WHO Regional Director visits Romania

courtesy of Romanian Presidency

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, Regional Director of WHO/Europe, made an official visit to Romania on 23 and 24 February 2016. During her visit, the Regional Director met with Mr Klaus Werner Iohannis, the President of Romania. Their discussions focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the ways in which Health 2020 can be used as a political advocacy tool for that agenda. Mr Iohannis has committed his country to promoting the SDGs.

Biennial collaborative agreement (BCA) signed

At the Presidential Palace, the Regional Director participated in a ceremony to sign the 2016–2017 Biennial Collaborative Agreement (BCA) between the Ministry of Health of Romania and WHO/Europe. Dr Jakab and Dr Andrei Patriciu Achimas Cadariu, the Minister of Health, signed the agreement in the presence of Mr Iohannis. Dr Jakab and Dr Cadariu met before the signing, on 23 February, to discuss the priorities of the BCA and how to enhance cooperation between Romania and WHO/Europe.

Health promotion, health education and the link to Health 2020

At the invitation of the President of Romania, Dr Jakab participated in a policy dialogue on health promotion and health education, at which she delivered a presentation on the progress the Region has made in improving health, with a focus on intersectoral cooperation; she also described developments and challenges in Romania. She said that development is impossible without better health: health is a precondition for development. She emphasized the important role that health and well-being play in the newly adopted Sustainable Development Agenda and said that intersectoral action, driven by political commitment, will be vital in the new policy environment. She commented that Health 2020 not only remains relevant but is perhaps more relevant than ever today.

Following Dr Jakab's presentation, the Minister of Health presented the National Integrated Multi-annual Plan for Promotion of Health and Health Education, which constitutes a first step towards an intersectoral approach for the health sector in Romania. It reflects the Health 2020 principles that form the basis of the Romanian National Health Strategy 2014–2020. 

Dr Jakab's visit provided an opportunity to reaffirm the strong relations between Romania and WHO/Europe and to look ahead at both shared challenges and common priorities for action.