Health promoters must strategise to face challenges

HPF’s Executive Director Sione Tu’itahi is planning to participate at the May 2022 world health promotion conference, in Montreal, for professional and personal reasons, despite the challenges of Covid-19.

Sione speaking at the world health promotion conference in Rotorua.

 “To address the global challenges of Covid, environmental crisis, social and economic crisis, we health promoters need to always spare a space to strategise,” says Sione, who chaired the 23rd IUHPE World Health Promotion Conference in Rotorua in 2019.


The conference says Sione was a platform for launching indigenous knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples.

“A few weeks before our 2019 conference there was a ‘lone wolf’ terrorist attack. Our nation was in mourning with those most affected, but we knew our conference must go on. And so, we did successfully, focusing on planetary health and sustainable development for all. Among other achievements, we produced the two Legacy Statements on Planetary health and Indigenous Peoples. 

“We need to follow up that process and maintain the momentum. We now have the approval from IUHPE for a National Accreditation Organisation. We now have a seat around the IUHPE global table and actively participate in decision-making. Let’s keep moving!”

HPF is encouraging health promoters from around Aotearoa to bring their knowledge, insights, work, and experiences concerning health promotion issues to the table and send an abstract in by the new extended deadline of October 4. You still have time!


“We now have Covid-19, but it it serves as another crucial and urgent reason why we must meet face-face and/or virtually to see how our world health promotion community can contribute lasting solutions to this convergence of these inter-connected social, political, commercial and environmental determinants of the health of our only home, planet Earth,” says Sione.


Sione and Tupou in Montreal.

And it’s not business only for Sione and his wife, Tupou, who first visited Montreal to attend an IUHPE Global Board meeting in December 2018. 


“Montreal is intellectually and spiritually significant to us. A leader of our Faith, ‘Abdu’l-Baha,  visited Montreal some 110 years ago, talking about social justice, the unity of races, the oneness of humanity, and the need for the world to collaborate for its own wellbeing, because the world is but one country and we humans are its citizens.   His mind and heart were ahead of his time.

So visiting Montreal for the conference will enrich both our minds and hearts.