Regional Director encourages investment in prevention


From left: Adonis Georgiadis, Minister of Health of Greece; Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe; and Ingrīda Circene, Minister of Health of Latvia.

Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, addressed a wide range of stakeholders – including public health authorities, industry, nongovernmental organizations, research institutes, national and regional governments, and civil society – during a visit to Rome, Italy on 8–9 April 2014.

Speaking to the Italian Health Community Forum, which shapes Italy’s health policy, the Regional Director highlighted the importance of investing in prevention, addressing the economic impact of noncommunicable diseases and transforming service delivery. She underlined the key objectives of the new European health policy framework, Health 2020, and its relevance in addressing public health challenges and opportunities in Italy.

Effects of migration on health

The joint initiative of WHO/Europe and the Ministry of Health of Italy – the Public Health Aspects of Migration in Europe (PHAME) project – formed the basis of a panel discussion on migration and health. The Regional Director participated in the discussion alongside Mr Angelino Alfano, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Italy; Ms Ingrīda Circene, Minister of Health of Latvia; Mr Adonis Georgiadis, Minister of Health of Greece; Ms Beatrice Lorenzin, Minister of Health of Italy; and Mr Emanuel Mallia, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security of Malta. The Regional Director stressed the need for cooperation across the WHO European Region to address the issue of migration and health. Public health and human rights must be the clear priorities in dealing with it.

Forthcoming European Union (EU) Presidency 

The Regional Director also met with the Italian Minister of Health, to discuss the forthcoming EU Presidency of Italy, and the PHAME project.

Further exchanges

In addition, the Regional Director thanked the Italian Ministry of Health for its support for the process of ratifying the new agreement for WHO/Europe’s European Office for Investment for Health and Development, in Venice. She also took the opportunity to meet with the health ministers of Greece, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as representatives of EU and other European public health organizations.