In Shanghai, at the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion, Ministers, Mayors and other policymakers and participants were sharing experiences and taking stock of the progress made since Ottawa. It was inspiring to see that across the world, people agree that promoting health needs utmost attention and urgent action. Our world is changing in many aspects and health is an important building block for achieving sustainable societies. The UN Agenda 2030 opens up new opportunities and our ideas on how to use those are reflected in the EuroHealthNet REJUVENATE Framework (pdf) which I hope is useful for your work.
The articles in this edition of the EuroHealthNet magazine show that many EuroHealthNet member and partner agencies are already working innovatively and implementing health interventions with new actors. It includes inspiring stories from across Europe and ideas about how health promotion organisations can further develop their working practices.
For example, in Hungary they are developing a scheme which will see a wide range of health and social care professionals work together in networks (“GP Clusters”), integrating their work and forming coalitions to prevent disease and promote health as part of primary care services.
Improving health and optimising health services for those with low education levels, limited health literacy, and with different ethnic backgrounds, is the aim of Pharos in the Netherlands. Their programme ‘Healthy In…’ gives support and advice to tackle health inequalities in more than 260 municipalities, supported by the Dutch government.
In the Baltic area, neighbouring cities and regions are building healthy lifestyle and healthy tourism packages, and are collaborating to give citizens access to these services at accessible prices whether at home or visiting partner cities.
In Italy, the DoRS Centre is playing a valuable role in disseminating the latest research and developments in health promotion to wider audiences. It also shows how networks can be set up to help policy makers and others evaluate and improve their activities.
Much can be learned about evidence-informed policy making from the TEAviisari interface in operation in Finland. The tool brings together information on the health-promoting activities undertaken in different areas of public administration and municipalities. This leads to a valuable dataset which shows their actions and results in an objective and comparable way, with different municipal, regional, and administrative structures given a score out of 100 based on a ‘Health Promotion Capacity Building’ Framework.
We end this edition of the magazine with a ‘long read’, a thoughtful commentary from the next generation of health promotion professionals on the future challenges for the sector. The authors, based at the Slovenian health institute, reflect on the lessons learnt from and since the publication of the Ottawa charter, and consider how their professions will change and develop in the coming years.
I wish you a nice read and would like to hear from you with feedback on our Magazine and/or individual articles.
Caroline Costongs is Director of EuroHealthNet.