Regional Director on official visit to Poland

On 7 February 2011, Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, met Dr Ewa Kopacz, Minister of Health of Poland, and Dr Adam Fronczak, Undersecretary of State. The official visit was arranged to discuss WHO’s work with the Ministry and support for Poland’s Presidency of the European Union in July–December 2011.

The health focus of Poland’s Presidency will be “closing the gap in health in Europe”. It will particularly emphasize the development of brain diseases, including Alzheimer disease, and the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of diseases in children.

Congratulating the Ministry of Health on these priorities, Ms Jakab explained, “Closing the health gap between and within European Union countries is vital. It is very clear that we need to invest in children’s health and address the social determinants of health within Europe. We have neglected public health for too long, and I am delighted that the Polish Presidency is putting it high on the agenda.”

WHO/Europe is undertaking extensive work in these areas, and will collaborate closely with Poland. Dr Kopacz thanked Ms Jakab for WHO’s support, and invited her to participate in an informal ministers’ meeting in Sopot, Poland, in early July.

WHO/Europe’s current work with the Ministry of Health of Poland focuses on three areas:

  • strengthening the health system, including health-system financing, cost-effective medicine prescribing and use, and stewardship;
  • surveillance, prevention and management of major noncommunicable diseases (NCD) and injuries, with emphasis on healthy lifestyles, particularly in managing and monitoring NCD policies, strengthening workplace health promotion and national capacity for tobacco control; and
  • prevention of environmental health risks, focusing on monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the national children’s and environment health action plan.