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Joint 9th World Alliance for Risk Factor Surveillance (WARFS) Global Conference and 12th Americas' Network for Chronic Disease Surveillance (AMNET) Conference 2015, St. John's, Antigua, November 17th-20th 2015. For more information, please visit the following link: http://www.warfs15.com/. 

 

Highlights of the World Alliance for Risk Factor Surveillance (WARFS) 2013 Global Conference, October 29-November 1, 2013, Beijing, China (http://www.ciccst.org.cn/warfs2013/)

The World Alliance for Risk Factor Surveillance (WARFS) 2013 Global Conference was held from October 29 to November 1, 2013 in Beijing, China. WARFS is the Global Working Group on surveillance of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE). The 2013 Global Conference was co-hosted by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) and the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association (CPMA). With more than 200 participants from 16 countries, the WARFS Beijing Conference was one of the most attended WARFS conferences since inception in 1999 in Atlanta, USA. The theme of the 2013 global conference was the past, present and future of risk factor surveillance.

 

Day 1 of the 3-day conference focused on learning from the past. It started with welcome addresses from IUHPE, WARFS, CCDC, CPMA, and the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China. This was followed by 4 keynote addresses from USA (global progress since the first global conference in 1999), Canada (lessons learned from the history of surveillance for the future), World Health Organization (WHO) (WHO global monitoring framework for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)), and China (history, current state and future of NCD surveillance in China). There were also five plenary sessions discussing the difficulties for developing global risk factor surveillance, global challenges to NCD risk factor surveillance, meeting the WHO 25% reduction target of premature NCD mortality by 2025, country strategies in China, Singapore, Venezuela, Canada and USA to meet surveillance needs, and the IUHPE WARFS white paper on surveillance and health promotion.

 

Day 2 focused on reflecting on the present. This included present methodological challenges for surveillance, such as survey methodology, other challenges, surveillance evaluation, and surveillance information dissemination. A plenary session discussed surveillance use in China, Canada and Venezuela. Four parallel sessions (3 English and 1 Chinese) featured 44 oral presentations and 21 poster presentations from Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Finland, Georgia, Hong Kong China, Italy, Kenya, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Venezuela. 

 

Day 3 focused on planning for the future. Three plenary sessions discussed problems and solutions for the future,.ways to encourage future global collaborations, and future development of global risk factor surveillance.

 

The 2013 global conference has made significant contributions to global NCD risk factor surveillance on several fronts. It opens up the conceptual thinking of risk factor surveillance: in time, by going back to the past to learn lessons for the future; in space, by exchanging experiences from developed and developing countries; and in content, by blending theory and practice. Outcomes of debates and discussion at the conference have provided important leads to revise and finalise the IUHPE WARFS white paper. Comments from participants include: "I enjoyed every moment of the conference", "very informative, thought-provoking and inspiring presentations", "I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and felt very happy to be with like-minded people", "The conference was really exciting and the sessions were very useful".  The WARFS Global Conference is held every two years. The 2015 conference is scheduled to be held in Antigua & Barbuda.