Health in Europe. Improvement through cooperation

Reblogged from Science on the Net

Talking about the European Region does not mean speaking of a homogeneous situation, also from the point of view of health. To realize how complex and articulated the European scenario is, just think that in Ukraine, Romania, Moldova and Turkey twice as many children die before the age of five if the figures are compared with so-called industrialized countries. Not to mention the infectious diseases, the use of alcohol and tobacco, which reflect a Europe still deeply layered and with several countries still extremely dependent on their history.

The issue is not trivial because if it is true that Europe wants to brand itself as a unique community and pursue common objectives, it is necessary to take the issue of health policies very seriously. Health is in fact a major resource and asset for societies, because good health benefits all sectors, including economic growth.

This is the viewpoint of the World Health Organization that in September 2012 has launched Health 2020, the new European policy framework for health and well-being, involving the 53 Members States of the WHO European Region. The philosophy of Health 2020 is very clear: its aim is not to make national and local health systems even but to make them evenly better. This is at once a challenge and a turning point. A challenge that basically translates into two points: first, the need to improve health for all and reduce the health divide and, moreover, the need to strengthen leadership and participatory governance for health. 

Specifically, Health 2020 is based on four priority areas: investing in health through a life-course approach and empowering people; tackling the most important challenges of noncommunicable and communicable diseases; strengthening people-centred health systems and, finally, creating resilient communities and environments.

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