step guidance to local officials and communities to collectively analyse and act on inequities.
Urban HEART has been used in 50 cities from 35 countries by 2013. Users and experts have provided substantial feedback on how to improve the tool. Therefore, in November 2013, WHO Kobe Centre convened an expert meeting of academics, policy makers and international organizations in Kobe to deliberate on key areas of guidance in Urban HEART where users can be better supported.
Experts have provided specific advice to WHO on how to scale-up the use of Urban HEART and mainstream its use in city planning. The meeting report details the expert deliberations on revising Urban HEART.
The WHO Kobe Centre (WKC) will organize an open forum on “Innovation for Healthy Ageing – Examples of current trends in research –” in Kobe on 5 March 2014.
In almost every country, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group, as a result of both longer life expectancy and declining fertility rates. Population ageing challenges society to adapt, in order to maximize the health and functional capacity of older people as well as their social participation and security. Japan has long led the way in the discovery of new systems and technologies for the health of senior citizens, as well as social and healthcare systems to maintain, promote and ensure better health outcomes.
At this Forum, three of Japan’s leading innovators will present their work to improve healthy ageing through elder-friendly medicine, robotics, and innovations to keep older adults mobile and independent.
The WHO Kobe Centre organized the WHO Global Forum on Innovation for Ageing Populations in Kobe, from 10 to 12 December 2013.
A total of 172 participants from 21 countries attended the Global Forum, including representatives from governments, private healthcare sectors, non-profit organizations, research labs and academic institutions, as well as international organizations such as the OECD and the World Bank. During the Forum, a wide variety of stakeholders addressed the current needs for technological and social innovation to support healthy ageing.
The conclusions of the meeting will allow WHO and the WHO Kobe Centre to articulate their research agenda and policy guidance with current and future global public health trends pertaining to social and technological innovation for ageing.
Japan’s annual total number of suicides dipped below 30,000 people for the first time in 15 years in 2012. However, numbers of suicides in Japan are still 6 times higher than deaths due to traffic accidents. Japan has one of the world's highest suicide rates. Factors in suicide are quite complex, from social and personal factors. However, it is important to know that suicide can be prevented and the support as the community is the key for its prevention.
WKC organized a forum “Suicide Prevention and Community Support” in Kobe on 19 December 2013. More than 40 participants came to the WKC forum from the general public, local governments and health workers to learn the current trends of suicide cases and deepen their knowledge on prevention and response efforts locally and globally.
Measuring urban health
828 millionurban residents live in slum conditions worldwideMeasuring urban health
Interventions on urban health
11%of the world population are protected by national smoke-free lawsInterventions on urban health
Urban health emergencies
600 000deaths occurred worldwide as a result of weather-related natural disasters in the 1990sUrban health emergencies