High-level delegation from Sweden visits WHO/Europe

WHO/Oluf Christoffersen

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, met Ms Olivia Wigzell, Director General of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, on 1 September 2016

Health 2020 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were in focus during a visit to WHO/Europe by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare and the Public Health Agency of Sweden on 1 September 2016. The visit provided Swedish counterparts with insights into WHO’s work at regional, national and subnational levels, as well as an opportunity to discuss how WHO/Europe can work with, in and for the country.

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, expressed her thanks to Ms Olivia Wigzell, Director General of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, for her contribution in representing Sweden on WHO’s Executive Board.

Ms Olivia Wigzell provided an overview of health inequalities in Sweden. Mr Anders Tegnell, Deputy Director General of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, spoke about the development of public health, including indicators of inequalities, and national coordination. They noted that there is a high level of awareness of health inequalities in the country, but that challenges remain in reaching the target groups to close the gap.

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab and Ms Olivia Wigzell agreed to explore the possibility of jointly organizing a meeting on moving towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a focus on European Union Member States in spring 2017.

The Regional Director and the delegation also discussed and agreed on further collaboration in the areas of sexual and reproductive health; health security and implementation of the International Health Regulations, especially post-event assessments and external evaluations; violence and injury prevention, especially child maltreatment; alcohol and tobacco use; mental health; and nutrition and physical activity.