National health promotion conference on child and youth health in Estonia

The annual conference, held in Tartu on 10 June 2011, focused on child and youth health. The participants gathered information on the current state of young people’s health and health determinants, and studied obstacles to creating a safer and healthier environment for young people. The proposals made were published in the conference memorandum.

National and international experts described policies and interventions to improve child and adolescent health, including the prevention of obesity and young people’s engagement in health promotion. Areas that need further attention in Estonia are educating parents about illicit drugs and starting programme to prevent drug abuse in preschool institutions.

Injuries, obesity, drug abuse and risky sexual behaviour are the main threats to young people’s health related to lifestyle and environment in Estonia. New data (from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study’s 2010 survey) show major changes in the health behaviour of Estonian schoolchildren in recent years.

The conference was organized by the National Institute for Health Development, Estonian Health Insurance Fund, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the WHO Country Office, Estonia, the Ministry of Education and Research and the Health Promotion Union of Estonia.