WHO Advocates for Healthy & Resilient Cities 2015

9:21:00 AM

As per recent survey in six member states - Cambodia, China, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Philippines and Vietnam, 50% of people in Western Pacific Region now lives in cities and expected to grow more in the coming of years. In 2009 figures, due to unplanned urbanization, there are about 212.5 million people live in slums and they are exposed to:

- lack of safe drinking water
- imporper sanitation
- unsafe food
- limited access to health services
- increased exposure to violence and even 
- social isolation

“Throughout the world we are witnessing a period of rapid growth and unprecedented urbanization,” said Dr Shin Young-Soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. “Cities are now faced with increasingly complex challenges from climate change, globalization of trade, changing lifestyles and overpopulation. Without effective governance, cities will struggle to provide even the most basic services. They will become places where inequality, poverty and poor health are rampant.”

From a recent PressCon held at Diamond Hotel Philippines, WHO invited Professor Sandro Galea (Dean, School of Public Health in Boston University), Honourable Hae-Sik Lee (Mayor of Gangdong-gu, Seoul Republic of Korea), Honourable Jose Enrique S. Garcia (Mayor of Balanga City, Bataan, Philippines), and Dr Susan P. Mercado (Director, Division of Noncommunicable Disease and Health through the Life-Course, WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific) in order to raise awareness and share opportunities in addressing the issues on energy, pollution, sustainability, safety, public health and other challenges of the urban age.

The World Health Organization (WHO) hosted the Technical Consultation on Urban Health in the Western Pacific Region on 27-28/April, and able to: 

- review the progress in the implementation of the Regional Framework for scaling up and expanding healthy cities from 2011 - 2015
- discuss challenges and opportunities 
- outline strategic focus that will contribute to updating the framework for the Western Pacific come 2016-2020

“The updated framework calls on cities to anticipate, mitigate and adapt to current and emerging threats to urban health. These include threats from climate change as evidenced by cyclones and typhoons of unprecedented speed and force causing widespread destruction,” according to Dr Susan Mercado, Director for Noncommunicable Diseases and Health through the Life-Course at the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific.

“The world is changing and cities can be engines for growth, health and resilience," said Dr Shin. 

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