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The First International Conference on Sustainable Health Development, which will be held simultaneously with Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of establishment the School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, is considered as an appropriate opportunity for scrutinizing the various aspects of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which is one of the goals of sustainable development, as well as the relationship between these goals and Essential Public Health Functions (EPHFs), particularly Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Control Program and further explanation of the pivotal role of research and higher education institutions in this regard.

In definition of discussions topics, definition of UHC and NCDs, together with constraints, which school faced them during its activity, have been taken into consideration. This conference to be held for two days at the conference hall of the Central Headquarters of Tehran University of Medical Sciences on April 2016 ,25-24 with a focus on the goals of Sustainable Health Development adopted by the United Nations on September 2015, based on the priorities of the health system of the Islamic Republic of Iran and with a focus on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Control Program. The main goals of this conference consists of :

Discussing on the special role of Public Health Schools in education, research and providing services in the these two mentioned areas through contribution of all Schools of Public Health in Iran and the Middle East as well as delivering speeches by leading international experts from reputable universities in the United States, Australia, Germany, England, Canada, Turkey, Egypt and Lebanon and finally the establishment of a regional network of health schools in the Middle East with a focus on materializing the  Sustainable Health Development.

The first day (April 2016 ,24): Schools of Public Health and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Conference Panels:


1.UHC and health services

2.The special role of Schools of Public Health in capacity building of human resources

3.UHC and research

1.UHC and Health Services:

Services and Universal Health Coverage: Given the global development of health technologies and also significant increasing of financial risk protection in the definition of UHC, many countries have adopted the high frequency and high cost approach.

Practically, most of these services are being provided in the areas of treatment and specialized levels. The issue here is how to avoid neglecting other important aspects of public health. Is it due to a fundamental mistake in UHC goal setting, negligence of administrators or an issue which should be further considered? Therefore, in this part, three topics including A) UHC and Social Determinants of Health, B) Primary Health Care and UHC, and C) Essential Health Functions and UHC will be taken into consideration. The key question is whether these three issues have been properly addressed in the operational activities of the world health systems in the area of UHC? If not, why and what should be done?

2.The role of Schools of Public Health in capacity building of human resources:

By definition, public health involves all aspects of prevention as well as all basic services which have demographical dimensions. But traditionally, Schools of Public Health have focused on the issues of promotion, primary prevention and primary health care. This is while UHC has dealt with primary prevention rather than palliation services. In this area, the first question of the panel is A) what is the role of Schools of Public Health in providing health care, rehabilitation and palliative services? What should be the distinction between Schools of Public Health and other higher education institutions in the fields of medicine, rehabilitation, etc.? The second topic of this panel is derived from the observation that in many universities, there are independent schools or groups (such as administration) which act independently of Schools of Public Health.

Thus, the question is B) what is the appropriate structural model of Schools of Public Health and management and what points should be taken into consideration in the interaction between the schools of heath and management?

3. UHC and research:

Two topics of A) filling the gap between research and higher education institutions and the decision making environment and B) Cooperation Networking between these institutions, are the main topics of this panel. In fact, the differences between the decision making environment and the academic environment is a well-known phenomenon which has drawn global attention. The aim of this discussion is to introduce successful models and also share experiences in this field. Regarding networking, the main issue is cooperation between Schools of Public Health at the national, regional and international levels and the aim of this panel will be focused on finding the issues of mutual interest.

The second day (April 25, 2016): Schools of Public Health and prevention and controlling Non-Communicable Diseases(NCDs)

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are currently the primary cause of death in world countries, particularly in low and middle-income countries. Considering the unprecedented growth of these diseases as well as their risk factors, in 2011 more than 190 world governments adopted a political declaration and an action plan for reducing premature deaths caused by these diseases by 2025. In 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a global framework for achieving sustainable development goals within future 15 years. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) have a significant role in the three aspects of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In fact, prevention and controlling these diseases will have an important role in achieving these goals. Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are considered as multifactorial diseases; so controlling them requires inter-sectoral collaboration.

Proposed topics for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) panel:

4. NCDs and SDGs in the region

5. The role of Schools of Public Health in prevention and controlling communicable diseases

6.NCDs and cooperation with other sectors

7.NCDs and environmental health


1. NCDs and SDGs in the region

The alignment of NCDs programs and other activities in the field of health with the policies and framework of sustainable development goals. The alignment of NCDs programs and SDGs with PHC and health system.


1. The role of Schools of Public Health in prevention and controlling Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

Scientific institutions play a significant role in prevention and controlling Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). It seems that scientific communities have worked sporadically and separately on the NCDs related plans and there have mostly been individual and occasional efforts on planning and policymaking in this regard in scientific institutions and no comprehensive, integrated and holistic action plan has been developed in this context. Nowadays, particularly with regard to increasing investment at the global, regional and national levels in this area, the importance of these programs has been increased. For example, Iran national program on prevention and combating Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) can be mentioned.

In this meeting, the following issues can be addressed:

Research, analysis of policies and policymaking

Training health sector human resources on NCDs-related activities

Supporting, contribution and leadership; for example, cooperation with other beneficiaries

Supporting healthy lifestyle and reducing primary risk factors of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) through taking advantage of community-based programs and conducting research activities with the aim of r educing the risk of NCDs in society

Strengthening the health system in order to early diagnosing and managing of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

6. NCDs and cooperation with other sectors

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are multifactorial and prevention and controlling them requires strong inter-sectoral collaboration. A wide range of beneficiaries are involved in prevention and control of NCDs, including the Ministry of Health, other ministries, universities, non-governmental organizations and civil societies, the private sector, and international organizations. The aim of this session would be focused on establishing communication, initiating discussions and identifying the role of various beneficiaries in prevention and controlling Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and their cooperation for materializing this goal.

7. NCDs and environmental health

Unstable environmental systems and the risk of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) (war, refugees, etc.)

Poor air quality due to greenhouse gas emissions and the risk o f Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

Commercialized food system compared to traditional foodstuff and the use of fat, sugar and salt

Unplanned and uncontrolled urbanization and suburbanization

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