WHO collaboration puts SA on global stage

Friday, 13 December 2019

Some of South Australia’s leaders in health promotion and population health will be taking their knowledge and expertise to the world stage thanks to a new collaboration with the World Health Organisation. 

Wellbeing SA Chief Executive Officer, Lyn Dean, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated the Department for Health and Wellbeing (DHW) as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Advancing Health in All Policies (HiAP) Implementation, with the newly-created Wellbeing SA delivering the work. 

“Good health is fundamental to our overall quality of life; it improves the productivity of our workforce, increases capacity for learning and strengthens families and communities,” Ms Dean said.

“The DHW has a strong reputation in Australia for building healthy public policy and this designation from WHO strengthens our state’s visibility and position as an international leader in this field.

“The WHO Collaborating Centre will be providing expert advice to help WHO implement HiAP internationally, to achieve its goals and program objectives of improving the health and wellbeing of people around the world.”

WHO Collaborating Centre Co-Director and Manager of Wellbeing SA’s Health Determinants and Policy Unit, Carmel Williams, said HiAP is a co-design approach which encourages stronger consideration of the possible health and wellbeing implications of public policy decisions, to reduce the likelihood of harmful impacts and to improve overall population health and equity.

“This approach supports policymakers across all sectors to make health and wellbeing an outcome of key policies, whether that is in transport and housing or education or water,” Ms Williams said.

“Strong engagement from across government policymakers has been critical to the success of the work and the designation is an honour and an exciting responsibility. 

“Being designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre recognises our extensive work in HiAP as well as our longstanding working relationship with WHO. 

“We will also benefit from having access to over 800 other WHO Collaborating Centres in over 80 countries around the world, opening up more opportunities to share information and create partnerships with other institutions.”

The designation is initially for four years, during which the centre will implement an agreed list of activities in support of WHO programs.

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