Public health, environmental and social determinants of health (PHE)

The Second Inter-Ministerial Conference on Health and Environment in Africa

Second announcement

23-26 November 2010
Luanda, Angola

An Africa-wide assessment of the state of health and environment linkages is taking shape with more than ten countries having already completed Country Situation Analyses and Needs Assessments (SANAs) as an important preliminary step in the implementation of the Libreville Declaration on Health and Environment in Africa.

To enable SANAs to be undertaken, a landmark tool was developed to help countries identify national and regional priorities, and this prompted unprecedented joint actions between health, environment and other sectors to address environmental determinants of health and ill-health and associated risk levels, policies, technical and institutional capacities, and intersectoral coordination mechanisms.

At the upcoming four-day Second Inter-Ministerial Conference on Health and Environment, ministers are expected to define regional priorities and required actions. The Conference aims to sustain the political commitment made by ministers at the Libreville Conference in 2008, on enhanced inter-sectoral actions and co-benefits for human health and the environment, as part of their engagement towards sustainable development in the African region.

The Conference will commence with a two-day scientific and technical segment (23-24 November) structured around three main themes:

  • Environmental risk factors to human health and ecosystem integrity, and country systems to address them: a “Regional Synthesis Report”;
  • Country and regional priorities on health and environment;
  • Coordination of international action in support of country programmes.

Parallel to these sessions, a series of side events will address key health and environmental topics. These include:

  • Managing the health impacts of extractive industries activities in the oil, gas and mining sectors.
  • Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).
  • Children's environmental health.
  • Scaling up safe drinking-water and sanitation: the experience of Kenya.
  • Experience of selected countries in the development of National Plans of Joint Action.
  • Practical approaches to integrating health in all policies to address key determinants of health.
  • Towards a food-secure Africa: availability of safe and nutritious food.

The two-day ministerial segment from 25-26 November will consider the regional synthesis report and its recommendations, the regional priorities and the arrangements for the Health and Environment Strategic Alliance proposed by the Scientific Conference. Ministers are also expected to adopt a common position for Africa on Climate Change and Health for the 16th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Cancun, Mexico, in December 2010.

The Second Inter-Ministerial Conference on Health and Environment is jointly organized by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme and hosted by the Government of the Republic of Angola. The Conference will bring together ministers of health and ministers in charge of environment of African countries, as well as participants from a broad range of disciplines such as multilateral agencies and secretariats of regional and international agreements, cooperation partners, development banks and regional political and economic organizations, scientific experts, civil society, including NGOs, the media, academia and the private sector.

Download the first announcement

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