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The European Public Health Association
Newsletter - October 2020

Newsletter - October 2020

  1. Editorial
  2. EUPHA update
  3. European Public Health Conference
  4. EUPHA members update
  5. European Journal of Public Health
  6. Call for proposals, job opportunities
  7. Interesting news
  8. Upcoming courses and conferences
  9. Interesting publications
  10. European Commission news
  11. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control news
  12. WHO news

1. Editorial

What a busy month this was. We co-organised the very successful World Congress of Public Health with 3750 delegates participating online; we saw many EUPHA sections change presidency, two new EUPHA sections being established and many, many EUPHA workshops being organised. The WCPH2020 Statement has been signed by numerous organisations and individuals and is still gaining momentum. At the same time, European countries were hit by a second wave of COVID-19 and restrictions are back in place. And even though we all work together to fight COVID-19, find a vaccine, find better treatments, the world as we know it, remains in turmoil. We hope this newsletter provides you with updates, that will help you in your work as public health professional. Together, we remain strong!

Iveta Nagyova, EUPHA president, and Dineke Zeegers Paget, EUPHA executive director

2. EUPHA update

EUPHA Section President elections

There were seven EUPHA Section President elections this year! We would like to thank the outgoing presidents for their commitment to public health and EUPHA and offer a warm welcome the new Section Presidents, some of whom are not new to the section!

Child and adolescent public health
Past president: Danielle Jansen
New president: Sonia Saxena
Ethics in public health
Past president: Peter Schroder-Back
New president: Els Maeckelberghe
Health impact assessment
Past president: Odile Mekel 
New president: Martín Olmedo
Health technology assessment
Past president: Carlo Favaretti
New president: Chiara de Waure and vice-president Elena Petelos
Injury prevention and safety promotion
Past president: Anne Lounamaa
New president: Maria Papadakaki
Public health monitoring and reporting
Past president: Nicole Rosenkotter
New president: Petronille Bogaert and vice-presidents Hanna Tolonen and Valerie Pittet
Public mental health
Past president: Jutta Lindert 
New president: Marija Jakubauskiene

Two new EUPHA Sections

At the EUPHA Governing Board meeting, two new EUPHA sections were established. EUPHA-FOR, EUPHA Foresight section, and EUPHA-LAW, EUPHA Public health and law section. Both sections have already taken up activities by organising workshops and webinars.

What does a good COVID-19 vaccine programme look like?

Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, a consensus is building that without safe and effective vaccines, the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be overcome. At the same time, there is much discussion  about vaccines, effectiveness, availability and such. In order to provide some clarity,  EUPHA and the EUPHA Infectious diseases control section (EUPHA-IDC) set up this statement on prerequisites for a good COVID-19 vaccine programme.

EUPHA endorses the John Snow Memorandum on how best to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

The John Snow Memorandum is the work of a group of international researchers with expertise spanning public health, epidemiology, medicine, paediatrics, sociology, virology, infectious disease, health systems, psychology, psychiatry, health policy, and mathematical modelling. We felt moved to deliver a clear and simple message about how best to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
EUPHA strongly supports this text, in line with the work of the EUPHA-IDC section.
Read the Memorandum

[VIDEO] This is European public health

'This is European public health' showcases collaboration by various bodies across Europe. Public health concerns all of us and we need to work together to make it successful. Watch it on our YouTube channel!

Call for a mandatory EU-wide Front of Pack nutrition labelling system with a public health mindset

In an open letter to the Ministers responsible for Agriculture, members of the AGRIFISH Council five representives of health organisations, including EUPHA, and two MEPs call for a mandatory EU-wide Front of Pack nutrition labelling system with a public health mindset.

A call to action in include health workforce in the HORIZON Europe Program 2020-2022 Health

Statement on behalf of the EUPHA Health workforce section: Europe needs a stronger health workforce research.

EUPHA's presence at the World Congress


Thanks to you, our #EUPHAatWCPH2020 social media campaign was a success! 1,607 tweets, 757 retweets from 328 contributors led to a potential reach of 664,100 and 4 million potential impressions on Twitter alone.
Missing the virtual interaction? Check the summaries from each day of the World Congress on social media:
Summary for Monday 12 October 2020
Summary for Tuesday 13 October 2020
Summary for Wednesday 14 October 2020
Summary for Thursday 15 October 2020
Summary for Friday 16 October 2020
Read/watch/listen to testimonials from several members of the EUPHA Family.

Interview on the EU competencies in the field of health

Marieke Verschuuren, EUPHA Executive Board Representative, gave an interview to a Catalan journal on the EU competencies in the field of health. In short, she calls for preparing health systems for the next phases of the pandemic, as we do not know how long it will last.

Launch of The Global Society on Migration, Ethnicity, Race and Health

EUPHA-MEM Section President and Chair of the Global Society MERH express that the launch of the Global Society at the WCPH 2020 was a historic milestone that embodies commitment to taking the agenda forward. This would not have possible without the support and contributions of the working committee, the partners and in particular EUPHA. The presentations of the preconference at the World Congress on Public Health are available on the Global Society's website.

EUPHA Section on Environment and Health (EUPHA ENV) - Statement

EUPHA Environment and health section (EUPHA-ENV) published a statement aiming to present strategies and exchange knowledge regarding action to health risk reduction from a polluted environment.

EUPHA Fellowship Programme

This year, the 16th World Congress on Public Heath was covered by 12 EUPHA fellows. Based on their expertise, the fellows were assigned to one of the six tracks of the Congress, with the responsibility to cover all the events related to their track.
The final track reports will be available by the end of the year but their daily reports, in the form of a podcast, are already available here.
The EUPHA office team would like to thank those fellows for their work and for their precious participation:
COVID-19: Tara Tai-Wen Chen, Maria Bakola
Health Workforce: Annika Kreitlow, Wilfredo Abarcar
Law, ethics and politics: Chiara Rinaldi, Lauren Tonti
Investing in health: Katharina Tabea Jungo, Denis Satoshi Komoda
Public health advocacy, policy and politics: Md Tanvir Islam, Harsha Somaroo
Environment and health: Manuel Alexander Reynaga Herbert, Rana Orhan

We would also like to thank Monica Brinzac, EUPHAnxt Conference Manager, for making this Fellowship programme a success.

3. European Public Health Conference

16th World Congress on Public Health - WCPH2020

The first ever virtual World Congress on Public Health, WCPH2020, has been successfully concluded. The Congress was the largest virtual public health event to date with over 3,750 participants who could choose from 150 workshops on a wide range of public health. The Congress included eight plenary sessions with speakers from across the world, 25 World Leadership Dialogues organized by leading international public health organizations and eight satellite sessions organized by partners and sponsors.
The WCPH On-Demand programme for Congress participants is extended until 30 november.

14th European Public Health Conference, Dublin, Ireland – 10-13 November 2021

Next year’s European Public Health (EPH) Conference will be held in Dublin, Ireland, from 10 to 13 November, if possible… As we are now in the midst of the corona crisis, we have no idea how it will happen and if it will happen in Dublin. But Dublin 2021 WILL happen! Many of us have had our lives and work turned upside down by COVID-19, and the past months have been hard for many of us. It may be that we will all gather in Dublin as planned, but equally, we may be scattered across the planet, looking at flickering computer screens. In any event, you are welcome to the 14th EPH Conference, from wherever you are watching it. The main theme of Dublin 2021 is: Our Food, Our Health, Our Earth: A Sustainable Future for Humanity.

Abstract submission for the 14th EPH Conference is open from 1 February until 1 May 2021. The EPH Conference offers excellent opportunities to learn from the latest research and practice, to network with experts and colleagues and to expand your professional horizons. Abstracts are invited for workshops and single presentations in all areas of public health research, practice, policy and education. Abstracts are considered for oral, pitch and poster presentations. Workshop proposals are considered for 60- or 90-minutes sessions. Do not miss the opportunity to share your work at the largest public health event in Europe. Watch our website for any updates.

'One Planet, One People, One Health for the future of Humanity': Congress Statement now in video!

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The congress may have ended, but our call to action remains. The ‘Rome Declaration’ was widely supported by public health associations and agencies around the world. There are plans for an action plan to take forward the principles and priorities from the Statement.
In our brand new video, the 16th World Congress Statement is read by public health leaders and experts from around the world.
Watch the video here
The written version remains available here.
For further information and ideas to take forward the issues in the Statement, please contact:

4. EUPHA members update

Interview of Christos Lionis and Elena Petelos (University of Crete - UoC) by Tania Mantouvalou of DailyFarmaNews in Greece

Elena Petelos, member of EUPHA Governing Board, alongside with Christos Lionis from the University of Crete, gave an interview for DailyPharmaNews.
Read the summary

Webinar: Support4Global Health and SDGs in health workforce education, 9 November 2020, 5 p.m. (CET)

This webinar is organised by our partner ASPHER, together with EUPHA Health workforce research section and EUPHAnxt.

5. European Journal of Public Health

Volume 30, Issue 5, October 2020

Thirty years after German reunification: population health between solidarity and global competitiveness
Rok Hrzic, Helmut Brand

COVID-19 mortality: a complex interplay of sex, gender and ethnicity
Nazrul Islam, Kamlesh Khunti, Hajira Dambha-Miller, Ichiro Kawachi, Michael Marmot

The first 10 000 COVID-19 papers in perspective: are we publishing what we should be publishing?
Anna Odone, Sandro Galea, David Stuckler, Carlo Signorelli, the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele COVID-19 literature monitoring working group
In search of the relevant COVID research
Peter Allebeck, Alma Sörberg Wallin
COVID-19 and human rights—why should the public health community be concerned?
David Patterson, Dineke Zeegers Paget
Covid-19: a test for our humanity
Els Maeckelberghe, Peter Schröder-Bäck
Early lessons from COVID-19 response and shifts in authority: public trust, policy legitimacy and political inclusion
Marleen Bekker, Damir Ivankovic, Olivia Biermann

Service utilization patterns for childbirth and neonatal mortality in the occupied Palestinian territory during conflict
Zeina Ali Siam, Tiziana Leone
Use of amenable mortality indicators to evaluate the impact of financial crisis on health system performance in Greece
Christos Zilidis, David Stuckler, Martin McKee
Impact of low health literacy on healthcare utilization in individuals with cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and mental disorders. A Danish population-based 4-year follow-up study
Karina Friis, Marie Hauge Pedersen, Anna Aaby, Mathias Lasgaard, Helle Terkildsen Maindal
Individual and regional determinants of long-term care expenditure in Japan: evidence from national long-term care claims
Xueying Jin, Takahiro Mori, Mikiya Sato, Taeko Watanabe, Haruko Noguchi, Nanako Tamiya
Quality indicators for community dementia care: a systematic review
Samantha Dequanter, Ronald Buyl, Maaike Fobelets
Intervention effectiveness by pharmacists integrated within an interdisciplinary health team on chronic complex patients
Hector Acosta-García, Eva Rocío Alfaro-Lara, Susana Sánchez-Fidalgo, Daniel Sevilla-Sánchez, Eva Delgado-Silveira, Ana Juanes-Borrego, Bernardo Santos-Ramos Cronos Group (SEFH)

Differences in housing transitions and changes in health and self-determination between formerly homeless individuals
Jorien van der Laan, Sandra N Boersma, Sara al Shamma, Reinier Akkermans, Barbara van Straaten, Gerda Rodenburg, Dike van de Mheen, Judith R L M Wolf
Health indicators of the National Roma Integration Strategy in Spain in the years 2006 and 2014
Daniel La Parra-Casado, Javier Arza-Porras, Jesús Francisco Estévez
Youth injury and parents’ unemployment—the importance of socio-economic status and ethnicity context
Siman-Tov Maya, Tur-Sinai Aviad, Kolobov Tanya, Baron-Epel Orna, Harel-Fisch Yossi
Measuring multimorbidity inequality across Italy through the multisource comorbidity score: a nationwide study
Giovanni Corrao, Federico Rea, Flavia Carle, Mirko Di Martino, Rossana De Palma, Paolo Francesconi, Vito Lepore, Luca Merlino, Salvatore Scondotto, Donatella Garau, Liana Spazzafumo, Giuseppe Montagano, Elena Clagnan, Nello Martini, the working group “Monitoring and assessing care pathways (MAP)” of the Italian Ministry of Health
The impact of life course exposures to neighbourhood deprivation on health and well-being: a review of the long-term neighbourhood effects literature
Stephen Jivraj, Emily T Murray, Paul Norman, Owen Nicholas

Editor's Choice
Natural disasters and infectious disease in Europe: a literature review to identify cascading risk pathways
Jonathan E Suk, Eleanor C Vaughan, Robert G Cook, Jan C Semenza
Occupational asbestos exposure after the ban: a job exposure matrix developed in Italy
Alberto Scarselli, Alessandro Marinaccio, Marisa Corfiati, Davide Di Marzio, Sergio Iavicoli
Impact of flooding on health-related quality of life in England: results from the National Study of Flooding and Health
Charlotte Robin, Charles Beck, Ben Armstrong, Thomas David Waite, G James Rubin, English National Study of Flooding and Health Study Group , Isabel Oliver

Education as inefficient resource against depressive symptoms in the Czech Republic: cross-sectional analysis of the HAPIEE study
Pavla Cermakova, Hynek Pikhart, Ruzena Kubinova, Martin Bobak
Is impending or actual death of a spouse with dementia bad for mental health? Antidepressant use surrounding widowhood
Elina Einiö, Niina Metsä-Simola, Saska Saarioja, Pekka Martikainen, Kaarina Korhonen
Sociodemographic and gender determinants of late-life suicide in users and non-users of antidepressants
Khedidja Hedna, Gunnel Hensing, Ingmar Skoog, Johan Fastbom, Margda Waern
Improving mental health through neighbourhood regeneration: the role of cohesion, belonging, quality and disorder
Giles Greene, David Fone, Daniel Farewell, Sarah Rodgers, Shantini Paranjothy, Bethan Carter, James White

HIV prevention and treatment in Southern Europe in the aftermath of bailout programmes
Gonçalo F Augusto, Ioannis Hodges-Mameletzis, Marina Karanikolos, Alexandre Abrantes, Maria R O Martins
Sex differences in shigellosis incidence rates: analysis of national data from nine countries using meta-analytic method
Victoria Peer, Naama Schwartz, Manfred S Green
Hantavirus infections in humans in Poland—current state of knowledge and perspectives for research
Joanna Stojak

Measles outbreak in Romania: understanding factors related to suboptimal vaccination uptake
Katrine Bach Habersaat, Adriana Pistol, Aurora Stanescu, Catherine Hewitt, Miljana Grbic, Cassandra Butu, Cath Jackson
Examining vaccination coverage in Germany: spatiotemporal clustering of MMR coverage, 2008–14
Cory N Spencer, Paul L Delamater

Uncovering TAPS strategies of the tobacco industry at PoS in low- and middle-income countries: the case of Turkey
Fatih Uznay, Sevtap Gumus
Maternal education and offspring birth weight for gestational age: the mediating effect of smoking during pregnancy
Aurélie Nakamura, Laura Pryor, Morgane Ballon, Sandrine Lioret, Barbara Heude, Marie-Aline Charles, Maria Melchior, Fabienne El-Khoury Lesueur
A comparison of self-reported to cotinine-detected smoking status among adults in Georgia
Julianne Williams, Ivo Rakovac, Enrique Loyola, Lela Sturua, Nino Maglakelidze, Amiran Gamkrelidze, Kristina Mauer-Stender, Bente Mikkelsen, João Breda

Socioeconomic disadvantages over the life-course and their influence on obesity among older Hong Kong Chinese adults
Gary K K Chung, Francisco T T Lai, Dicken C Chan, Hung Wong, Eng-Kiong Yeoh, Roger Y Chung
Obesity and thinness prevalence trends in Spanish schoolchildren: are they two convergent epidemics?
Miriam Garrido-Miguel, Vicente Martínez-Vizcaíno, Ángel Herráiz-Adillo, Jose Alberto Martínez-Hortelano, Alba Soriano-Cano, Ana Díez-Fernández, Montserrat Solera-Martínez, Mairena Sánchez-López

Cancer statistics: a comparison between World Health Organization (WHO) and Global Burden of Disease (GBD)
Camilla Mattiuzzi, Giuseppe Lippi
Citizen consultation and organized breast cancer screening
Xavier Gocko, Radia Spiga, Virginie Chel, Anthony Court, Catherine Plotton

European Public Health News
Dineke Zeegers Paget, Iveta Nagyova, Hans Henri P Kluge, Floris Barnhoorn

A comparison of self-reported to cotinine-detected smoking status among adults in Georgia
Julianne Williams, Ivo Rakovac, Enrique Loyola, Lela Sturua, Nino Maglakelidze, Amiran Gamkrelidze, Kristina Mauer-Stender, Bente Mikkelsen, João Breda

6. Call for proposals, job opportunities

Tenure Track Assistant Professor or Associate Professor in Clinical Forensic Medicine

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) is recruiting highly qualified Post-Docs/Research Scientists

The positions are for the Lab of Digital and Computational Demography.

[SURVEY] The IHLA working group on health literacy needs your input

The & if you have questions about the study.

Survey invitation for contribution - European Commission study on mapping data flows

You are invited to fill in a survey for a study on mapping data flows for the European Commission (Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology).
The objective of the study is to provide interactive and digitally enabled mapping and analysis of data flows within and across EU Member States and EFTA countries. To do so, the study also looks specifically into EU based enterprises that work in data intensive fields or are otherwise significant organisations from their field to better understand how European industries store and distribute data.
The responses of the survey will be treated confidentially, and results will be aggregated. You can find the questionnaire following this link. The deadline for filling in the survey is Wednesday 4th November 2020.

Public Health Workforce in Times of Global Transformations: Past, Present, and Future Developments - Call for papers

Manuscripts submitted to this call are considered for publication in a Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IF: 2,84).
Within this call, we welcome contributions highlighting local, national or global perspectives on developments and future trends related to ongoing global transformations in the core public health workforce, which consists of  positions exclusively or substantially focused on issues related to population health in public health research, practice, policy, or education:

The deadline for the submission of manuscripts is July 31, 2021. All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed and – if accepted – published Open Access.
Please note that many universities and other institutions have special arrangements regarding the Article Processing Charge and often cover the fee (to a certain extent). However, authors may also apply for a waiver or discount of the publication fee. For doing so, please send an abstract (about 300 words) of the planned contribution (including a list of authors including their affiliations) to until December 31, 2020. After the abstract submission deadline, you will be informed about the possibility of receiving a waiver or discount - subject to the condition that the manuscript successfully passes external peer-review.

7. Interesting news

Health Technology Assessment Network

Two years ago, on 4 Oct 2018, the European Parliament adopted its Report on the the Proposal for a Regulation on HTA of the European Commission (EC). Stakeholder Experts in the EC’s HTA Network Stakeholder Pool had provided observations and comments for the proposal, including bilateral and multilateral meetings with the Commissioner, in consultations, and in meetings convened with the HTA Network. COVID-19 has rendered the need for coordinated collaboration and a harmonized approach stark; we have found ways to ensure Joint Procurement by the EC, but we are still to see progress on agreement on how to move forward with Joint Assessment.
Nevertheless, on 27 Oct 2020, a meeting of the HTA Network was convened, with EUPHA participating as an observer (Carlo Favaretti and Elena Petelos). In anticipation of a new, ‘compromise’ proposal currently being prepared by the German Presidency, to be released in Nov 2020, a request endorsed by all members of the Pillar in the Healthcare Providers (HCP) was put forth: to ensure continuous engagement, and empowerment, of stakeholders for transparent communication and democratic dialogue, to ensure the Stakeholder Pool remains active and is given the opportunity to contribute until the time when we can have a permanent HTA mechanism for HTA in Europe, including structures for stakeholder involvement and support to tackle all cases of information asymmetry, and safeguarding sound representation from patients, healthcare providers, payers, and, indeed, the industry. Additional comments were submitted to the HTA Secretariat to ensure due emphasis was given on prioritizing public health interventions such as vaccines.

Time to move: EU-OSHA launches campaign to address Europe's most common work-related health problem

Backache? Neck pain caused by work? You are not alone. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has launched its 2020-2022 campaign — Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load — which focuses on work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The launch marks the start of a programme of events and actions aimed at raising awareness of this issue — which affects millions of workers across Europe — and how to tackle it.

News from EU4Monitoring Drugs, an EMCDDA technical cooperation project

On 28 September 2020, the EMCCDA released the first publication in the framework of the EU4Monitoring Drugs project, which presents the key results of an EMCDDA trendspotter study. This study was prepared in consultation with some 30 experts from all six eastern European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) countries.

European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention brochure

Since 1997, the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention strove for a better and healthier world, by reducing health inequalities due to tobacco. During 23 years, ENSP actively developed a strategy for action among organisations active in tobacco control in Europe by sharing information and experience and through co-ordinated activities and joint projects.

This brochure aims at highlighting the progress that has been done until today and encourages all health advocates to join The Network and contribute to even greater progress in the future.

EU4Health programme: Council agrees its negotiating position

EU member states' ambassadors today (21 October 2020) agreed unanimously on the mandate to start negotiations with the European Parliament on the EU4Health programme (2021-2027).

Protecting the profits of a few could prevent vaccine access for all

Right now, we are on a runaway train barreling toward a future when the majority of the globe is forced to wait for vaccines as the rich serve themselves first. It’s time to pull the emergency brake.

EU chemicals strategy: speedy implementation steps key to truly protect people's health

Environmental health advocates have welcomed today’s release of the European Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability as a major step forward in the delivery of Europe’s Zero Pollution Objective. They however insisted that the ability of the strategy to truly minimise people’s exposure to harmful substances and prevent diseases will highly depend on the practical implementation of the proposed initiatives and the commitment to put innovation at the service of protection, rather than the contrary.

Study reveals world's most walkable cities

Walking improves health and cuts pollution but most cities still dominated by cars, says report.

Results of Joint Action Chrodis (2014-2017)

The Joint Action CHRODIS-PLUS has been helping countries address the growing burden of chronic diseases since 2017. To test tools and good practices in addressing chronic diseases, it has implemented 21 pilot projects. To promote long-term sustainability and integration of good practices into policy, 16 policy dialogues have been organised. The Joint Action CHRODIS-PLUS brings together 50 partners, including EuroHealthNet, from 21 European countries. It is co-funded by the European Commission health programme.
Check out the results

How can we support physical distancing in the office?

For many employees, even simple rules like “stay 1.5m apart” are proving hard to consistently follow in practice. Fortunately, behavioural science gives us clues as to how we can design the work environment and practices to encourage physical distancing and help keep us safe in the months ahead.

Poland rules abortion due to foetal defects unconstitutional

Poland’s constitutional tribunal has ruled that abortion due to foetal defects is unconstitutional, rejecting the most common of the few legal grounds for pregnancy termination in the predominantly Catholic country.

Study: Air pollution costs Europeans €1,276 per year

A new report for the European Public Health Alliance revealed on Wednesday that air pollution costs the average European city resident €1,276 per year. While Bucharest tops the rank for highest costs (€3,004 per year), Italian cities dominate the top 10 due to both pollution and higher general costs. However, those living in Spain's largely-unpolluted Santa Cruz de Tenerife face the lowest cost (€382 per year) in the bloc.

Preliminary Assessment Report for Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU and Tobacco Advertising Directive (2003/33/EC)

ENSP plays a key “watch‐dog” role in Europe to prevent the tobacco industry from biasing and slowing down the tobacco control processes nationally and at EU level. The present report outlines the results of the monitoring of TPD and TAD implementation in EU countries as well as an assessment of the level and kind of need expressed in various member countries along with specific topics of future interest.

EU 'not prepared for next pandemic', say MEPs

The EU is not equipped to deal with any future pandemics, according to some Members of the European Parliament.
Speaking in Brussels, MEPs said that COVID-19 has shown the need for an "ambitious EU health programme" to ensure that the continent's health systems can "face future threats", after funding for healthcare was cut by Member States in July to €1.7bn.
They want to increase the amount to €9.4bn, which was originally proposed.

A science-based platform to encourage diets that are good for people and planet

A comprehensive scientific assessment of how dietary shifts in 147 countries can bend the curve on the negative impacts of the food system, moving from exploiting to restoring nature. This plateform, created by the WWF, provides us with insights and tools to eat better, for the environment and our health. 
Read the report "Bending the curve: the restorative power of planed-based diets"

HRSA Releases 2019-2020 Report on Health Equity: Special Feature on Housing and Health Inequalities

The Health Resources and Services Administration, through the agency's Office of Health Equity, today released the HRSA 2019-2020 Health Equity Report: Special Feature on Housing and Health Inequalities. The report indicates substantial progress has been made nationally for all Americans in vital indicators including life expectancy, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and influenza and pneumonia; while health inequities between population groups and geographic areas persist.
Read the press release
Read the report

8. Upcoming courses and conferences

Pregnancy and programming and later risk of obesity and related disease
2 Nov 2020 - 6 Nov 2020 / Frederiksberg, Denmark
Organiser: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Hospital care and COVID-19: Balancing surge capacity and regular services
3 Nov 2020 / Webinar via Zoom
Organiser: European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

Obesity: courses and consequences - the complex interplay between behavior, society, genes and the environment
9 Nov 2020 - 13 Nov 2020 / Frederiksberg, Denmark
Organiser: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

A structured simulation on Developing a rapid diagnostic test in response to an emerging infectious disease.
14 Nov 2020 / Web event
Organiser: Irish Global Health Network and Global Health SIM

EHMA 2020 Digital annual conference – Health management: Realigning systems, context and players
17 Nov 2020 - 19 Nov 2020 / Online event
Organiser: EHMA

Call for poster submissions – WHO whole-of-society infodemic management conference
20 Nov 2020 /
Organiser: WHO

New Frontiers in Health Policy 2020: Health Policy in a Time of Transformation
23 Nov 2020 - 25 Nov 2020 / Online event
Organiser: McMaster University

Winter Symposium 2020: From Manufacturer to Patient: Reshaping Healthcare Supply Chains
1 Dec 2020 / Parterre Rialto Basel, Switzerland
Organiser: Swiss TPH

The 10th International Conference on Children's Health and the Environment
1 Dec 2020 - 3 Dec 2020 / Amsterdam, Netherlands
Organiser: INCHES

1st Conference of the Swiss Implementation Science Network (IMPACT)
21 Jan 2021 - 22 Jan 2021 / Basel, Switzerland
Organiser: Swiss TPH

Health Care and Management (HCM): From Research to Implementation
8 Mar 2021 - 11 Jun 2021 / Basel, Switzerland
Organiser: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

22 Mar 2021 - 24 Mar 2021 / Philadelphia, USA
Organiser: Global Law Enforcement & Public Health

9th Annual International Conference on Health & Medical Sciences
3 May 2021 - 4 May 2021 / Athens, Greece
Organiser: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER)

10th Europaediatrics 2021
10 Jun 2021 - 12 Jun 2021 / Zagreb, Croatia
Organiser: EPA / UNEPSA with European Confederation of Primary Care Paediatricians

5th European Summer School in Evidence-Based Public Health
19 Jul 2021 - 23 Jul 2021 / Munich, Germany
Organiser: LMU Munich and University of Liverpool

16th Annual meeting and 11th conference of HEPA Europe (WHO/Europe network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity)
1 Sep 2021 - 3 Sep 2021 / Nice, France
Organiser: HEPA Europe

Global Health Literacy Summit
3 Oct 2021 - 5 Oct 2021 / International Health Literacy Association, E-DA Healthcare Group, I-Shou University
Organiser: Kaohsiung, Taiwan

9. Interesting publications

Association between FDA and EMA expedited approval programs and therapeutic value of new medicines: retrospective cohort study

The BMJ | Original Research | 7 october 2020
Less than a third of new drugs approved by the FDA and EMA over the past decade were rated as having high therapeutic value by at least one of five independent organizations. Although expedited drugs were more likely than non-expedited drugs to be highly rated, most expedited drugs approved by the FDA but not the EMA were rated as having low therapeutic value.

The carnage of substandard research during the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for quality

Journal of Medical Ethics | 1 October 2020
Worldwide there are currently over 1200 research studies being performed on the topic of COVID-19. Many of these involve children and adults over age 65 years. There are also numerous studies testing investigational vaccines on healthy volunteers. No research team is exempt from the pressures and speed at which COVID-19 research is occurring. And this can increase the risk of honest error as well as misconduct.

Triage and justice in an unjust pandemic: ethical allocation of scarce medical resources in the setting of racial and socioeconomic disparities

Journal of Medical Ehtics | Brief Report | 16 October 2020
Shortages of life-saving medical resources caused by COVID-19 have prompted hospitals, healthcare systems, and governmentsto develop crisis standards of care, including 'triage protocols' to potentially ration medical supplies during the public health emergency. At the same time, the pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities that together constitute a form of structural racism. These disparities pose a critical ethical challenge in developing fair triage systems that will maximize lives saved without perpetuating systemic inequities.

Symptoms of a broken system: the gender gaps in COVID-19 decision-making

The BMJ Global Health | Commentary | 01 October 2020
A growing chorus of voices are questioning the glaring lack of women in COVID-19 decision-making bodies. Men dominating leadership positions in global health has long been the default mode of governing. This is a symptom of a broken system where governance is not inclusive of any type of diversity, be it gender, geography, sexual orientation, race, socio-economic status or disciplines within and beyond health – excluding those who offer unique perspectives, expertise and lived realities. This not only reinforces inequitable power structures but undermines an effective COVID-19 response – ultimately costing lives.

Global health: time for radical change?

The Lancet | Editorial | 17 October 2020
What strategies should governments adopt to improve the health of their citizens? Amid the COVID-19 syndemic it would be easy to focus attention on global health security—at a minimum, strong public health and health-care systems.

Private health insurance: history, politics and performance (2020)

A collection of comparative case studies analysing the history, politics and performance of private health insurance globally and its implications for universal health coverage. This is essential reading for graduate students, scholars and policy-makers working on health systems financing worldwide.

How much is air pollution costing our health

This new report Health costs of air pollution in European cities and the linkage with transport by CE Delft, commissioned by a consortium of public interest NGOs in ten European countries ( Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, The Netherlands, Italy) led by the European Public Health Alliance is the largest of its kind and follows up on the 2018 study on Health Impacts and Health Impacts of Diesel Emissions in the EU, in nine European countries.  It uses a comprehensive common methodology to uniquely examine the health costs of air pollution for 432 cities across all EU countries, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Nutrition is key to global pandemic resilience

BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health | Editorial | 14 October 2020

Healthful food of good quality is our first line of defence against diseases, including immune defences against pathogenic organisms. In the current worldwide concern of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, resulting in the COVID-19 disease, a strurdy immune system is considered central. This inevitably puts focus on the saga of the harmonious concert between nutrition and the immune system, unfolding over the last century.

Strong association between adolescent obesity and consumption of macrolides in Europe and the USA: An ecological study

Journal of Infection and Public Health | Original Article | October 2020
The reasons underpinning the large variations in the prevalence of childhood obesity are inadequately understood. Individual level studies have found that macrolide consumption at a young age increases the risk of subsequent obesity.

Democratic Health Communications during Covid-19: A RAPID Response

Authors: Heidi Tworek, Ian Beacock, and Eseohe Ojo
This report recommends how to put health communications at the heart of democracies’ response to Covid-19. Communications are an effective non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) for Covid-19; other NPIs include travel restrictions, physical distancing, or personal protective equipment—each of which, in turn, requires clear, rapid communications. More effective communications could save lives.

Read the report

Offline: Science and politics in the era of COVID-19

The Lancet | Offline | 14 October 2020
"The complexities we are facing today have been partly caused by us not taking political decision making more seriously as a core part of public health. As the relationship between science and politics continues to break down, we need to concede that evidence alone will never be enough."

A pledge for planetary health to unite health professionals in the Anthropocene

The Lancet | Online First | October 2020
The public commitment to take responsibility for other people's lives and health at the transition from student to professional is an act of great personal and professional significance.

Making pharmaceutical research and regulation work for women

The BMJ | Analysis | 27 October 2020
The legacy of male bias within pharmaceutical research, regulation, and commercialisation needs to be rectified, argue Sundari Ravindran and colleagues.

Equity in Health Policy Assessment: Region of the America

This study assessed 32 national health plans to report on whether and how countries in the Region are integrating the achievement of health equity into strategic lines of action in the health sector. It provides a snapshot of approaches and advances, allowing for knowledge sharing among countries on options for attention to equity in health policy.

10. European Commission news

European Commission Statement on the coordination of measures restricting free movement in the European Union related to the coronavirus pandemic

Following the proposal of the Commission on 4 September 2020, today [13 October] EU ministers have reached an agreement that will provide more clarity and predictability on measures that restrict free movement due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Commission welcomes the adoption by the Council and issued a statement.

Coronavirus: Commission Statement on consulting Member States on proposal to prolong and adjust State aid Temporary Framework

Today [2 October 2020], the European Commission has sent to Member States for consultation a draft proposal to prolong until 30 June 2021 the State aid Temporary Framework, adopted on 19 March 2020 to support the economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak, and adjust its scope.

A healthy frame of mind: European Commission action on mental health

John F. Ryan, Director of the European Commission Directorate for Public Health, talks about the Commission’s work in the field of mental health, including a new Joint Action in Mental Health and a new stakeholders’ group on the EU Health Policy Platform that specifically addresses mental health issues in light of COVID-19.

Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases

Joint Meeting Shadow Health Configuration of the Horizon Europe Programme Committee and Steering Group on Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Management of Non-Communicable Diseases.

Commission staff fitness check on endocrine disruptors

  • Endocrine Disruptors are chemicals that can negatively affect the health of humans or animals by altering the functioning of the hormonal system.
  • The EU has taken a progressive series of actions on endocrine disruptors since 1999.
  • Different regulatory approaches exist in different pieces of legislation.
  • To address concerns about possible inconsistencies between different pieces of legislation, the Commission launched a Fitness Check in 2019.
  • The Fitness Check focused mainly on the evaluation criteria of coherence and effectiveness, but also addressed efficiency, relevance and EU added value.

2021 Commission work programme - from strategy to delivery

Today [19 October 2020], the Commission adopted its 2021 work programme, designed to make Europe healthier, fairer and more prosperous, while accelerating its long-term transformation into a greener economy, fit for the digital age. It contains new legislative initiatives across all six headline ambitions of President von der Leyen's Political Guidelines and follows her first State of the Union Speech. While delivering on the priorities set out in this work programme, the Commission will continue to put all its efforts into managing the crisis, and into making Europe's economies and societies more resilient.

President von der Leyen at the World Health Summit

On Sunday, 25 October, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, gave a speech at the online World Health Summit 2020. In her speech, President von der Leyen emphasised the importance of global cooperation in health matters.

Independent Scientific experts: Call for expressions of interest for the EMA PRAC Committee

The Commission is launching a selection procedure to appoint the Independent Scientific Experts to the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
Application deadline: 20 November 2020
You can find all the necessary documents here.

Our best shot against COVID-19: effective vaccination strategies and targeted vaccine deployment

John F. Ryan, European Commssion Director of Public Health, talks about a milestone in the fight against COVID-19. On 15 October, the Commission presented its Communication on preparedness for COVID-19 vaccination strategies and vaccination deployement to the European Parliament and the Council, outling the key steps guiding countries’ vaccination strategies and identifying actions to ensure vaccines are deployed effectively in the EU.
Read more
You can also read EUPHA and EUPHA-IDC statement on "What does a good COVID-19 vaccine programme look like?". You will learn that such a programme would be equitable, adequatly staffed, safe and supported by efficient communication, would target those who need it the most and optimize its performance based on data.

11. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control news

Unlocking the potential of data in light of early lessons from COVID-19: ECDC session at European Health Forum Gastein 2020

Within the overall theme of European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) 2020, “Dancing with elephants: New partnerships for health, democracy, business”, ECDC is hosting a workshop that will explore innovative digital solutions for comparable data, strong health systems and good decision-making.

Eurosurveillance - Volume 25, Issue 40, 08 October 2020

Rapid communication
Detection of West Nile virus in a common whitethroat () and mosquitoes in the Netherlands, 2020
Out-of-season increase of puerperal fever with group A infection: a case–control study, Netherlands, July to August 2018
Epidemiological parameters of COVID-19 and its implication for infectivity among patients in China, 1 January to 11 February 2020
Job vacancy at Job vacancies at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
Author's correction
Authors’ correction for Euro Surveill. 2020;25(39)

Eurosurveillance - Volume 25, Issue 39, 01 October 2020

Rapid communication
Autochthonous dengue in two Dutch tourists visiting Département Var, southern France, July 2020
SARS-CoV-2 samples may escape detection because of a single point mutation in the N gene
Automated digital reporting of clinical laboratory information to national public health surveillance systems, results of a EU/EEA survey, 2018
Capturing respiratory syncytial virus season in Belgium using the influenza severe acute respiratory infection surveillance network, season 2018/19
Author's correction
Authors’ correction for Euro Surveill. 2020;25(32)
Resolved: Expression of concern for Euro Surveill. 2020;25(32)

Eurosurveillance - Volume 25, Issue 41, 15 October 2020

Rapid communication
Detection of Usutu virus infection in wild birds in the United Kingdom, 2020
Detection and discrimination of influenza B Victoria lineage deletion variant viruses by real-time RT-PCR
Molecular epidemiological typing of isolates identifies a novel association between genogroup G10557 (G7072) and decreased susceptibility to cefixime, Germany, 2014 to 2017
Job vacancies at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Eurosurveillance - Volume 25, Issue 42, 22 October 2020

What to expect for the influenza season 2020/21 with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the World Health Organization European Region
Rapid communication
Zoonotic infection with swine A/H1N1 influenza virus in a child, Germany, June 2020
A large national outbreak of COVID-19 linked to air travel, Ireland, summer 2020
SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence, titres and neutralising activity in an antenatal cohort, United Kingdom, 14 April to 15 June 2020
Antimicrobial susceptibility of in Barcelona during a five-year period, 2013 to 2017
Detection of neutralising antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 to determine population exposure in Scottish blood donors between March and May 2020
Job vacancy at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
Erratum for Euro Surveill. 2020;25(41)

12. WHO news

COVID-19 disrupting mental health services in most countries, WHO survey

World Mental Health Day on 10 October to highlight urgent need to increase investment in chronically underfunded sector.

Influenza in the time of COVID-19

Influenza epidemics are a familiar annual occurrence, what is new in 2020 is the COVID-19 pandemic. Many health systems are already stretched to their limits and have no spare time or capacity to deal with influenza. The two diseases can be difficult to distinguish from their symptoms alone, and require a laboratory test. The consequences of being infected with influenza and COVID-19 at the same time are not yet clear but the importance of preventing influenza infection is a certainty, this year more than ever. The most effective way to avoid influenza infection is through vaccination.

When silence is not a virtue: how traditional masculinities keep men from seeking mental health advice

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, 10 October, WHO/Europe focuses on how masculinity norms can discourage men from recognizing and seeking help for mental health problems. A new Health Evidence Network (HEN) report on Mental health, men, and culture, launched by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, gives concrete recommendations on how policy-makers can address certain mental health issues arising from traditional patterns of masculinity.
Read the report

Developing new partnerships for health at European Health Forum Gastein

Taking part in this year’s European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG), held virtually from 30 September to 2 October, representatives from WHO/Europe spoke about the importance of leveraging new partnerships to strengthen health across the WHO European Region. This included the announcement of the Oslo Medicines Initiative, to find ways to ensure greater access to affordable medicines while maintaining commercial viability for medicine producers.

Health system considerations: when influenza meets COVID-19

At the time of writing, there has been a resurgence of cases in many countries, especially as restrictive public health and social measures (PHSM) were eased to help restart economic and societal activity. This upsurge in cases is a cause for concern and countries in the WHO European Region have started re-implementing restrictions. But as COVID-19 will continue into the autumn and winter, the impending threat of seasonal influenza, influenza-like infections (ILIs) and pneumonia in the northern hemisphere will further challenge already overstretched health systems, raising new issues in managing the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and resulting COVID-19. These challenges are expected to continue until effective vaccines and antiviral treatments become available.

WHO Bulletin Call for Papers: Behavioural and Social Sciences for Better Health

As part of WHO’s efforts to scale up the use of behavioural and social sciences, the Bulletin will publish a special issue on Behavioural and Social Sciences for Health in late 2021.
The call for papers was published in the October 2020 issue and can be accessed here.
The deadline for submissions is 31 December 2020.

New centre of excellence on humanitarian and health emergencies inaugurated in Istanbul

On 10 September 2020, the WHO European Centre for Preparedness for Humanitarian and Health Emergencies was formally inaugurated at a colourful ribbon-cutting ceremony, led online by Dr Fahrettin Koca, Minister of Health of Turkey, in Istanbul, and Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, in Copenhagen.

This newsletter received co-funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). The content of this newsletter represents the views of the author(s) only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.


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