With information from Abrasco

Luis Eugenio de Souza, professor at the Collective Health Institute (ISC / UFBA) and president of Abrasco (2012-2015), was chosen as vice president / president-elect of WFPHA, the World Federation of Public Health Associations ( World Federation of Public Health Associations ), on June 9th. The Federation Assembly was held for the first time virtually, due to the coronavirus pandemic. On the same occasion, Walter Riciardi (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore – Rome), who was vice president since 2018, took over the presidency of the WFPHA.

In his greeting speech, Luis Eugenio pointed out that we are living in difficult times in the face of the pandemic that has already infected more than 7 million people worldwide and taken the lives of more than 400 thousand. However, times, according to the professor, are difficult not only due to the pandemic. The climate crisis, the armed conflicts that take thousands of lives around the world and the immense social inequalities were also cited as issues that aggravate the scenario in the field of health worldwide. In addition, the concentration of income, with 2,153 billionaires in the world possessing more wealth than 4.6 billion people and the rise of authoritarian far-right governments point to serious democratic setbacks, including in Brazil.

And given this difficult global scenario, Luis Eugenio pointed out that public health is a privileged space to face challenges: “It is a field of knowledge production focused on understanding health and its determinants, in addition to a set of practices directed to the protection and promotion of health and also to the prevention and treatment of diseases, having as an object not only individuals, but the community ”.

Among the global challenges, the need to strengthen a Global Task Force on Equity in Health, which works with WHO and the UN, was highlighted as a fundamental element for the current situation, with WFPHA in a leadership role. Finally, it was pointed out the importance of strengthening the entity’s governance and financing mechanisms so that it can expand its activities in defense of public health and social justice worldwide.