SSPH+/ETHZ Online Lecture Series "This Is Public Health"
Wednesday, 19 February - 27 May 2020, 17:15-18:15; moderated by Agnė Ulytė (see also flyer)
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|19 February 2020||
Clean air for health – using science to stop “fake news”
National and international research of the last 30 years established unprecedented insights into the health effects of ambient air pollution. Countries that adopted the evidence-based policy recommendations of WHO have seen major improvements in air quality. However, populist interest groups in some of these countries spread “fake news” to stall clean air policies. This trend may amplify the biggest public health threat in this field: global inequity with cleaner regions seeing further improvements of air quality but polluted ones experiencing deteriorations. The presentation replaces fakes with facts while emphasizing global solutions to achieve clean air - everywhere.
Download reading material: The health impact of air pollution
Dean of SSPH+ and Head of Department Education and Training at Swiss TPH
|26 February 2020||
The dementia impact and scientific conundrum: two challenges in search of a public health solution
The impact of dementia on people and societies is humongous, ubiquitous, and continuously increasing because of the population aging and the stagnation of scientific progress. Despite the remarkable advances of the recent years, dementia remains a dreadful, incurable disease, and a taxing scientific conundrum. While the WHO-led global public health response to dementia is our greatest hope to reduce this burden, we firmly maintain that public health can and should also aspire to challenge and progressively replace the dominant models for theory and practice in dementia research, and contribute to cause a paradigm shift.
Download reading material: Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025
Professor at the Institute of Public Health of the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI)
|04 March 2020||
Better Health Faster: Law is everywhere!
Based on those 3 premises and the 5 essential services of public health law, the lecture will focus on the need to adopt a transdisciplinary model of public health law in order to achieve better health faster.
Download reading material: The Five Essential Public Health Law Services
Adjunct Professor of the Faculty of Law of the University of Neuchâtel; Chairman of the Research Ethics Committee of Vaud
|11 March 2020||
The law on tobacco products: impacting public health through legislative changes - opportunities and limits
Currently a new Law on tobacco products is discussed in the Swiss Parliament. How can the stakeholder’s community develop a positive lobby and act to improve the law in order to obtain real changes in public health? What are the legislative opportunities and limits in the current Swiss context of tobacco control, including the challenges posed by the arrival of e-cigarettes on the market?
Download reading material: E-cigarettes: use and taxation
Research Fellow at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) of the University of Bern; Director of the Swiss Association for Smoking Prevention AT
|18 March 2020||
Public trust beyond the hype!
Public trust is fundamental for the well-functioning of healthcare systems. Yet, the rise of trust as a topic in public debate about governments, private industries or the state sector, suggests a public need to address problems of trust. Despite the increasing prominence of the concept of trust in public discourse as well as increase of research on public trust, there exists little common understanding of what actually public trust is.
Postdoc at the Health Ethics and Policy Lab, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich
Postdoc at the Health Ethics and Policy Lab, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich
|25 March 2020||
Prostate cancer in Switzerland – large differences in a small country
Prostate cancer is common in Western countries such as Switzerland. However, even within Switzerland, we observe geographical differences in incidence and mortality. Our research targets the question of whether these differences change over time and which factors may explain these differences in Switzerland (e.g. different lifestyle, different screening behaviour). To address this question, different datasets available in Switzerland will be used, showing the possibilities, but also the limitations of epidemiological research in this country.
Download reading material: Italianity is associated with lower risk of prostate cancer mortalityin Switzerland
Professor at the Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI) of the University of Zurich; Head of the Cancer Registry of the Cantons of Zurich, Zug, Schaffhausen and Schwyz
|01 April 2020||
Does it work? Is it worth it? Evaluating the costs and benefits of public health interventions
Public health interventions may have an immense impact on health and wellbeing. However, it is often unknown whether a specific intervention works and whether it is worth the money spent. This lecture introduces the cost-effectiveness framework developed in health economics as a useful tool for the design and evaluation of public health interventions. It forces the designers and evaluators to explore the various aspects affecting the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the intervention in a real-world situation. It also takes account of the different cost dimensions affecting the health and wellbeing.
Download reading material: Does It Work? Is It Worth It? Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of Nutritional Interventions
Head of the Winterthur Institute of Health Economics, ZHAW School of Management and Law
|08 April 2020||
Public health in the era of personalized health
Personalized health is promising to improve the detection, diagnosis and treatment of diseases by applying big and genomic data from various sources. The resulting stratified treatment approaches often come with high costs and may contradict important public health goals such as social equity in access to health. Important public health tasks in the era of precision health are to evaluate the implementation of personalized health, to measure its population impact in the longer term and to apply its instruments in observational epidemiological research towards improved understanding of
Download reading material: The rationale for a Swiss Citizen Study and Biobank
Head of Department Epidemiology and Public Health and Member Directory Board of Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
|22 April 2020||
The biological consequences of social inequalities
Unfortunately, the lecture had to be cancelled on a very short notice due to priorities required in COVID research. We apologize!
The lecture will briefly introduce social inequalities in health and then move to present recent findings on how social disadvantage is integrated biologically across different systems. Challenges and perspectives of the social-to-biological field of research will also be discussed.
Download reading material: The biological embedding of social differences in ageing trajectories
Head of the Population Epidemiology Unit at HUG/University of Geneva; Head of research sector Unisanté, University of Lausanne
|29 April 2020||
Implementation of public health genetic interventions
The lecture will focus on two common and actionable hereditary cancer syndromes, namely hereditary breast/ovarian cancer and Lynch syndromes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other international organizations have issued evidence-based guidelines that can be applied at the population level for prevention and early detection of these two syndromes. There will be a presentation of two studies that implement these evidence-based guidelines for the two syndromes in Switzerland. The lecture will conclude with a presentation of a framework for the evaluation of public health genetic interventions and a short discussion of issues around access to genetic services.
Professor at the Department of Clinical Research of the University of Basel
|06 May 2020||
Data is the new gold: Information flow during the Ebola outbreak and the Coronavirus outbreak
During part of the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak, I was in Sierra Leone as an information management lead for WHO. This lecture places health data collection and flow (often called surveillance) in the context of trying to contain an outbreak. Through anecdotes and more theoretical aspects, we will discuss data security, geographic information system (GIS) analysis and visualization, as well as sustainable knowledge transfer to local public health workforce. In addition, we will use the concepts just presented for Ebola to understand the information flow and barriers for the Coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19).
Download reading material: Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva
|13 May 2020||
Health, functioning and well-being
An enormous amount of resources is invested in health because this is somehow conceived in as the link to a person’s wellbeing and, at the level of population, to overall societal welfare. However, this link is not always evident. What matters to people about their health is the lived experience of health and its effect on daily life. This concept is captured in the WHO’s ICF by the notion of functioning. It is also an indicator of health complementing mortality and morbidity, and provides the bridge that links the provision of healthcare both to individual well-being and to societal welfare.
Download reading material: Health, Functioning, and Well-being
Head of the Department Health Sciences and Medicine of the University of Lucerne
|27 May 2020||
Work, retirement and health inequalities in later life: a life course perspective
Despite improvements in life expectancy, we are not necessarily living more years in better health. Moreover, inequalities in health persist in later life. This lecture addresses the contribution of work and retirement to health and health inequalities in later life, taking a long view to assess the role of work across the life course. The implications of the findings are discussed in the context of the ‘extended working lives’ agenda.
Professor at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI); Affiliate researcher, King's College London