Lithuanian Minister of Health visits
On 4 November, Mr Raimondas Šukys, Minister of Health of Lithuania, and Mr Viktoras Meižis, Head of the Division of European Union Affairs and International Relations at the Ministry, met with Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe and senior WHO/Europe staff, including staff of the WHO Country Office, Lithuania, to learn more about WHO/Europe’s work, and discuss health priorities in Lithuania. Ms Jakab introduced her vision of better health for Europe and explained how WHO/Europe is working to achieve it. The country’s health programme for 2011–2020 and health system reforms were also on the agenda.
Discussion focused on issues including: placing health in the broad political agenda, addressing HIV/AIDS and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and the cost of medicines for treating these diseases, improving blood safety, cutting alcohol and tobacco consumption, screening for cancer and harnessing new technologies to communicate on health.
WHO’s collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Lithuania focuses on:
- strengthening the health system;
- scaling up work to prevent major noncommunicable diseases;
- fostering environmental safety; and
- strengthening the surveillance and control of communicable diseases.
Mr Šukys complimented WHO/Europe on its professionalism, friendliness and openness; expressed his wish for closer cooperation; and thanked the Regional Director for the opportunity to learn directly about the work of WHO programmes.