Dr. Mengistu Asnake Elected President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations
"I pledge to bring together the tireless efforts of WFPHA’s working groups and committees. I also plan to establish a new focus area for women’s and children’s issues."
On May 18, 2014, at the 48th session of the World Federation of Public Health Associations in Geneva, Switzerland, Dr. Mengistu Asnake, Pathfinder International’s Country Representative in Ethiopia and Chief of Party for the Integrated Family Health Program, was elected President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA).
While accepting his new role as President, Dr. Asnake thanked the outgoing President Dr. James Chauvin of Canada for the excellent leadership he provided to the WFPHA between 2012 and 2014. He also welcomed the newly elected Vice President, Dr. Michael Moore, former Minister of Health of Australia and current Chief Executive Officer of the Public Health Association of Australia.
Dr. Asnake noted that his election as WFPHA President comes at a very exciting time—around the world, extensive consultations are taking place to accelerate progress on health related to the Millennium Development Goals and to chart the fundamental role of health in the post-2015 development agenda and the future Sustainable Development Goals.
“We cannot let this opportunity pass us by," said Dr. Asnake. "I pledge to bring together the tireless efforts of WFPHA’s working groups and committees. I also plan to establish a new focus area—for women’s and children’s issues."
Dr. Asnake will also direct his attention to bolstering regional public health associations, and enhancing working relationships and partnerships between the public health associations and Ministries of Health, as well as other sectors with significant influence and impact on health and development.
The WFPHA General Assembly was held on the eve of the 67th World Health Assembly, which opens today and runs through May 24th. The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 3,000 delegates are expected to attend. Over the next six days, high-level representatives from the WHO’s 194 Member States will discuss and make decisions on key global health issues that challenge and test countries of every size and at every stage in development.
The World Federation of Public Health Associations was established in 1967 in Geneva, Switzerland. It is composed of multidisciplinary national public health associations and has an official relationship with the World Health Organization. It collaborates with the WHO to advance the field of public health through the promotion of pro-health policies, strategies and best practices around the world.
Focus Area: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Maternal & Newborn Health
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What's more, women in Ethiopia are having fewer children (the fertility rate fell from an average of 6.5 children per woman in 2000 to 4.6 currently), maternal deaths are in decline, and more women are staying in school longer. Plus, more women are opting for long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) instead of more traditional short-term methods like birth control pills or condoms.
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