University of Pécs designated as WHO Collaborating Centre for migration and health
The department of Operational Medicine of the University of Pécs, Hungary has been designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre for training and research on migration and health. To mark the occasion, a ceremony was held during which Dr Piroska Östlin, Director of the Division of Policy and Governance for Health and Well-being at WHO/Europe, presented the designation letter from the WHO Regional Director for Europe Dr Zsuzsana Jakab to Prof. Dr. Tit István Szilárd, co-chair of the Collaborating Centre.
The ceremony took place during a 3-day conference held at the university to celebrate its 650th anniversary. The scientific event was jointly organized by the University of Pecs and the Pecs branch of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. It aimed to address issues related to well-being from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
Distinguished academics and government experts from Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom joined Hungarian experts from various universities and disciplines to discuss issues ranging from evolutionary molecular medicine, transdisciplinary international research and climate change to sustainable agriculture, health financing and equitable health and well-being for all.
At this occasion, Dr Östlin gave a presentation on the European context for public health – working for better and more equitable health and well-being for all.
The Collaborating Centre will serve as a technical and scientific resource for the Public Health and Migration Programme (EUPHAME) of WHO/Europe, led by Dr Santino Severoni. The team of the Centre has been involved with EUPHAME for many years. In particular, it contributed to the development of the “Toolkit for assessing health system capacity to manage large influxes of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants”. Under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Szilárd, the Centre’s team has been hosting and operating the editorial board of the “WHO: Public Health Aspects of Migration in Europe (PHAME)” newsletter. As an outcome of this long-term dedication to migration health in Europe, the University of Pécs will be proposing from early 2018 a new postgraduate training course focusing on migrant health.
It is not the first time that Pécs has taken centre stage in public health. Earlier this year, Pécs hosted the Annual Healthy Cities Business Meeting and Conference, which saw mayors and political leaders in the Region reaffirm their commitment to the values and principles of the Healthy Cities movement by ratifying the 2017 Healthy Cities Pécs Declaration.