Marking World Health Day 2016 in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Macedonian Medical Society

Mr Nikola Todorov, Minister of Health of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, stresses the importance of diabetes prevention on 7 April 2016, World Health Day.

World Health Day (WHD) 2016 was celebrated with a series of events in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, organized by the WHO Country Office in cooperation with relevant institutions, particularly the Ministry of Health, the Institute for Occupational Health and the Macedonian Medical Society.

Institute for Occupational Health

Technical experts met on 5 April 2016 in cooperation with the Institute for Occupational Health, which is the WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health. Participants included relevant experts in public health, noncommunicable diseases, endocrinologists and representatives of the occupational health sector, the Ministry of Health, the labour inspectorate, the Macedonian Occupational Safety and Health Association, and the WHO Collaborating Centre.

They focused on key issues related to the prevention and treatment of diabetes, and the challenges within the country. The key messages of WHD 2016 were discussed and presented.

Results from the WHO quiz, "How much do you know about diabetes?" showed that almost 80% of workers have adequate information about the risk factors and the prevention of diabetes. However, raising awareness on diabetes among the working population is needed to support and promote health in the workplace. The Institute for Occupational Health implemented the quiz at country level as a survey with more than 250 workers participating during the last week of March 2016.

Addressing diabetes within the context of Health 2020 and the Sustainable Development Goals, and the specific link to workers' health were also discussed. Participants agreed that stronger society involvement is needed to implement prevention measures, harmonize approaches and coordinate future actions. Many sectors of society have a role to play, including governments, employers, educators, manufacturers, civil society, the private sector, the media and individuals themselves.

Macedonian Medical Society

In addition, the WHO Country Office provided support by translating and distributing materials for WHD at an event organized by the Macedonian Medical Society on 7 April, with participation of the Minister of Health and representatives of the health and other sectors . In his opening speech, the Minister of Health praised WHO's support in strengthening health system capacities in the country.

WHD materials

Materials, including posters, press releases and briefings, produced for WHD 2016 by WHO were translated into the local languages (Macedonian and Albanian) and distributed countrywide to national and local public health institutions/centres, hospitals and other health professionals. In addition, the materials published on the country's National Health 2020 web platform.

Media coverage

The Institute for Occupational Health and the Macedonian Medical Society also held press conferences to promote WHD, and WHO counterparts spread WHO recommendations for prevention and treatment of diabetes to the general public through all media in the country (television, newspapers and internet portals).

The WHO Country Office will continue to stress the WHD message "Beat diabetes" at various events organized throughout the year as part of the biennial collaborative agreement 2016–2017.