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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SEEHN statement on European Public Health Action Plan during WHO RC62, Malta

Joint Statement
Of the South East European Health Network
On public health Action Plan, Malta, September 2012

Mr. Chairman, thank you for giving me the floor.

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the 10 member States of the SEE Health Network, who have associated themselves with this statement: Albania, Bulgaria. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Israel, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, Romania and Serbia.

Today is a great day for public health since the Regional Committee celebrates the inauguration of the Public Health Action Plan for the European Region of the WHO. True, WHO is the public health agency of the United Nations; The WHO/Euro has done remarkable job in many public health issues during its more than 60 years of existence, but each time every distinguished delegate from a MS talked, who had taken the floor and mentioned the term public health was he referring to the same concept? Even in different schools of public health there were different conceptualizations of the term and the terminology!

Why? Because we are dealing with developing issues, up and coming challenges which are the outcome of living in a changing world. Public Health is reaching far and beyond the community, district, sub-national, national to the globalized world. As we are dealing with emerging infectious the issues of NCDs, Social Determinants of Health, Inequalities in Health and others have taken their important place on the national arena.

The states of the SEEHN are congratulating the RD for putting public health high on the list of her priorities from the first day she has been chosen to the office. We applaud to the WHO/EURO public health team that has initiated the endeavor of having an consensus document dealing with what is Public Health and its Essential Public Health Operations for each country to identify the "must have" in order to establish an efficient public health services that are able to deal with the current and the future challenges. Especially we express gratitude to Dr. Maria Ruseva that has done a huge contribution to the establishment of the SEEHN and strengthening public health systems in the SEEHN member states, also through the work on this document and leading piloting EPHOs in this region.

Moreover, the original document was issued together with a self assessing tool for each country to examine strengths and the weaknesses of its public health services in order to bridge the gaps that have been identified. This work has emphasized areas of the Essential Public Health Operations that are most important for the country to be developed. The members of the SEEHN have taken upon themselves this hard work and thus have not only contributed to the public health document, but have upgraded him.

The SEEHN agrees to the notion that the Public Health Action Plan is one of the main pillars of the Strategy of the WHO/Euro for the year 2020. This integration is essential for the success of this endeavor that all of us are taking upon ourselves.

We see that not only in the SEE region public health is a bridge to peace, a tool to sustainable development and for participatory democracy through the whole of a government approach. It clearly enhances the international collaboration between the MS of European Region lead by the WHO.

The SEEHN being continuously growing an agora for public health has already pledged at the Banja Luka Ministerial Forum to continue its activities within the framework of the H2020 and implement it through its strategic work. The SEEHN will further continue to assess the public health systems in its member states, to monitor and evaluate them using and further developing tools and instruments that will strengthen EPHOs, as they are defined in the document

Last but not least we pledge that the other MS of the European Region implement the action plan for our success and better healthy life our next generations to live in a better life in a better environment.

The SEEHN is endorsing the draft resolution.

Thank you Mr. Chairman!