The World Federation of Public Health Association, Washington DC, USA

Member profile

The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) is an international, nongovernmental, multi-professional and civil society organization bringing together public health professionals interested and active in safeguarding and promoting the public’s health through professional exchange, collaboration, and action. Founded in 1967 in Washington, D.C., it is the only worldwide professional society representing and serving the broad area of public health, as distinct from single disciplines or occupations. The Federations’ members are national and regional public health associations, as well as regional associations of schools of public health presently numbering more than 80.

Main activities

The Federation encourages partnerships among member associations to share resources and expertise and to implement innovative health strategies. Special studies, reports, and conference proceedings are published that address key issues in international health. WFPHA members exchange journals, newsletters, and other association publications. WFPHA and its members influence international health policy through the development and implementation of policy resolutions. WFPHA has led the NGO community at Alma Ata in endorsing the concept of primary health care, urged linking health with economic development strategies, raised awareness of the health consequences of landmines and nuclear weapons, engaged as an active NGO participant in the negotiations leading up to the passage of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and is committed to providing leadership in efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

Links to the health workforce crisis

WFPHA convenes a scientific conference every three years. Public health professionals and experts in related fields, nongovernmental and governmental, from around the world gather at the Congress to share ideas, experiences, and research. WFPHA provided leadership for the nongovernmental community when it represented NGOs at the landmark WHO UNICEF Alma Ata Conference that established the mandate of Health for All by the year 2000. WFPHA leaders drafted the language that went into the Alma Alta Declaration. WFPHA has developed a stronger interest in and commitment to Human Resources for Health and is currently exploring ways to become more engaged in this area through project and programmatic efforts. WFPHA believes that Public Health Associations, as keepers of the profession and integrally involved in education and training in public health and workforce issues, are duty bound to be closely involved in steps to address the human resources needs for health.