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Fourth Basel Sustainability Forum

3 June 2019, Basel, Switzerland

SDGs, Sustainable Development, Agenda 2030, Tropical Health, Health, Zero Hunger, Clean Water, Wellbeing
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Welcome from the Chairs

The UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 (UN SDG 3) of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is about ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. Its targets include a reduction of: premature deaths of mothers and newborns, infectious and communicable diseases, premature mortality from non-communicable diseases, alcohol and substance abuse, road traffic accidents, and deaths from chemicals and pollution. Furthermore, UN SDG 3 aims to strengthen or promote mental health and well-being, sexual and reproductive health, access to health-care services and affordable medicines and vaccines, and the capacity for the management of national and global health risks (UN SDGs 2015). UN SDG 3 is only one of 17, each of which are similarly ambitious.

The UN SDGs are interdependent. Some goals serve as preconditions for healthy lives, and others are consequences thereof. Precursors are, for example, UN SDG 2 (End hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture), UN SDG 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), UN SDG 6 (Ensure access to water and sanitation for all), UN SDG 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all), and UN SDG 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts). Goals affected by health are, for example, UN SDG 8 (Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all). Some goals are both preconditions and consequences of health, such as UN SDG 1 (End poverty in all its forms everywhere). Poverty reduction is associated with better health and nutrition, which in turn has an effect on poverty reduction.

According to the OECD, the per capita health expenditure in 2015 (PPP) was US$9451 for the US, US$6935 for Switzerland, US$731 for China, and US$267 for India. Despite considerable variations in expenditures, all countries are struggling to maintain health care coverage in the face of rising costs, evolution of health care demands by the population, and changing demographics.

Health care is a central pillar of economic development, social welfare, and environmental management, and it is equally important to the most and least developed economies. Accordingly, health and sustainability are interdependent in at least two ways: the first relates to the reciprocal relationship between health and sustainability, the second to the sustainability of health and health care.

The Basel Sustainability Forum 2019 will focus on local and global issues associated with sustainability and health. It will explore different positions from health research, health policy, and the health business sector, and how these positions contribute or are obstacles to the sustainability of health and health care as a pillar of societal sustainability.

Constanze Pfeiffer, Hans-Florian Zeilhofer and Max Bergman
Chairs of the 4th Basel Sustainability Forum

When: 3 June 2019, 08:30-17:15

Where: Kollegienhaus, Room 102, Petersplatz 1, University of Basel

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The event is free but participants need to register here.

Places are limited and we are unable to accommodate unregistered guests, once we reach the limit imposed by the conference venue.

The Basel Sustainability Forum is a Swiss local offshot of the World Sustainability Forum.

The conference language is English.

Other edition in this series: 1st Basel Sustainability Forum: Energy and 2nd Basel Sustainabilty Forum: Mobility and 3rd Basel Sustainabilty Forum: Climate

Conference Chairs

Hans-Florian Zeilhofer
Professor, Associate Vice President Innovation, University of Basel and Chief Physician in mouth-, jaw- and face surgery, University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland and Chief Physician in mouth-, jaw- and face surgery, University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland

Max Bergman
Professor of Social Research and Methodology, University of Basel, Switzerland

Conference Opening

Lukas Engelberger
Head of the Department of Health Canton Basel-Stadt and Member of the Swissmedic Agency Council

Introduction of Program

Max Bergman
Professor of Social Research and Methodology, University of Basel, Switzerland

Keynote Speakers

Guéladio Cissé
Professor, Head of Unit, Ecosystem Health Sciences Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss TPH, Basel, Switzerland

Christine Kopp
Head of the Department Health and Integration, Swiss Red Cross, Berne, Switzerland

Milo Puhan
Director Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute, University of Zürich, Switzerland

Foluke Michael
Nigeria Lead & CEO at World Health Innovation Summit, Carlisle, United Kingdom

Jeff Smith
Air Quality Monitoring, BreatheLife Campaign, The Urban Health Initiative, and Sustainable Advocacy,
WHO, Geneva, Switzerland

Kristen Jafflin
Senior Researcher, Social Research and Methodology Group, University of Basel

Multi-Stakeholder Roundtable


Sophie Hersberger
Assistant / PhD candidate (Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS)), University of Basel, Switzerland

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Conference Secretariat

Sara Vulovic
Christoph Ratz
Géraldine Leuenberger
Diana Costa Lopes
Matthias Burkhalter

Email: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]

Mailing Address

MDPI Sustainability Foundation
BSF 2019 Secretariat
St. Alban-Anlage 66
4052 Basel, Switzerland

Program and Schedule

Preliminary Program
BSF 2019 - 4th Basel Sustainability Forum: Health
3 June 2019, University Basel, Switzerland



Morning Chair: Max Bergman


Welcome Message

Lukas Engelberger
Head of the Department of Health Canton Basel-Stadt and Member of the Swissmedic Agency Council


Introduction of Program

Max Bergman
Professor of Social Research and Methodology, University of Basel, Switzerland


Keynote 1 – Title TBA

Milo Puhan
Professor, Director Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute, University of Zürich, Switzerland


Keynote 2 - Title TBA

Christine Kopp
Head of the Department Health and Integration, Swiss Red Cross, Berne, Switzerland


Innovation for Future Medicine

Hans-Florian Zeilhofer
Professor, Associate Vice President Innovation, University of Basel and Chief Physician in mouth-, jaw- and face surgery, University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland


Coffee Break


Keynote 4 - Title TBA

Foluke Michael
Nigeria Lead & CEO at World Health Innovation Summit, Carlisle, United Kingdom





Afternoon Chair: Hans-Florian Zeilhofer


Donor Fragmentation and Health Aid Effectiveness: Exploring How Increased Fragmentation Could Improve Aid Effectiveness

Kristen Jafflin
Senior Researcher, Social Research and Methodology, University of Basel, Switzerland


Keynote 6 Title TBA



Keynote 7 Title TBA

Guéladio Cissé
Professor, Head of Unit, Ecosystem Health Sciences Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss TPH, Basel, Switzerland


Keynote 8 - Title TBA

Jeff Smith
Air Quality Monitoring, BreatheLife Campaign, The Urban Health Initiative, and Sustainable Advocacy,
WHO, Geneva, Switzerland


Coffee Break


Multi-stakeholders Roundtable

Moderation: Sophie Hersberger, CEPS University of Basel
- Politics/Media – Jeff Smith, Christine Kopp
- Student – TBA
- Academia Foluke Michael, Max Bergman, Guéladio Cissé, Milo Puhan


Closing Remarks

Max Bergman



Language: English

Last update: 11 March 2019 - 09:30

When: 3. Juni 2019, 08:30-17:15

University of Basel
Kollegienhaus, Room 102
Petersplatz 1
4051 Basel, Switzerland

The event is free but participants need to register here.

Places are limited and we are unable to accommodate unregistered guests, once we reach the limit imposed by the conference venue.

The Basel Sustainability Forum is a Swiss local offshot of the World Sustainability Forum.
The conference language is English.
Other edition in this series: 1st Basel Sustainability Forum: Energy and 2nd Basel Sustainabilty Forum: Mobility and 3rd Basel Sustainabilty Forum: Climate

WLAN: unibas-visitor

Get Updates

Subscribe to the BSF2019 conference news by submitting your email address on the left of this page.

Follow us on Social Media

Conference Venue


The conference will be held at the 'Kollegienhaus', Petersplatz 1, University of Basel.

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About the University of Basel

The University of Basel has an international reputation of outstanding achievements in research and teaching. Founded in 1460, the University of Basel is the oldest university in Switzerland and has a history of success going back over 550 years.

As a comprehensive university offering a wide range of high-quality educational opportunities, the University of Basel attracts students from Switzerland and the entire world, offering them outstanding studying conditions as they work towards their bachelor’s, master’s or PhD degrees. Today, the University of Basel has around 13,000 students from over a hundred nations, including 2,700 PhD students.

The University of Basel has seven faculties covering a wide spectrum of academic disciplines. At the same time, the university has positioned itself amidst the international competition in the form of five strategic focal areas: Life Sciences, Visual Studies, Nanosciences, Sustainability and Energy Research and European and Global Studies. In international rankings, the University of Basel is regularly placed among the 100 top universities in the world thanks to its research achievements.

The University of Basel has deep roots in the economically powerful and culturally rich Basel region. The university also works closely with domestic and international partners to make relevant contributions to the advancement of the sciences and society. This also means that the University of Basel pays particular attention to aspects of sustainability, equal opportunity and knowledge transfer.

Travel & Registration Information

The event is public and free of charge.

To register for this conference, please follow this link. If you need assistance, please e-mail the Conference Secretary.

BSF2019 Blog

22 March 2019

Leaving No One Behind - World Water Day 2019 - Water for All - Whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right

What is World Water Day?

Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. But today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive.

Marginalized groups – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others – are often overlooked, and sometimes face discrimination, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.

This World Water Day, 22nd March, is about tackling the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people are being left behind.

For full reading, please follow:

20 March 2019

Enough water to go round? Not without fairer sharing

by Megan Rowling via Thomson Reuters Foundation

Nearly two-thirds of the world population experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year.

Water use has been increasing worldwide by about 1 percent a year since the 1980s and researchers expect it to rise a further 20 to 30 percent from today's level by 2050. Demand has surged in developing countries and emerging economies, but water use per person in most of these countries is still far below wealthy nations.

For full reading, please follow:

18 March 2019

WHO launches new global influenza strategy

via WHO

Influenza remains one of the world’s greatest public health challenges. Every year across the globe, there are an estimated 1 billion cases, of which 3 to 5 million are severe cases, resulting in 290 000 to 650 000 influenza-related respiratory deaths.

WHO released a Global Influenza Strategy for 2019-2030 aimed at protecting people in all countries from the threat of influenza. The goal of the strategy is to prevent seasonal influenza, control the spread of influenza from animals to humans, and prepare for the next influenza pandemic.

For full reading, please follow:

14 March 2019

U.N. warns of millions of premature deaths by 2050 due to environmental damage

by Nita Bhalla via Thomson Reuters Foundation

Air pollution from vehicles and industry as well as burning fuels such as wood, coal and kerosene for cooking, heating and lighting results in around 7 million deaths annually.

NAIROBI, March 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Environmental damage caused by man-made activities is having a devastating toll on human health, the United Nations said on Wednesday, warning of millions of premature deaths due to air and water pollution by 2050 if action was not taken.

For full reading, please follow:

11 March 2019

Dhaka's toxic air: A major public health concern

by Md Khalequzzaman via The Daily Star

The electronic and press media in Bangladesh has recently been highlighting the findings of the 2018 World Air Quality Report published by Greenpeace and AirVisual. As per this report, Bangladesh has the most polluted air in the world, and Dhaka is the second most polluted capital city.

An Air Quality Index (AQI) is a summary scorecard that effectively describes ambient air quality relative to the relevant air quality standards, consisting of several parameters such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and particulate matters (PM2.5 and PM10). An AQI score of 50 is considered good, while a score of over 250 is considered hazardous. The US embassy's continuous air quality monitoring system reported the AQI in Dhaka to be 244 on March 7, 2019. The AQI values between 201 and 300 trigger a health alert, meaning everyone may experience more serious health effects.

For full reading, please follow:

8 March 2019

Today is International Women's Day!

Women in rural Kyrgyzstan bring change through water, technology and better infrastructure

Rural woman works in the field. Photo: Rural Advisory Service

Shakhodat Teshebayeva from Khalmion, a village in southern Kyrgyzstan bordering Uzbekistan, is 50 years old and the sole breadwinner of her family. Her income comes from farming, working for 8-10 long hours in the fields every day. She doesn’t shy away from the hard work, but lately, the hard has become impossible, because of the growing water crisis.

The crisis, which is worse in spring and summer, stems from a combination of factors. As the mountains get less snow because of climate change, the glacier-fed rivers don’t have enough water. The dwindling water source is the same for Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and as Uzbek farmers across the border start irrigating their fields in spring, the Kyrgyz farmers living down river experience water shortage.

The lack of access to irrigation water in this area, where agriculture is the mainstay, has hard consequences. Women and girls often bear the brunt of the problem, as water collection is considered a women’s chore. As the water source dwindles, they have to walk further and longer to fetch water, even after dark.

For full reading, please follow:

7 March 2019

Unexploded mines pose daily risk for people in northern Syria

6 March 2019 - Um Hassan, from rural Aleppo, was collecting truffles in the countryside to sell in local markets. At the end of a long day of backbreaking work in harsh winter conditions, she and her children climbed into a crowded lorry to begin their journey home. Half-way through their trip, the lorry drove over an unexploded mine. Um Hassan’s 10-year old daughter Lolo was killed instantly and two of her other children were seriously injured.

For further reading:

6 March 2019

This Disease Spread Through Bug Bites Kills Up to 30,000 People Each Year

You probably know a thing or two about malaria — the deadliest parasitic disease in the world. But chances are you’ve never heard of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), a neglected tropical disease that is the second-deadliestparasitic disease, and a threat to children and young adults in poverty-stricken regions of the world.

Also known as kala-azar, VL is the most serious of the diseases caused by the leishmania parasite.

VL can become fatal in more than 95% of cases if left untreated. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 50,000 to 90,000 new cases occur per year, and between 20,000 and 30,000 people die from it.

Brazil is home to low-income areas called favelas; 90% of visceral leishmaniasis cases
are found in seven countries: Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and
Sudan, where it mostly affects poor and neglected populations. flickr/dany13

For further reading:

5 March 2019

Time to see air pollution as a human rights threat: U.N., in Thomson Reuters Foundation
"Making it a human right can really empower the billions of people around the world who have been fighting for their right to breathe clean air"
By Shannon Larson

LONDON, March 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Air pollution has long been an environmental and health problem - but now it should now be viewed as a human rights issue as well, according to the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights and the environment.

Air pollution is leading to 7 million premature deaths a year around the world, including 600,000 among children, David Boyd said.

"To put that 7 million figure in context, that's more deaths every year than the combined total of war, murder, tuberculosis, HIV, AIDs and malaria," the U.N. expert told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview.

For further reading:

4 March 2019

in New York Times, by Tiffany Hsu

Adding lighter fare like salads to the usual burgers and fries has meant more options for time-pressed diners. But the meals are largely less healthy now, a new study finds.

“The big picture is that there have been some positive changes,” one researcher said
of fast food menus, “but they're small, and over all, the changes have gotten worse.”
CreditCreditGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Fast food chains have tried for years to woo health-conscious diners by mixing lighter fare like salads and yogurt with the usual burgers, fried chicken and shakes.

But as menus swelled over the past three decades with grilled chicken wraps (McDonald’s) and “fresco” burritos (Taco Bell), many options grew in size and the calories and sodium in them surged, according to new study from researchers at Boston University and Tufts.

For further reading:

28 February 2019

Confirmed Speakers: Christine Kopp and Foluke Michael

Christine Kopp, Head of the Health and Integration Department of the Red Cross and Foluke Michael, Nigeria Lead & CEO at World Health Innovation Summit, will be attending the BSF 2019 as speakers. We are happy to receive two women, that are committed to the implementation of the SDG 3 in their daily lives. The BSF 2019 is looking forward to receive them in Basel.

27 February 2019

BreatheLife is a global campaign led by WHO, the Climate & Clean Air Coalition and the Government of Norway, to raise awareness about the health risks of short-lived climate pollutants, which contribute significantly to global warming and air pollution. The campaign advocates action in the areas of knowledge sharing between cities, increasing monitoring, supporting solutions and educating people.

We are very happy to announce that Jeff Smith, one of the participants at this campaign, will attend the 4th Basel Sustainability Forum as speaker.

To see more details on this great campaign, please refer to:

25 February 2019

We Know Plastic Is Harming Marine Life. What About Us?

There often are tiny bits of plastic in the fish and shellfish we eat. Scientists are racing to figure out what that means for our health.
In a laboratory atColumbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in Palisades, New York, Debra Lee Magadini positions a slide under a microscope and flicks on an ultraviolet light. Scrutinizing the liquefied digestive tract of a shrimp she bought at a fish market, she makes a tsk-ing sound. After examining every millimeter of the slide, she blurts, “This shrimp is fiber city!” Inside its gut, seven squiggles of plastic, dyed with Nile red stain, fluoresce.

For further reading, please refer to:

22 February 2019

Our plastics, our selves
What's plastic doing to our bodies? This all-female team is investigating.
By Eve Andrews via GRIST

Grist / Amelia Bates / Alberto Zanoni / EyeEm / Getty Images

When I arrive at the marina in Victoria on a late-July morning, the sky and water are complementary shades of azure, and there is not one cloud in the sky — a Pacific Northwestern idyll. On the deck of the 72-foot shiny-bright Sea Dragon, moored here in the island capital of British Columbia for just one day, are four young women, part of the crew of the research voyage “eXXpedition.” They’re hauling heavy buckets of black sludge up to the deck from the ocean floor, their labor set to a tinny radio serenade of Drake and Selena Gomez.

The team will meticulously pack the sludge — actually wet sand from the harbor floor — into little glass jars like you would some fresh vegetables you planned to pickle. These jars will be added to a library of sand, water, and air samples that they’ve collected over the past six weeks from across the North Pacific. They’ll ship some of those samples off to Plymouth, England, to be analyzed by eXXpedition’s marine scientist Imogen Napper. The idea is that by cataloging this library, she and the team will begin to get a better sense of what kind of plastic is out there in the ocean.

For full reading, please refer to:

Plastic has a long lifespan. It’s probably shortening yours.
By Paola Rosa-Aquino via GRIST

Photo by Henrik Weis / Getty Images

It’s no secret that plastics are, well, not ideal. Do you know how long it takes for one of those pesky coffee pods to break down? 500 years i.e., the entire duration of the Roman Empire.

That lengthy lifespan of plastic spells big problems for human health. Ubiquitous marine plastic, for instance, degrades and fragments into microplastics that can seep into the food chain and end up in our bodies. That’s bad news for your hormones, as Grist’s Eve Andrews reported, since compounds in plastics can have endocrine-disrupting effects.

For full reading, please refer to:

20 February 2019

WHO Report Highlights Knowledge Gaps in Climate and Health Research

February 2019: The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a report that brings together all the health-related information from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15), and highlights knowledge gaps in climate change and health research.

The WHO synthesis, which was published in October 2018, looks at the impacts of global warming on human health, specifically related to extreme weather events, heat waves, flooding and sea level rise, infectious and vector-borne diseases, air quality, food and water security, sustainable development and poverty, migration and displacement, and occupational health.

Photo by Lucas Vasques

For full reading, please refer to:

19 February 2019

Confirmed: Lukas Engelberger for the Conference Opening

We are happy to announce that the Head of the Department of Health Canton Basel-Stadt and Member of the Swissmedic Agency Council, will participate at the 4th Basel Sustainability Forum on Health.

For more details on Lukas Engelberger, please refer to:

18 February 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. — The one-day immunization clinic at David Douglas High School in Portland, Ore., was hectic on Saturday, with a wait of 45 minutes to over an hour just to see a nurse. But Cameron Wagner said that after balking this long at getting her 4-year-old son vaccinated, out of concerns about potential side effects, a few more minutes would not matter.

“I’ve talked to more doctors and have weighed the options, and decided to come in and get a shot,” said Ms. Wagner, 46, a massage therapist.

Measles, which has broken out in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere this year, was a major force in her changed thinking. She said she had been keeping Lux, her son, out of play spaces and other crowded public areas in recent weeks as alarming reports flooded the news, and she was tired of it.

For full reading please refer to:

15 February 2019

Solving global health challenges

“Non-communicable diseases continue to pose a major threat to global health and economic development. We need measurable outcomes and long-term care solutions to make governments accountable in the battle against these largely preventable diseases.”

For full reading, please refer to:

14 February 2019

Crowdfunding the Sustainable Development Goals

GoFundMe for the Sustainable Development Goals? It’s more feasible than you may think.

A new study from the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School says crowdfunding may be a viable strategy for financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to UN estimates, achieving the 17 highly ambitious global goals by 2030 will cost a hefty $5 trillion to $7 trillion a year – about $4 trillion of which is required in developing countries. Yet every year, we fall about $2.5 trillion short. With only 11 years left until 2030, experts are submitting a variety of suggestions.

For full reading, please refer to:

14 February 2019

Global leadership deficit leaves development goals in doldrums
by Megan Rowling in Thomson Reuters

MADRID (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The world has made far too little progress on the global goals governments agreed in 2015 to end poverty and hunger and tackle climate change, with a rising tide of nationalism acting as a wrecking ball, architects of the goals said on Thursday.

Helen Clark, a former New Zealand prime minister who headed the United Nations Development Program from 2009-2017, said the foot-dragging on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - due to be met by 2030 - “has gone under the radar”.

“There has been ... a lot of lip service but not enough action,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the sidelines of a debate on how to meet the 17 global goals, hosted by the Spanish government.

For full reading check:

13 February 2019

International push to improve food safety

International Food Safety Conference opens with call for greater global cooperation

Greater international cooperation is needed to prevent unsafe food from causing ill health and hampering progress towards sustainable development, world leaders said at today’s opening session of the First International Food Safety Conference, in Addis Ababa, organized by the African Union (AU), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Picture: WHO

For full reading, please refer to:

13 February 2019

Swiss TPH Contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect our planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

This transformative agenda of sustainability towards 2030 has introduced a paradigm shift for a more holistic view on development goals, among which health and wellbeing related goals will require greater intersectoral coherence and inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches. The SDGs integrate and balance three equal dimensions of sustainable development – environment, economy and society – and thus promote the global vision of a life in justice and equity.

For further reading check:

12 February 2019

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World

You really want to save the world, but you know that you are a bit lazy and don't feel like attending climate change events after work, or doing a research on how air pollution affects our health? Don't worry! Seriously. Every human on earth—even the most indifferent, laziest person among us—is part of the solution. Fortunately, there are some super easy things we can adopt into our routines that, if we all do it, will make a big difference.

Have a look at just a few of the many things you can do to make an impact:

11 February 2019

WHO/Rada Akbar

The world is facing multiple health challenges. These range from outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and diphtheria, increasing reports of drug-resistant pathogens, growing rates of obesity and physical inactivity to the health impacts of environmental pollution and climate change and multiple humanitarian crises.
To address these and other threats, 2019 sees the start of the World Health Organization’s new 5-year strategic plan – the 13th General Programme of Work. This plan focuses on a triple billion target: ensuring 1 billion more people benefit from access to universal health coverage, 1 billion more people are protected from health emergencies and 1 billion more people enjoy better health and well-being. Reaching this goal will require addressing the threats to health from a variety of angles.

For further reading check:

7 February 2019

The New York Times

Article by Nicholas Bakalar

The risk of developing obesity-related cancer is increasing in successive generations, along with increasing rates of obesity.

Researchers studied the incidence of 30 of the most common cancers, including 12 that are obesity related, from 1995 to 2014 in people ages 25 to 84 — more than 14.6 million cases. The study is in Lancet Public Health.

For further reading check:

30 November 2018

Jens Mortensen for The New York Times

Article by John Schwartz
Are we doomed?
If you’re an expert in climate science, you probably get this question a lot.
“I do,” said Kate Marvel, associate research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “And I’ve been hearing it more recently.”

For further reading check:

16 November 2018

World Antibiotic Awareness Week, 12-18 November, 2018

Change Can’t Wait. Our Time with Antibiotics is Running Out

Each November, World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) aims to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

Since their discovery, antibiotics have served as the cornerstone of modern medicine. However, the persistent overuse and misuse of antibiotics in human and animal health have encouraged the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance, which occurs when microbes, such as bacteria, become resistant to the drugs used to treat them.

For full reading:

16 November 2018

More than 90% of the world’s children breathe toxic air every day


Every day around 93% of the world’s children under the age of 15 years (1.8 billion children) breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk. Tragically, many of them die: WHO estimates that in 2016, 600,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air.

A new WHO report on Air pollution and child health: Prescribing clean air examines the heavy toll of both ambient (outside) and household air pollution on the health of the world’s children, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The report is being launched on the eve of WHO’s first ever Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health.

For full reading, please refer to:

09 November 2018

Poor diets threaten health more than malaria, tuberculosis, measles – new UN report

© FAO/G. Agostinucci Fruit and vegetables farmers' market in Budapest, Hungary. (file)

With one-in-five deaths associated with poor-quality diets, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a co-authored report on Wednesday, urging policymakers to reduce food loss and waste, to improve access to nutritious and healthy food.

The report, entitled “Preventing nutrient loss and waste across the food system: Policy actions for high-quality diets”, concludes that regularly eating poor-quality food has become a greater public health threat than malaria, tuberculosis or measles.

For full reading, please refer to:

26 October 2018

Research news from the University of Basel: Air Pollution and Noise Increase Risk for Heart Attacks

Image: Swiss TPH, Jana Sönksen

Air pollution and transportation noise are both associated with an increased risk of heart attacks. Studies on air pollution, which do not take into account traffic noise, tend to overestimate the long-term effect of air pollution on heart attacks. These are the results of a study conducted by researchers from the University of Basel and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, published in the European Heart Journal.

For full reading, please refer to:

19 October 2018

Influenza: are we ready?

Image: WHO

When 100 passengers on a flight from Dubai to New York in September 2018 fell ill with respiratory symptoms, health officials were concerned that they might be carrying a serious respiratory illness called MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) and quarantined the plane until further health checks could be completed. Testing showed that several were positive for the influenza virus, which can be easily spread when people are in close contact or in contained spaces such as airports and planes for several hours.

Influenza may not always be thought of by most people as a serious illness – the symptoms of headaches, runny nose, cough and muscle pain can make people confuse it with a heavy cold. Yet seasonal influenza kills up to 650 000 people every year. That is why influenza vaccinations are so important, especially to protect young children, older people, pregnant women, or people who have vulnerable immune systems (click here for a Facebook live with Dr Martin Friede on the flu vaccine).

For full reading, please refer to:

16 October 2018

Today is World Food Day!

What can I do to help achieve #ZeroHunger? For example: don’t waste food; produce more, with less; Adopt a more healthy and sustainable diet; Advocate for #ZeroHunger. Whether you’re a business, farmer, government representative or simply someone that’s willing to make a change, you can take action for #ZeroHunger.

For more Information, please refer to:

15 October 2018

Flavia Bustreo

"I would like to express my gratitude to FIGO to be awarded the FIGO Recognition Award to non obs/gyn for my work on women's health & maternal mortality reduction is an honor that I share with outstanding personalities Dr. Horacio Croxatto & Dr. Tedros."

For full reading, please refer to: Twitter Flavia Bustreo

15 October 2018

Climate change already negatively affecting mental health, study shows

"Scientists analysed data from nearly two million US residents who reported the state of their mental health for 30 days with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention between 2002 and 2012, coupling this with climate data."

For full reading, please refer to: Twitter Megan Rowling

12 October 2018

Fondation Botnar appoints Dr. Flavia Bustreo to its Board

Image: Fondation Botnar

Announcement: Fondation Botnar appoints Dr. Flavia Bustreo to its Board, 20/09/2018 – Basel, Switzerland.

Fondation Botnar is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Flavia Bustreo, an international expert and advocate for child health and wellbeing, to its Board, effective September 19, 2018.

Dr. Flavia Bustreo was the former Assistant Director-General for Family, Women's and Children's Health for the World Health Organization (WHO). She led the organization's work in maternal, child health, climate change, aging, vaccinations, health and human rights, health and gender equity, and the social determinates of health. She was a principle creator of the Global Strategy for Women Child and Adolescent Health in 2010 and 2015. She also contributed substantially to the UN Taskforce on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 & 5 to reduce maternal and child mortality and to the development of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 on health and wellbeing.

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01 October 2018

WHO calls for increased investment to reach the goal of a toilet for all

Image: WHO /D. Rodriguez

WHO calls for increased investment to reach the goal of a toilet for all

The world will not reach the goal of universal sanitation coverage – where every person in the world has access to toilets that safely contain excreta – by 2030* unless countries make comprehensive policy shifts and invest more funds, WHO warned today as it launched the first global guidelines on sanitation and health.

By adopting WHO’s new guidelines, countries can significantly reduce the 829 000 annual diarrhoeal deaths due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. For every US$ 1 invested in sanitation, WHO estimates a nearly six-fold return as measured by lower health costs, increased productivity and fewer premature deaths.

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27 September 2018

World leaders commit to bold targets and urgent action to end TB

Image: WHO

World leaders meeting today at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly have committed to ensure that 40 million people with tuberculosis (TB) receive the care they need by end 2022. They also agreed to provide 30 million people with preventive treatment to protect them from developing TB.

“Today is a landmark in the long war on TB,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “These are bold promises – to keep them partnership is vital. WHO is committed to working with every country, every partner and every community to get the job done.”

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24 September 2018

Image: Adam Wilson, Unsplash

More than 3 million people died as a result of harmful use of alcohol in 2016, according a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) today. This represents 1 in 20 deaths. More than three quarters of these deaths were among men. Overall, the harmful use of alcohol causes more than 5% of the global disease burden.

18 September 2018

A child under 15 dies every 5 seconds around the world


An estimated 6.3 million children under 15 years of age died in 2017, or 1 every 5 seconds, mostly of preventable causes, according to new mortality estimates released by WHO, UNICEF, the United Nations Population Division and the World Bank Group.

The vast majority of these deaths – 5.4 million – occur in the first 5 years of life, with newborns accounting for around half of the deaths.

18 September 2018

Global hunger continues to rise, new UN report says

821 million people now hungry and over 150 million children stunted, putting hunger eradication goal at risk

New evidence continues to signal that the number of hungry people in the world is growing, reaching 821 million in 2017 or one in every nine people, according to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 released today. Limited progress is also being made in addressing the multiple forms of malnutrition, ranging from child stunting to adult obesity, putting the health of hundreds of millions of people at risk.

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11 September 2018

How to eat well - and save the planet

Getty Images

Switching to a healthier diet can reduce an individual's water footprint by as much as 55%. According to new research, turning vegetarian has the biggest impact, but even cutting down on meat gives a saving of at least 10%.
Shifting to a healthy diet is a "win-win situation", say researchers. Citizens will be healthier and their food can be produced using less of one of our most precious natural resources - water.

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10 September 2018

Bryony Gordon, who co-wrote the letter signed by scores of campaigners Credit: John Lawrence

The phrase "commited suicide" should never be used because mental health problems are not a crime, leading figures have warned.

Celebrities, prominent clinicians and politicians have signed an open letter urging editors to re-evaluate the way suicide is portrayed in the media and to avoid “outdated language and stereotypes”.

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5 September 2018

Conference Poster

Restaurants for Lunch

10 minutes by tram 8 direction 'Neuweilerstrasse' - 'Tram Stop: Markthalle'

Alte Markthalle, Steinentorberg 10, 4051 Basel

Photo: Alte Markthalle

10 minutes walk from the 'Kollegienhaus' Basel

KLARA, Clarastrasse 13, 4058 Basel

Photo: Nicolas Gysin

Manor Basel, Greifengasse 22, 4058 Basel

or one of the 'Buvettes' alongside the 'Kleinbasler Rheinufer'

More restaurants can be found here:

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