Country work

WHO/Melitta Jakab

WHO/Europe has taken on a leadership role in implementing the European Action Plan on strengthening public health capacity and services and promote the Essential Public Health Operations through three main streams of work:

  • Assessment: supporting countries conducting self-assessments of essential public health operations;
  • Capacity strengthening: supporting public health workforce development through leadership training courses and workshops at the national and regional levels and providing advice on workforce planning, education and training in collaboration with its partners;
  • Policy support and advocacy: advising public health policy makers on options for strengthening public health institutions at the national level, and working with Member States and Partner Organizations to foster change and innovation on a regional scale.


The Ministry of Health of Armenia has requested WHO/Europe's support in performing a comprehensive self-assessment of public health services and capacities in 2015. WHO/Europe provides training and advice on how to assess Essential Public Health Operations (EPHOs) and supports the national working group that undertakes the assessment. Once the results of the assessment are available, they will become the basis for a policy dialogue led by WHO/Europe on how to best strengthen public health capacities and services in the country. The results are also expected to feed into a new national health policy that is under development in the country.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation supports collaboration between WHO/Europe and Bosnia and Herzegovina that aims at strengthening public health services and capacities in the country. As part of the project WHO/Europe organizes two national conferences in 2015: one on public health organization and finance, and one on public health service delivery and workforce. In parallel, WHO/Europe is supporting a public health self-assessment of the Essential Public Health operations (EPHOs).


Collaboration between WHO/Europe and Greece in the field of public health services is based on ongoing European programmes of collaboration and focuses on optimizing the integration of health promotion and disease prevention in community care, increasing efficiency of public health services providing institutions, and improving the funding basis for public health. 


WHO/Europe works with national policy makers and institutional leaders in public health to identify options for strengthening public health institutions and fortify capacity for public health leadership in the country.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The country has increased efforts to strengthen public health services, especially in environmental health. The government works with representatives of WHO Europe to lead a public health self-assessment of the Essential Public Health operations (EPHOs). The assessment strengthens capacity for public health leadership in the country and contributes to the development of a national public health strategy and action plan, which will focus on improving public health services for the population within and beyond the health sector.

Republic of Moldova

Recently the Republic of Moldova has initiated various steps to reform its public health system and adopted a national public health strategy. The work of WHO/Europe in 2015 focuses on fostering dialogue and exchanging international experience in order to identify the best options for strengthening public health institutions and the public health workforce. 


In 2014 Portugal re-launched the National Health Plan 2012-2016 (NHP), extending it to 2020 with the support of WHO/Europe. WHO/Europe also provided advice on implementing the NHP within the frameworks laid out in Health 2020 and the European Action Plan on Public Health.


WHO/Europe is working with Poland to conduct a public health self-assessment. The findings are expected to contribute to the development of a new national public health programme.

Russian Federation

WHO/Europe is working closely with the WHO Collaborating Centre on Health Systems and Public Health in Moscow, hosted by the Federal Research Institute for Health Organization and Informatics of Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. The main area of work is strengthening public health services in the Russian Federation and WHO Member States in the eastern part of the European Region. Collaboration focuses on the international exchange of experience in strengthening public health capacities and services and addresses questions of integrating public health services into community care and optimizing the governance and finance of public health institutions.


WHO/Europe provided support to the country in 2014 to implement the Strategic Framework for Health 2013 to 2030, particularly in the area of developing integrated care centres on the primary care level. Collaboration in 2015 will focus on strengthening capacity in public health.


WHO/Europe is providing support for the development of institutional strategies for public health in 2015, and will work with the country to undertake a public health self-assessment of essential public health operations to identify areas for improvement of the EPHOs.


WHO/Europe will work with national counterparts in public health in 2015 to review national public health strategies and regulatory documents. Together, they will use the results of the review to develop new options to strengthen public health institutions and improve the delivery of and access to public health services for the population.


WHO/Europe is supporting humanitarian health emergency relief operations while working with country officials to strengthen public health capacities and services.


WHO/Europe is collaborating with national public health policy makers to organize a flagship course on public health leadership in Uzbekistan.