Mapping the sources and level of air pollution in Europe

At the Clean Air Forum in Paris the Commission and the EU Environment Agency launched a new Air Quality Index, which allows citizens to monitor air quality in real time. The Commission also published an Air Quality Atlas, a tool developed by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre that maps the origins of fine particulate matter, such as dust, smoke, soot, pollen and soil particles, in EU cities.

The Air Quality Index and the European Air Quality Atlas are two tools that will help to pave the way for targeted measures to improve air quality and raise citizens’ awareness of the air quality situation in Europe. Each year, over 400 000 citizens die prematurely in the EU as a result of poor air quality, more than ten times the number of deaths by road traffic accidents. Millions more suffer from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases caused by air pollution.

To read more about the Clean Air Forum and to access the Air Quality Index and Atlas go to: European Commission – PRESS RELEASES – Press release – Mapping the sources and level of air pollution in Europe: Commission publishes new Air Quality Index and Atlas

Reducing childhood obesity in Poland by effective policies

Being overweight affects about 14% of Polish girls and almost 20% of boys. Childhood obesity is a health concern, as it increases the demand for paediatric treatment. Moreover, the slow but continuous increase in the prevalence in Poland over the past 40 years and the fact that an obese child will most likely become an obese adult indicates that childhood obesity jeopardises the sustainability of our health system.

To read the report on reducing childhood obesity in Poland on the WHO/Europe website go to: WHO/Europe | WHO European Office for NCDs – Reducing childhood obesity in Poland by effective policies (2017)

WHO | Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused

Sexual abuse of children and adolescents is a gross violation of their rights and a global public health problem. It adversely affects the health of children and adolescents. Health care providers are in a unique position to provide an empathetic response to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused. Such a response can go a long way in helping survivors recover from the trauma of sexual abuse.

WHO has published new clinical guidelines Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused aimed at helping front-line health workers, primarily from low resource settings, in providing evidence-based, quality, trauma-informed care to survivors. The guidelines emphasises the importance of promoting safety, offering choices and respecting the wishes and autonomy of children and adolescents. They cover recommendations for post-rape care and mental health; and approaches to minimising distress in the process of taking medical history, conducting examination and documenting findings.

To download the publication on the WHO website go to: WHO | Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused

Global tuberculosis report 2017

WHO has published a global TB report every year since 1997. The main aim of the report is to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic, and of progress in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease at global, regional and country levels. This is done in the context of recommended global TB strategies and targets endorsed by WHO’s Member States and broader development goals set by the United Nations. The data in this report are updated annually.

To read the full report on the WHO website go to: http://www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/en/

Transforming Intergrated Care in the Community (TICC)

Transforming Integrated Care in the Community (TICC) has secured more than €4.8 million of European funding in this €8 million cross-border partnership involving 14 organisations from the UK, France, the Netherlands and Belgium. The project was approved and funded by the EU Interreg 2 Seas Programme 2014-2020 (co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund) which has supported the project over four years.

TICC will create systemic change in health & social care, providing services better suited to our ageing population by addressing holistic needs. It will present a methodology to overcome blocking points in transferring socially innovative service models from one area to another. This will be tested via the implementation of the Buurtzorg integrated care at home model which consists of self-managing teams of 12 staff working at neighbourhood level handling every aspect of care & business. This model significantly reduces the back office, simplifies IT & coaches rather than manages, providing better outcomes for people, lower costs, fewer unplanned hospital admissions & consistency of care. TICC will enable other health/social care organisations to implement new ideas; increase staff productivity, recruitment and retention as well as improving patient satisfaction & decreasing costs, emergency admissions and staff absences. It aims to postpone the moment when residential or end of life care is needed.

To read more about TICC go to: Transforming Intergrated Care in the Community (TICC) – Buurtzorg International

Database of experts in the field of health

Application for inclusion in the database to support the Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in health

The European Commission has published the above-mentioned call addressed to experts who wish to be included in the database from which individuals are chosen to support the work of the Expert Panel on Health. These experts will be included in a database according to their field of expertise and knowledge.  They will be called only if/when the members of the Expert Panel would request specific expertise and support, and therefore inclusion in the database offers no guarantees of being contacted by the Commission.

To read more and to download the application form on the European Commission website go to: Database of Experts – European Commission

ECHOES: European Community Health Worker Internet Survey

Take part in the largest ever survey of Community Health Workers, taking place all over Europe.

You can take part if you…

• Are aged 18 or over AND;
• Work with gay, bisexual and other Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) now or in the last 12 months AND;
• Deliver sexual health support for gay, bisexual and other MSM in community settings (not in a hospital or clinic).

To read more and to take part in the survey go to: ECHOES: European Community Health Worker Internet Survey

Reducing health inequalities experienced by LGBTI people

A pilot project aiming to reduce health inequalities experienced by LGBTI people will increase our understanding of how best to reduce these specific health inequalities experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex (LGBTI) people, focussing in particular on overlapping inequalities stemming from discrimination and unfair treatment on other grounds (e.g. older, younger, refugee, immigrant, disability, rural, poverty).

The project will explore the particular health needs and challenges faced by LGBTI people and analyse the key barriers faced by health professionals when providing care for LGBTI people. The aim is to raise awareness of the challenges and provide European health professionals with the tools that give them the right skills and knowledge to overcome these barriers and contribute to the reduction of health inequalities.

To read more about the project go to: Pilot projects funded by the European Parliament – European Commission

State of children’s medicines in the EU

The European Commission had presented a report to the European Parliament and the Council, on progress made in children’s medicines since the Paediatric Regulation came into force 10 years ago. It concludes that positive advances in the development of medicines for children could not have been achieved without specific EU legislation – e.g. the authorisation of 260 new medicines. The Paediatric Regulation also gives a good return on investment. However, the report acknowledges that more effort is needed to combine the effects of the Paediatric with those of the Orphan medicines Regulation to address shortcomings in treating rare diseases in children.

Commenting on the report, VytenisAndriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Whereas I am pleased with the overall progress made in improving children’s access to safe, tailored medicines, I am committed to extending these positive gains to children with rare diseases. When we consider the advances in adult oncology, it upsets me deeply that we have not made the same progress in treating the cancers that affect children. In the next 10 years we must focus on making similar breakthroughs for children, by combining the incentives under the Orphans and the Paediatric Regulations, and by ensuring that the European Reference Networks – in particular ‘ERN PaedCan’ on paediatric cancer, reach full capacity”.

To read more about this on the European Commission website go to: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-4121_en.htm

The eHealth journey in Latvia

In a journey that started over a decade ago, the Ministry of Health of Latvia demonstrated its commitment to achieving universal health coverage by creating a national programme of electronic health (eHealth). This has been a key element of ensuring that Latvian people receive the right care in the right place and at the right time.

In the past, concerns such as data privacy and confidentiality were a barrier to converting Latvia’s fragmented, paper-based system into a modern, efficient and accessible eHealth system. Now, several comprehensive improvements, aided by technical support from the WHO Country Office in Latvia, have helped the eHealth system reach a high level of reliability and acceptance.

To read more about Latvia’s eHealth journey on the WHO website go to: WHO/Europe | The eHealth journey in Latvia