A two day conference on urban health in Africa has opened in Cape Town, South Africa today.
The event which will last from February 6 -7, brings together experts from the urban health area, academia, policy makers, public and private partners from the key disciplines and sectors affecting urban planning, public health and healthcare.
Progress in health depends not only on the strength of health systems, but also on shaping urban environments.
Today, about 3.7 billion people live in cities. A further 1 billion people will be added by the deadline of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
in 2030, with 90% of the growth being in low- and middle-income countries; a situation described by the World Health Organization in its 2016 Urban Health report as “an unprecedented moment in human development”.
The event under the flagship of the Novartis Foundation is co-hosted with the; International Society for Urban health (ISUH, InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) – Healt, International Council for Science (ICSU), Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the University of Basel.
“We hope to promote cross-fertilization in thinking, research, policy and operational practice to meet the emerging urban health challenges in Africa.” a statement by event organizers, the Novartis foundation said on it’s website.
Increasing urbanization poses a unique set of health challenges, including the double burden of non-communicable and infectious diseases, air pollution, access to water and sanitation, and the need to improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and build resilience to health emergencies.
You can also join the event/conversation online using the hashtag #UrbanHealth
(Featured photo: Novartis foundation)
Kobby Blay is the chief health editor at Ghanahealthnest.com. A professional practicing nurse with specialty in mental health and focus for health communications, public health, medical/documentary photography, ICT and systems perspective for health improvement.