The 6th Universitas Ahmad Dahlan Public Health Conference (UPHEC)

Based on the UN Population Division report, by 2030, the world's population is estimated to increase by around 1 billion, and it is projected to increase to 9.6 billion in 2050. Most of the population growth is estimated to occur in Asia and African countries, especially in densely populated countries with relatively high fertility rates. Also, the population living in urban areas is projected to grow to 6.3 billion by 2050. This condition is one of the effects of increasing the life expectancy of the population because of the increase in the health outcomes due to sophisticated medical and health technology and healthier lifestyle changes. Besides, the imbalance in population growth is also caused by efforts to reduce fertility in some countries experiencing decadency.

Some aspects of demographic transition, basically, if harnessed, will provide opportunities in advancing sustainable development. Efforts to improve health and specifically on the issue of sexual and reproductive rights including increasing access to family planning services can positively influence population dynamics and advance some sustainable development priorities. Among the priorities of sustainable development include issues of universal access to health, gender equality, food security, water and energy, and environmental sustainability.

Addressing population dynamics that respect and protect human rights must be part of the framework for post-2015 sustainable development goals and international development. Human rights-based and gender-based policies need special attention, such as promoting universal access to health and sexual and reproductive rights, including family planning and education, comprehensive sexuality education, avoiding unwanted pregnancies, reducing adolescent pregnancies, reducing infant and maternal mortality, reducing gender-based violence, and unsafe abortion. Also, combating HIV AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases that continue to claim millions of lives each year must receive attention.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the crucial importance of effectively tackling social and health inequalities in Indonesia or even worldwide. One of the most urgent policy issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia concerns the extent and ways in which demographics have determined different patterns of mortality between groups and regions, and whether and how the pandemic and its economic consequences will affect population dynamics in the future. During the current COVID-19 crisis, there is a high degree of uncertainty in decision-making processes.

In addition to the ad-hoc consultancy required during any type of crisis, a more permanent monitoring system based on collected evidence of population health issues and beyond is needed. It should function in close collaboration with experts from research, policy, the economy, and societal organizations to overcome silo-thinking. Efforts to take advantage of the opportunities proposed by population dynamics need to consider more effective and stronger global, regional, and national partnerships. The form of partnership includes, in terms of resources and capacity building. Also, partnerships need to emphasize knowledge sharing as well as technical and financial assistance, which will enable countries to adopt evidence-based population dynamics policies.


Welcome to the Conference,


Erni Gustina, S.KM., MPH.