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Friday, October 28, 2011

SEEHN Newsletter Third Issue Published

The SEEHN Secretariat prepared a special issue of its Newsletter on the proceedings and results of the 3rd SEE Ministers of Health Forum "Health in All Policies in the SEE: A Shared Goal and Responsibility". The Forum took place in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 13-14 October 2011. The Forum report is currently being drafted.

You can read or download a copy by clicking here.

Note: Should you have a problem accessing the document, please leave a comment below.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Third SEE Ministers of Health Forum Held in Banja Luka, BiH, 13-14 October 2011

The 3rd SEE Ministers of Health Forum "Health in All Policies in the SEE: A Shared Goal and Responsibility" took place in Banja Luka, BiH, on 13-14 October 2011. The Forum brought together higest representatives of the SEE Health Network Member and Partner Countries and Organizations of the European region.

Family photo of Forum participants

The Forum reviewed the performance of the SEEHN in the last decade, and approved the Banja Luka Pledge that outlines the future cooperation of the SEE countries and partners on Health in All Policies.

You can read or download the text of the Banja Luka (2011) Pledge here.

SEEHN Member Countries representatives sign the Banja Luka Pledge

SEEHN Partner Countries and Organizations representatives sign the Banja Luka Pledge

Banja Luka Pledge Signed

Banja Luka Pledge Signatures

The representatives of the SEEHN member countries also signed amendments to the MoU on the future of the SEEHN and the regional cooperation in public health, originally signed by the SEE Ministers of Health in 2008. These amendments regulate the procedures for new potential members to apply and join the SEEHN. At the same time the SEEHN member countries representatives approved the application of the State of Israel to become the 10th member of the SEEHN.

You can read or download the amendments to the MoU by clicking here.

SEEHN member country representatives after signing the MoU amendments

The program of the 3rd SEE Ministers of Health Forum can be read or downloaded here.

The complete list of presentations held during the 3rd Forum is listed below by sessions:

Session 1:

Welcome address
Dr Piotr Mierzewski, Council of Europe

The European Health Policy “Health 2020”: Setting up the Vision
Zsuzsanna Jakab, Regional Director, WHO/Europe

Session 2:

A decade of Alliance for Public Health in SEE
For the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Professor Ranko Skrbic

Session 3:

HiAP and Social Determinants for Health and Inequalities
Dr Erio Ziglio, WHO Regional Office for Euro

HiAP in SEE: current status, challenges and opportunities
Ms Desislava Dimitrova, Deputy Minister of Health, Bulgaria

Good practices in HiAP: the case of Finland
Ms Taru Koivisto, Director, Department for Promotion of Welfare and Health, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland

Session 4:

Mobilizing sectors and communities for Public Health: the case of Slovenia
Dr Vesna-Kerstin Petric, Head of the Health Promotion and Healthy Lifestyle Division, Ministry of Health, Slovenia

Contribution to the the environment and health process across Europe
Ms Marta Szigeti Bonifert, Regional Environmental Center

Session 5:

Global and European policies and actions
Dr Gauden Galea, Director, Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Promotion, WHO Regional Office for Europe

SEE response: NCD and PHS capacities, challenges, policies and actions
Dr Andrej Usatii, Minister of Health, Republic of Moldova

Session 6:

Presentation of the Banja Luka Pledge
For Presidency of the SEEHN: Professor Ranko Skrbic, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of the Republika Srpska

You can read or download the text of Banja Luka (2011) Pledge by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

SEEHN welcomes State of Israel as its newest member

SEEHN Representatives after signing Amendments to the MoU
SEE Health Network Members have signed today the amendments to the Memorandum of Understanding on the future of the SEE and the regional cooperation in public health, signed originally in 2009 by the SEE Ministers of Health.

The new amendments pave the way for opening the SEE Health Network to new members. At the same day, the SEEHN member countries signed the decision to accept the State of Israel as its newest member.

Prof Alex Leventhal, on behalf of the State of Israel, thanked the SEEHN for the decision and promised to complete the signing procedure as soon as the Government of State of Israel has approved the credentials. Prof Leventhal also stated that Israel fully accepts the Dubrovnik (2001) and Skopje (2005) Pledges, as well as the MoU (2009) on the future of the SEEHN, as well as Host Country Agreement (2010) for the SEEHN Secretariat in Skopje.

This recent decision of the SEEHN takes the number of member countries to 10.

Below you can see some of the pictures from the ceremony and the reception hosted by WHO Regional Director for Europe.

26th Meeting of SEE Health Network, Banja Luka, 12 October 2011

The 26th meeting of the SEE Health Network took place in Banja Luka. The meeting was attended by representatives of member states and partner countries and organizations. Important decisions taken at this meeting include those on the preparations and follow up to the 3rd Ministers of Health Forum that takes place during 13-14 October 2011.

You can read or download the draft summary report from this meeting below:

Banja Luka (B&H), 12 October 2011


The meeting followed immediately the meeting of the Executive Committee of the SEEHN ( attended by Snezanna Cicevalieva, Elizabet Paunovic, Goran Cerkez, Alexandre Berlin, Amela Lolic, Dunja Gruntar Golanda, Maria Ruseva, Piotr Mierzewski, Nand Shani and Natalia Olesen), with the main object to complete the final preparations of the Forum. The list of participants at the 26th meeting of the SEEHN is attached.

The meeting agreed with all the details concerning the scenario for the running of the Forum, and its member will convey the appropriate information to the heads of the delegations.

Due to the lack of time at the end of the Forum it was agreed that the next SEEHN meeting (Post-Forum meeting) will take place within the next 2-4 month as a special meeting. It will be a larger meeting involving also the Directors of the RHDCs. all partners as well as all interested organizations and potential partners, to define, on the basis of the Banja Luka Pledge, how to implement the Pledge commitments, the future strategy of the Network and its work plans, as well as increasing the involvement of interested partners.

Regarding the Global Conference on Social Determinants for Health and Inequalities (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), it was agreed that the Minister of Health of Moldova who will be participating in the meeting will deliver a joint statement on behalf of the SEEHN. The draft of this Statement will be prepared during the Forum and circulated immediately for approval by the NHC before the end of the Forum.

The HiAP capacity building programme document prepared by Erio Ziglio and Chris Brown, as a possible project, will be discussed at the next SEEHN meeting (post-Forum meeting.

The meeting welcomed the participation of the representatives of the International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services – Professor Hanne Tonnesen and Mr. Jeff Kirk Svane. They briefly described the network and its activities as well as their interest in becoming partners of the Network. Their intervention can be summarized as follows:

The International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals & Health Services (HPH) noted that HPH is pleased to embark on the coming collaboration with the SEEHN and to be of service in relation to the great role and responsibility that hospitals and health services have to play now and in future. The HPH began in the 1980s as a WHO Europe pilot project, but now consists of more than 850 hospitals and health services worldwide as a fully established legal entity (with a MoU connecting it closely to WHO). HPH is experiencing rapid growth internationally, and in SEE HPH already has members in Bulgaria, Serbia, Israel. HPH is also looking forward to supporting further memberships in the region.

The SEEHN and HPH collaboration will hopefully prove very beneficial to the health gain of patients, staff and communities in the SEE area in future. The areas of possible synergy and cooperation are plentiful. Especially hospitals and health services, by integration of health promotion in all treatment and structures, are a crucial part of improving individual health on short term and public health on long term. SEEHN and HPH are thus complimentary in scope and aim, and can benefit form a strategic collaborations.

Banja Luka, 12 October 2011
Alexandre Berlin, Rapporteur

Banja Luka, 12 October 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

SEEHN Secretariat Page Views Over 10,000

The SEEHN Secretariat page has been viewed over 10,000 times since its creation in November 2010.

Message from WHO Regional Director for Europe

 Dear Colleagues,

 Thank you very much for the effective and enthusiastic preparation for the 3rd Forum. It is very encouraging and heartwarming to see this work and this good and close collaboration among all the parties.

 Snezhana picked up a very good motto for the Conference and also for the future work of the SEEHN from RC 61, which actually I also suggested to the DG as the motto of the ongoing WHO Reform:

" If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together ". ( We borrowed this from Gaudenz Silberschmidt but I am sure he will not mind if we use it broadly ).

You can all count on my full support and looking forward to meeting you all in Banja Luka.

 Special thanks to Snezhana and Maria for their never-fading efforts to move forward and to build consensus.

 Regards Zsuzsanna Jakab

Message from SEEHN Executive Committee Chair

Dear All,

Allow me, on behalf of the SEE Health Network Executive Committee to express our sincere gratitude:
- for the hard work, commitment and enthusiasm for consensual and effective decision making in the spirit of the SEEHN major documents, to all the national health coordinators and representatives of the MoFA of the SEEHN MSs present at the meeting,
- the RD, Ms Jakab for her constant and strong support to the SEEHN and her visionary approach to the PH and embracing this sub regional initiative which we hope to bring further tangible results in PH in the SEE region and in Europe, and
-to our friends from WHO: Hans, Gauden, Matt, especially Maria and her team (Dora and Natalia) for enormous support and professional guidance, and not just for this Forum.

I will never forget the words of our colleague from Switzerland who, at the RC61 said:
" If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far, go together".

The power of the SEEHN is in our joining forces and thus, reaching far.

I am positive now that the 3rd Forum of the SEEHN MSs in Banja Luka, with all off you on board, will be huge success and thus, paving our way for developments in the next decade.

The last, but not the least, I complement our friends from the host country : Minister Skrbic, Amela, Goran and all our colleagues there for excellent and professional work.

We will do what's left in the coming days, so that we assure that the Forum runs smoothly and successfully.

Sincerely yours


Fourth Preparatory Meeting to the 3rd Ministers of Health Forum

The 4th Preparatory Meeting to the 3rd Ministers of Health Forum was kindly hosted by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The meeting was attended by high level officials from the SEEHN member countries as well partner countries and organizations. The meeting reviewed the progress made on the preparations to the 3rd Forum as well as several of the political and technical documents of the Forum.

You can download or read by clicking below the documents discussed:
1. Amendments to the MoU on the future of the SEEHN
2. Draft Banja Luka Pledge
3. List of Working Documents for the 3rd Forum