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16th World Congress on Public Health - Rome 2020


Theme of the Congress: Public Health for the Future of Humanity: Analysis, Advocacy, and Action

12 - 17 October 2020, La Nuvola, Rome, Italy

In October 2020, over 4,000 public health professionals, policy makers and students will meet  in Rome, Italy, for the 16th World Congress on Public Health. This important event that takes place every three years is organized by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) in collaboration with the Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health (SItI) and the European Public Health Association (EUPHA).

The European Public Health (EPH) Conference of 2020 will be an integral part of the 16th World Congress on Public Health.

The 2020 World Congress on Public Health, to be held in Rome, comes at a critical time for our planet. Several commentators, looking ahead over the next few decades, have warned that the very survival of humanity is at risk. This year, temperatures in the Arctic and Antarctic are far beyond what has been seen since records began, and there are real fears that we are reaching a tipping point. Threats to food and water supply, biodiversity, and in some parts of the world, the ability to survive in extreme temperatures, are leading to mass migration and conflict. Political structures, at national, regional, and global level, are struggling to respond. International agreements, on climate change, nuclear weapons, and much else, are being torn up. The Enlightenment view, that policy should be shaped by evidence, is being rejected by some leading politicians. At a time when global solidarity is required, populist politicians are exploiting divisions. Democracies are being subverted by poorly understood forces that have taken advantage of the information revolution.

The theme of the Congress, Public Health for the Future of Humanity: Analysis, Advocacy, and Action, reflects our firm commitment that we, in the global public health community, have an obligation to respond to these new circumstances. We must make visible the threats to health, some of which are already emerging. We must challenge and hold to account those with the power to make a difference. And we must act, making real our commitment to health in all policies.

Partners and supporting organizations include European Commission, WHO Regional Office for Europe, Ministry of Health, the National Institute of Health (ISS), the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA), the Municipality of Rome, EuroHealthNet, ASPHER, EHMA, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Co-chairs of the 16th World Congress on Public Health:

  • Prof Walter Ricciardi - President National Institute of Health, Italy; Vice-President World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA)  
  • Prof Carlo Signorelli - Professor of Hygiene and Public Health at the University of Parma and Vita-Salute San Raffaele of Milan, Italy; Past-President Italian Society for Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health (SItI)

Co-chairs of the International Conference Council (ICC):

  • Prof Martin McKee – Professor of European Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom; Past-President European Public Health Association (EUPHA)
  • Prof Laetitia Rispel – Professor of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; President World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA)