About the Partnership for Healthy Cities
The Partnership for Healthy Cities is a prestigious global network of cities committed to saving lives by preventing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Vital Strategies, this initiative enables cities around the world to deliver high-impact policy or programmatic interventions reduce NCDs and injuries in their communities.
Noncommunicable diseases—including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases—and injuries are responsible for more than 45 million deaths per year, or 80% of all deaths worldwide. The majority of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and many of them are preventable if proven solutions are put into place.
With over half of the world’s population now living in urban settings, cities are uniquely placed to transform the fight against noncommunicable diseases and injuries. Mayors and local leaders have the power to improve the health of their citizens and prepare cities to thrive in the 21st century.
Each city is receiving support to implement one of ten proven interventions to prevent noncommunicable diseases and injuries:
1. Create a smoke-free city.
Introduce, pass and enforce legislation and regulations to make all indoor public places, workplaces and public transport 100% smoke-free
2. Ban tobacco advertising.
Introduce, pass and enforce legislation and regulations establishing comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, including a ban on display at the point-of-sale.
3. Raise tobacco taxes or levies/fees.
Increase excise taxes and prices on tobacco products; or Increase subnational tobacco tax revenue.
4. Tax sugary drinks.
Adopt, implement and enforce effective taxation of sugary beverages.
5. Set nutrition standards for foods served and sold in public institutions.
Adopt, implement and enforce nutrition standards in public settings (e.g. schools, hospitals, childcare sites).
6. Regulate food and drink marketing.
Adopt, implement and enforce restrictions on marketing sugary drinks and/or unhealthy foods.
7. Create healthier restaurant environments.
Adopt, implement and enforce foodservice policies (e.g. calorie labelling, sodium labelling, trans fat ban).
8. Reduce speeding.
Enhance and/or enforce speed limits; or Implement road designs that reduce speed and protect pedestrians
9. Increase motorcycle helmet use.
Enhance and/or enforce laws mandating compulsory use of helmets while riding two-wheelers.
10. Reduce drink driving.
Enhance and/or enforce drink-driving traffic laws
11. Increase seat-belt use.
Enhance and/or enforce laws mandating compulsory seat-belt use.
12. Promote active mobility.
Increase cycling via bike share programs and/or street design; or Implement Safe Routes to Schools.
13. Prevent opioid-associated overdose deaths.
Establish a naloxone distribution program; or Establish community-based harm reduction services (e.g., syringe exchange, drop-in center)
14. Enhance public health data and monitoring systems.
Conduct a population-based survey of risk factors for NCDs/injuries; or Conduct targeted air monitoring to identify important emissions sources and their impact on ambient air quality and health
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, we recognized that cities would play a critical role in the global response and began providing Partnership cities with expanded support outside of noncommunicable disease and injury prevention activities. The Partnership for Health Cities produced webinars that provided Mayors from almost 60 cities with access to the latest information and the perspectives of leading experts, built an online response center with almost 400 resources and tools, and distributed more than $3 million in additional grant funding to address cities’ changing needs, such as developing communications campaigns to educate on COVID prevention measures, improve data collection of COVID cases and contact tracing, and vaccine planning and preparedness activities.
With this support, our cities were able to quickly respond to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in their communities:
Athens, Greece provided personal protective equipment to people who use drugs and are experiencing homelessness;
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic reached 1.4M people with a communications campaign on the importance of hand washing, social distancing, and mask-wearing;
Philadelphia, United States partnered with local artists to create educational murals and place over 2,000 “space pads” throughout the city;
Yangon, Myanmar reached 1.2M residents with messaging on COVID-19 prevention measures;
Lima, Peru tested almost 30,000 people for COVID-19 and provided additional support for those testing positive, including food baskets, pulse-oximeters, and masks.