Health profiles support evidence-based policy making in the Republic of Moldova
Promising results of a pilot project to develop local health profiles were presented at a national conference in Chisinau on 26 September 2014.
Health profiles cover a set of health indicators in a particular area, enabling analysis of overall population health and socio-economic, environment and lifestyle determinants of health. The profiles can be used to make evidence-based health policies that address local needs while harmonizing local-level action with national targets.
Development of the health profiles in 4 pilot regions (Edinet, Cahul, Orhei and Chisinau) in the Republic of Moldova was initiated in June 2013 and has involved many steps, including evaluation of existing data from national statistics and surveys, revision of indicators, capacity building workshops based on international experience in development of local health profiles, establishment of a national coordination committee and working groups at local/rayon levels and development of a draft “National guide on development of health profiles”. The overall process has been coordinated by the WHO country office in the country.
Presentation of initial results
The objectives of the national conference were:
- to inform stakeholders at national and local levels about the results of the pilot projects;
- to present the draft version of the “National guide on development of the health profiles”;
- to discuss the next steps of application of the health profiles and institutionalization of the development process.
The workshop was attended by over 100 representatives of several ministries (including health, education, environment, agriculture and food industry, and internal affairs), the National Bureau of Statistics, National Center of Health Management, National Centre of Public Health, State University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Nicolae Testemitanu”, rayon and municipal centres of public health and local public administrations.
In an opening speech, Andrei Usatii, Minister of Health, said: “One of the objectives of European policy framework Health 2020 is to improve health for all and reduce health inequalities through the whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches. A health profile supports local authorities in developing local health policies to address the health determinants.”
Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative to the Republic of Moldova, noted the importance of the health profiles and expressed hope that more cities and regions in the Republic of Moldova will use the health profiles and include health in their local development agenda.
Representatives of the 4 pilot regions presented the main findings of the health profiles, along with barriers encountered in the development process and opportunities to use them at local level. The health profile for Chisinau will furthermore support this city's recent application to join the European Healthy Cities Network.
Multisectorial approach to evaluating population health
In discussions led by the Ministry of Health, national and local stakeholders stressed the role of health profiles in defining population health, identifying factors that affect health and planning evidence-based policies. They emphasized the need:
- to extend the initiative to the national level;
- to establish periodicity;
- to make the development of health profiles compulsory; and
- to share periodically the results at the national level.
Ongoing collaboration with WHO
The process of developing health profiles is organized as part of biennial collaborative agreements between the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova and WHO/Europe, and the European Union/WHO joint initiative to support policy dialogue and universal health coverage.