Minister of Health of Latvia signs agreement with WHO/Europe


From left: Zsuzsanna Jakab and Ingrida Circene sign the Biennial Collaborative Agreement 2012–2013

On 25 January 2012, Dr Ingrida Circene, Minister of Health, Latvia met with Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, and other senior staff at WHO/Europe.

Following an introduction to WHO’s work by the divisional directors, discussions focused on health system strengthening, including improved maternal and child health services, health financing, the introduction of cervical screening, the country’s new public health strategy for 2011–2017 and the establishment of a new centre for the prevention and control of communicable and noncommunicable diseases in Latvia.

Dr Circene agreed to take an active role in the sixty-second session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in September 2012, and to work with WHO in preparing for Latvia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2015.

At the end of the day, Dr Circene signed the Biennial Collaborative Agreement between the Ministry of Health and WHO/Europe, setting out areas of joint work for 2012–2013. The priorities for the period are:

  • in the context of the European health policy, Health 2020, integrating the social determinants of health/health indicators into national health policies, strategies and action plans;
  • under health systems strengthening and public health, improving the country’s capacity to develop health policies on medical products, developing financing policies related to health to minimize the negative effect of the financial crisis, and making evidence on the country’s health system available;
  • under noncommunicable diseases, health promotion and healthy lifestyles, reducing morbidity, disability and premature mortality from chronic noncommunicable diseases, including mental disorders, as well as promoting healthy lifestyles, such as through the development of national cancer control programmes, and the adoption of anti-obesity policies;
  • under communicable diseases, health security and environment, reducing the burden of communicable diseases, including improving routine immunization, implementing the International Health Regulations and improving disease surveillance, as well as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis services; and
  • under health information, evidence, research and innovation, analysing health information and collating reliable and comparable health information data.