Since PHASA’s inception in 2000, we have hosted a biennial conference. In 2008, the PHASA Executive took a decision to hold annual conferences, alternating these between major urban centres and smaller towns in more rural provinces.
Through our annual conferences, PHASA brings unique and objective perspectives to national and international debates on public health and development issues. The conference also fulfils a networking and capacity building function for our constituency and advocates for a comprehensive approach to disease prevention, health promotion and protection, and inter-sectoral action to address the social determinants of health.
PHASA conference in association with the AFPHA 2013
The 9th PHASA conference in association with the African Federation of Public Health Associations (AFPHA) will be held in Cape Town from 24-27 September 2013. The theme will be 'Africa's Public Health Legacy – Beyond the MDGs'. For more information visit the conference website.
Joint PHASA and RUDASA conference 2012
For the first time in history, the Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA) and the Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa (RuDASA) had a joint conference with the theme: “Bridging the health divide: from Policy to Practice’’. The theme is inspired by the following: persistent inequalities in all dimensions of health, resource availability and in health care between urban and rural areas, the rich and the poor; gaps between policy intentions and community experiences; and the divide between our progressive laws and policies on the one hand, and implementation and practice on the other hand. The 2012 joint PHASA/ RUDASA conference had as its core focus a scientific debate and discussion on these various divides, the drivers of these divides, influencing factors, and strategies and mechanisms to bridge these divides, whether through leadership, advocacy, research, education and/or practice. The target audience was policy makers, public health academics, and front-line health professionals, particularly from rural areas, health service managers and non-governmental / community-based health organisations. Parallel workshops preceded the main conference, with wide-ranging topics to suit diverse interests. The conference was held from 5-7 September 2012 in Bloemfontein. Download the programme and abstract book.
The 2011 PHASA Conference
The theme of the 2011 PHASA conference was: “Closing the health equity gap: Public health leadership, education and practice”. This theme enabled us to review the progress that South Africa has made in achieving equity in health status, health care, the social determinants of health and access to resources. Speakers included policy-makers, leading local and international academics and representatives of international organisations, such as the World Health Organization and the World Federation of Public Health Associations. The conference tracks primarily related to the theme of health equity or its counter-side of health inequities or health disparities. Parallel workshops preceded the main conference, with participants spoiled for choice, and with topics ranging from “Achieving equity through inter-sectoral action on health”; “Monitoring and evaluation of health inequities” through to “Intermediate epidemiological and biostatistical methods”. This 7th PHASA conference was held in Gauteng (Sandton) from 28 – 30 November 2011. The abstract book can be downloaded here.
The 2010 PHASA Conference
The theme of the 2010 conference was: “Healthy environments, healthy people and public health advocacy”. The theme both expanded and complemented the 2009 PHASA conference theme of examining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from a public health perspective. The 2010 conference, with its core focus on the environment, people’s health and advocacy, demonstrated that public health is inextricably linked to international debates regarding global warming, climate change and environmental sustainability. The conference tracks included abstract driven sessions on: environmental and occupational health; community action and best practices; social determinants of health, policy and health equity; communicable diseases and public health implications; non-communicable diseases and public health implications; global health and public health advocacy; and health systems research and measuring public health. Eight skills-building workshops preceded the conference, focusing on diverse topics such as health rights and health system reforms, alcohol use and its impact, and public health training.