Saving lives, fighting noncommunicable diseases in Europe: contribution of Russian experts


On 25 April 2017, the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD Office) and the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation hosted a meeting in Moscow: “Saving lives, fighting NCDs in Europe: contribution of Russian experts”. Among the participants were Professor Lyudmila Kozlova, Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Social Policy Committee, and Professor Natalia Sanina, First Vice Chair of the State Duma Healthcare Committee; high-level representatives from various ministries of the Russian Federation – in particular the ministries of health, finance and foreign affairs; representatives from WHO and centres of excellence of the Russian Federation; and other stakeholders.

In his opening speech, Dr Igor Kagramanyan, First Deputy Minister of Health of the Russian Federation, thanked WHO for an effective and comprehensive collaboration with the leading scientific centres of the country. He emphasized the contribution of this cooperation to capacity-building in the area of NCDs and health system strengthening in the Russian Federation. Dr Gauden Galea, Director of the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Life-course of the WHO European Region and Dr Joao Breda, Head of the NCD Office, acknowledged the outstanding support provided by the Russian Federation to WHO in fighting NCDs at a regional and global level. They emphasized that working with Russian experts on a variety of projects of the NCD Office has been an extremely enriching experience.

During the conference, experts from the country’s leading scientific institutions presented the work they have done within the context of the NCD Office throughout the Region, in particular in eastern European and central Asian countries. As members of a WHO international team of experts, around 40 Russian experts were involved in more than 20 WHO missions and other activities. They provided their expertise on strategic policy-making within public health, epidemiology, research and surveillance, NCD risk factors and prevention, as well as treatment of specific NCDs.

At the end of the meeting participants discussed areas of future collaboration and cooperation on innovative approaches to tackling NCDs in Europe. This event provided opportunities to discuss lessons learned and build new partnerships, both between Russian scientific centres and between these centres and WHO.