Over 250 people are attending 2 days of discussion and debate at the Glasgow Science Centre, focusing on some of the biggest public health and social welfare challenges facing urban areas.

Leading international experts are taking part in City Health 2013, exploring health behaviours like alcohol and drug use, diet, sexual behaviour, violence, and on the factors that affect and influence these behaviours, including housing, education, learning and employment.

Closing City Health 2012 in London, Dr David Wilson, Director of HIV/AIDS Programmes for the World Bank, said: ‘Managing unprecedented urbanization will be the defining challenge of this century’.

The challenges facing Glasgow are particularly stark. Thirty per cent of adults in Glasgow smoke. Rates of drug related deaths in Glasgow are double the Scottish average. Alcohol-related deaths are the highest in Scotland. Two thirds of adults in Glasgow are obese, according to the Glasgow Centre for Population Health.

However as a result Scotland can tap into a wealth of expertise and research in areas of public health and social welfare. Joining some of the leading UK based figures will be international experts including representatives from the UN and WHO.

The event has already attracted media interest, with articles appearing in The Herald and The Scotsman.
Welcoming delegates to the event, Martin Cawley, Chief Executive, Turning Point Scotland said:
“We are delighted people from different countries across the world have been able to come to Glasgow this week. The city has a proud history of facing up to major public health and social challenges. Glasgow has reinvented itself as an exciting centre for shopping, culture, music and hosting major sporting events like the Commonwealth Games next year.
We passionately believe in the principles under pining City Health, the bringing together of such a diverse range of expertise, skills, knowledge and experience. Too often in the past issues like health and well being, social care, community safety, economic and urban development have been treated as some how separate or unconnected.
Over the next few decades, experts believe the majority of people on the planet will live in increasingly densely populated cities and urban areas. Working in partnership must become the default option to meet the challenges this will present.
We hope you have a great week taking part in the discussions and enjoy your time in Glasgow.”

Prof Michel Kazatchkine – UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS for Eastern Europe and Central Asia is hosting the Fourth Eddie Killoran and Alison Chesney Memorial Lecture,  ‘AIDS: GLOBAL PROGRESS, LOCAL CHALLENGES’ .

Other highlights on the programme include:

  • David Stuckler, Senior Research Leader in Sociology Oxford University, England, Why austerity kills: economic policy and the impact on public health and wellbeing
  • Dr Ingrid van Beek, Director, Kirketon Centre, Australia, Public health, public order and ‘health for all’’
  • Georgina Perry, Open Doors NHS Trust, England, Migrant sex workers: myths and realities
  • Katy McLeod, Crew 2000, Club drugs and legal highs
  • Rosie Ilett, Sandyford Services, NHS GGC, Scotland Developing quality sexual health services in an urban setting
  • Judith Robertson, Head, Oxfam Scotland, Winners and Losers in the new economic times
  • Professor Carol Tannahill, Director, Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Scotland

A full programme can be downloaded at http://www.cityhealthinternational.org/documents/2013/CHI2013_Programme.pdf

http://cityhealthinternational.org/2013

About the City Health 2013 organisers

Knowledge-Action-Change

Knowledge-Action-Change is an independent organisation committed to the development and promotion of evidence-based policies and interventions in the field of substance use and related areas of public health and public policy. The organisational ethos is to link knowledge transfer and organisational development to achieve impact at relevant organisational, community, national and international levels.
www.kachange.eu

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the national body representing the interests of charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. The Scottish third sector turns over £4.5 billion a year and employs 138,000 people in over 45,000 organisations.
www.scvo.org.uk

Turning Point Scotland

Turning Point Scotland provides support to thousands of people with a variety of challenging and complex issues such as learning disabilities, autism, neurological conditions, substance misuse, homelessness, mental health and criminal justice. Operating from 180 locations across Scotland the organisation provides a diverse range of services depending on the needs of the individual.
www.turningpointscotland.com