WPRO - Urban Health

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World Health Organization 66th Session of the Regional Committee for Western Pacific October 12th – October 16th 2015 | Tamuning, Guam, USA

IFMSA Policy Brief on Urban Health To strengthen planning on urban health and implement international guidelines. By the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) Background: The Western Pacific Region is home to 30% of the world's population, and is expected to grow rapidly. This trend is not inherently bad for health. In general, we know that urban populations are better off than their rural counterparts: they tend to have better access to health care and social services, to education, to food and clean water – to name just a few benefits. Regrettably, disasters and extreme weather events, that the Western Pacific Region is very much exposed to due to climate change, may negatively affect those benefits. Therefore, action on climate change is needed to adapt but also mitigate to those events. Furthermore, the urban environment, if not well structured, might pose a risk to citizens such as road safety matters. Road crashes kill more children aged between 5 and 14 than malaria or HIV/AIDS, and are the leading cause of death of 15 to 29-year-olds globally. In this context, we suggest that responsible parties contribute adequately on the health opportunities for the safe urban health and we specifically call for governments of the Western Asia Pacific to commit to: 

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Ambitiously implement the Regional Framework for Urban Health in the Western Pacific Region 2016–2020 in each member state of WHO Western Pacific. Give a greater importance to the health co-benefits of climate change mitigation at the local and national level. Provide the great structures that will adapt to Climate Change efficiently, following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)* reports. Support the UN Brasilia Declaration on road safety**, addressing road safety issues through efficient policies, efficient information and prevention campaigns, and sufficient support to capacity building and collaboration efforts between neighboring countries on all national, regional and local levels.

IFMSA represents over 1 million students worldwide. We have more than 60 years of experience and have been in official relations with WHO since 1966, with both local and international experience on health issues, capacity building and vulnerable groups. Contact Farhan Mari Isa IFMSA Regional Director for Asia Pacific International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) rdasiapacific@ifmsa.org | www.ifmsa.org

*http://www.ipcc.ch/ **http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_traffic/First_draft_Brasilia_Declaration_5_June_2015.pdf

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