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    “Reimagine Public Health” campaign launches to galvanize new public support, funding for global public health

    Published on October 26, 2021

    Delhi,: The following is a statement from José Luis Castro, President and CEO, Vital Strategies and L M Singh, Managing Director, India for Vital Strategies, on the global health organization’s new “Reimagine Public Health” campaign and brand tag line, launching today.

    “Vital Strategies believes we need to reimagine public health and place it at the center of our political, social and economic systems. From safe drinking water to healthy food, clean air and health equity, public health must be seen as an essential common good that touches all facets of our lives.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the profound dangers of having political, economic and health care systems that marginalize public health. Direct costs of the pandemic include a death toll of at least 4.9 million from COVID-19 and a potential $10 trillion loss to the global economy. Indirect impacts on health have been measured in almost every conceivable health area, from TB treatment to HIV/AIDS prevention, maternal mortality and beyond.

    “This is also a time when health departments around the world are in crisis and public health remains underfunded and under threat. ‘Reimagine Public Health’ seeks to mobilize a movement that champions the importance and relevance of public health in our everyday lives and restores trust in the institutions and people working to make our communities healthier. It’s a fresh representation of our vision that everyone, everywhere deserves to be protected by equitable and effective public health systems. It’s a reminder that everything that surrounds us—from the air we breathe to the roads we cross—shapes health and safety and cannot be taken for granted.

    “For too long public health has been an invisible web of protections that people take for granted—and is thus neglected, underfunded and undervalued. Today, we’re launching a global campaign to change that. As we contend with COVID-19, the next crisis is around the corner. We can’t afford for public health to be taken for granted anymore. The future of public health demands that we stop looking for siloed, single-issue solutions. As we look beyond COVID-19, we need to reimagine public health as more interconnected. Whether the issue is air quality, transport, food, tobacco, drug use or infectious disease, we have to think more broadly about the connections that make a healthy society. By working across sectors, we can leverage public health to drive policy changes in systems outside the span of public health control—transportation, energy, finance, development, and education—to make wider and more lasting change that protects everyone, everywhere.

    “The senseless and needless losses of the pandemic, and the inequity it has exposed, have opened the eyes of millions to the importance of public health. Many are rightly angry and upset that they’ve been left unprotected and vulnerable. People now understand that good health doesn’t simply mean treating illness with medicines and in hospitals—it means preventing these illnesses from happening in the first place whenever possible. This includes investing in surveillance and monitoring systems, creating strong data systems to guide health decisions, and making sure corporate interests take a back seat to the public interest.

    “It also means regular screenings for conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and certain cancers. It means putting warning labels on unhealthy products, from tobacco to processed foods to alcohol. It means reducing the sources of air pollution and the impact of climate change. It is everything that makes people healthier.”

    While Reimagine Public Health will remain Vital Strategies’ tag line and will continue to inspire how we move forward as an organization, several activities will kick off our month-long campaign starting Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021:

    • Visitors to VitalStrategies.org will be greeted with Reimagine Public Health video and buzzy new social media graphics.
    • An interactive quiz will test your knowledge of public health.
    • Messages from people around the world will answer the question, “What is Public Health?”
    • Vital Strategies will host a VitalTalks panel discussion on Oct. 27, 2021, at 7.30pm IST, to be moderated by international journalist and broadcaster Femi Oke. Speakers will include José Luis Castro, Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, and health experts Claudia Adriazola-Steil, Acting Director, Urban Mobility, and Director, Health & Road Safety, WRI Ross Center For Sustainable Cities, Jeremias N. Paul, Jr. Head of the Fiscal Policies for Health Unit in the Health Promotion Department at the World Health Organization, and Vital Strategies’ Daniel Kass, Senior Vice President, Environmental Health and Nandita Murukutla, Vice President, Global Policy and Research.

    Vital Strategies’ vision is a world where everyone is protected by equitable and effective public health systems. Founded in 2004, the organization partners with governments, communities, and organizations to design and implement evidence-based, locally driven policies and practices to advance public health, particularly in the areas of urban health, noncommunicable disease and injury prevention, climate change, and air pollution, as well as system strengthening. Vital Strategies has offices in New York City; São Paulo, Brazil; Jinan, China; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Paris, France; New Delhi, India; and Singapore, and a team that works in 73 countries.