Regional Director addresses European Public Health Association (EUPHA) Conference

Speaking at the opening of Conference yesterday, Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, explained how WHO/Europe pursues an integrated approach to public health, to achieve better health for people in Europe.

Ms Jakab identified five areas of integration. WHO/Europe:

  • is developing the new European health policy, Health 2020, through a participatory process, bringing together European academic and research communities, and integrating research and evidence for public health and health care policy;
  • working with the European Commission to develop a single, integrated information system for policy-makers and practitioners in the WHO European Region, a key joint priority for the partners;
  • is committed to developing public health professionals’ knowledge, skills and competencies, and making effective use of the human resources for health that exist throughout society, in sectors such as education, housing, transport and the media;
  • works to empower health ministries to extend their influence beyond own responsibilities and to seek ways of helping other sectors to achieve their own goals, as health objectives are universal societal objectives that require investment and action across many sectors; and
  • seeks to renew the focus on primary health care, given its role both in integrating public health into the wider system and in improving access to health care for all citizens.

Ms Jakab invited Conference delegates to work with WHO/Europe to align health-related policy and practice to address today’s health challenges.

EUPHA conference

EUPHA’s annual conference is a large public health event, bringing together over 1000 participants from more than 50 countries. This year’s event takes place on 10–13 November 2010, in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

WHO/Europe is committed to supporting the 4th European Public Health Conference, which is to be organized by EUPHA and held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2011.