Regional Director awarded San Marino Order of Saint Agatha for contribution to health

Filippo Pruccoli

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab receives the Order of Saint Agatha from Dr Francesco Mussoni, Minister of Health of San Marino, during a ceremony on 26 August 2015.

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, has been awarded the Order of Saint Agatha by San Marino for her and WHO/Europe's contribution to improving health in the country and throughout the WHO European Region. The Minister of Health, Dr Francesco Mussoni, and the Minister of Territory and Environment, Dr Antonella Mularoni, presented the Order. 

It is given to foreign nationals in recognition of the positive contribution they have made to the country. Of her many patronages, Saint Agatha is patron saint of nurses, people with breast cancer and victims of sexual violence and torture. 

National Health Plan of San Marino

During her visit to San Marino on 26 August 2015, Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab commended the country's health sector and society as examples for democracy, leadership and equity. Referring to San Marino's strong record in equity and intersectoral action, Dr Jakab said, "The National Health Plan is a testimony to the fact that real, historic change requires all sides to join forces, interact, cooperate and plan together for the future."

The Health Plan (2015–2017) sets 7 overarching, cross-cutting goals to enhance its effectiveness and reach. Developed in line with Health 2020, the goals emphasize preventing health inequality through actions on the social determinants of health. The publication A roadmap to implementing Health 2020 – the experience of San Marino, detailing the development of the Plan was launched at the event.  In their speeches, their Excellencies Andrea Belluzzi and Roberto Venturini, San Marino's Captains Regent (Heads of State), stated, "Health 2020 has been a key reference for the health and social-health plan that is presented today, and we are sure that it will continue to be so for any future activity aimed at promoting better welfare and health of our population."

Following the official programme, 40 health sector professionals took part in training on operational implementation of the new National Health Plan.  The next training course will focus on other sectors and civil society.

San Marino has also played a pivotal role in the creation and development of the small countries initiative, which brings together the eight countries in the WHO European Region with population of less than 1 million, to share knowledge and best practices and to cooperate to strengthen and innovate health policies. It hosted the first high-level meeting of this initiative in July 2014.