Cycling: a vital link between transport, health, environment and economy

On 19–21 September 2017, Mannheim, Germany, celebrated the 200th anniversary of the country’s invention of the bicycle by hosting the International Cycling Conference (ICC). The event brought together approximately 300 researchers, practitioners and politicians from across the globe to discuss the role of active mobility in the modern world, creating an intersection of academic, political and practical thinking strategies.

Through interactive sessions, presentations, posters, lively discussions and guided study excursions on bicycles, the Conference highlighted the important links between transport planning, health care, environmental quality, economic and business development, and social issues. Under the overarching theme of “Bridging the gap”, the event explored the challenges and opportunities of translating knowledge and experience from research into practice and policy-making – and vice versa.

To read more on the WHO/Europe website go to: WHO/Europe | Germany – Cycling: a vital link between transport, health, environment and economy

Health system performance assessment: Reporting and Communicating, a Practical Guide for Policy Makers

During the meetings of the EU expert group on HSPA, several experts expressed their interest to look at specific practical topics that could be of interest to policy makers, e.g. how to present HSPA findings, simplicity of the communication vis-à-vis complexity of the analysis, etc.

HSPA is a complex combination of activities that range from the involvement of stakeholders, the building of a political supportive environment, the definition of indicators, and the collection of reliable and comparable data – just to name few of them.

To read the full paper on reporting and communicating, a practical guide for policy makers go to: https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/systems_performance_assessment/docs/2017_hspa_reportingcommunicating_en.pdf

 

World Mental Health Day: New brochure on best practices in mental health launched

On World Mental Health Day, the EU-financed Compass Consortium launched a new brochure on Good Practices for Mental health at work, in schools, and prevention of depression and suicide.  The brochure gathers best practices from across the EU for the benefit of organisations seeking to improve the care that they provide in mental health and well-being – be they schools, workplaces, community centres, counselling services or medical practices.

Examples of potentially useful practices in mental health and well-being, gathered and evaluated by the Consortium include:

  • Mental health at work
  • Mental health in schools
  • Prevention of depression
  • Prevention of suicide

To read the brochure in full go to: https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/mental_health/docs/2017_mh_work_schools_en.pdf

State-of-the-art study focusing on the health inequalities faced by LGBTI people

The review study focused on the health inequalities faced by LGBTI people (especially those in vulnerable situations) and the potential barriers faced by health professionals when providing their care. It brings together scientific research and grey literature in a way that leads to new insights and recommendations supported by evidence.

Health inequalities relating to LGBTI people occur due to the consequences of a complex interaction of environmental, social, cultural and political factors. Root causes likely to contribute to the experience of health inequalities by LGBTI people include: cultural and social norms that preference and prioritise heterosexuality; minority stress associated with sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics; victimisation; discrimination (individual and institutional), and; stigma.

To read the full report by the European Commission: https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/social_determinants/docs/stateofart_report_en.pdf

EHMA 2018 Annual Conference

The EHMA 2018 Annual Conference will take place in Budapest, Hungary, at Semmelweis University from 20 – 22 June 2018. The theme, “Making it happen” aims to raise discussions about delivering change and overcoming challenges in policy implementation.

As EHMA Member, (through the Health and Europe Centre – contact us if you are interested in attending) you will have access to extra treatment upon arrival and a complimentary Gala dinner pass, a 100 EUR extra discount on the fees, the opportunity of becoming an EHMA Ambassador and attending the conference for free, and 10% for the group of more than 5 attendees from the same organisation.

Pin it in your agenda and do not miss the Super Early Bird fee available on the Conference website as from Tuesday 26th. You can discover more about the EHMA 2018 Annual Conference and follow the news on the upcoming Call for Abstracts on www.ehma2018.org.

Food and drink policies for better heart health

A message for World Heart Day, by Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety:

“I am a big fan of a Mediterranean style diet, rich in fruit and vegetables that is good for heart health. Unfortunately the numbers seem to suggest that not so many of us adopt this kind of regime. Indeed, only one in seven people over the age of 15 in the EU eats the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day according to 2016 figures. Furthermore, in 17 EU countries more that 50% of adults are overweight or obese, which we know is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease s (CVDs).”

The latter remains the leading cause of death and a major cause of illness and disability in the EU, despite considerable progress in tackling CVDs. According to the latest Eurostat data, heart diseases and strokes causes over 1.8 million deaths in the EU in 2014 alone, and according to the European Heart Network, dietary risks are the cause of around half of premature deaths from CVD. As our diet is such an important factor in warding off CVD, on this year’s World Heart Day I would like to focus on the importance of food and drink policies for heart health, and outline some supportive EU-actions in this area of national competence.

To read this message in full on the European Commission website: http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/sante/newsletter-specific-archive-issue.cfm?newsletter_service_id=327&newsletter_issue_id=5329

Antibacterial agents in clinical development

As part of implementation of the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, WHO drew up a list of priority antibiotic-resistant pathogens (priority pathogens list; PPL) to guide research into and the discovery and development of new antibiotics. As a further step, WHO reviewed the publicly available information on the current clinical development pipeline of antibacterial agents to assess the extent to which the drug candidates act against these priority pathogens, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Clostridium difficile.

The review shows that the current clinical pipeline is still insufficient to mitigate the threat of antimicrobial resistance.

To read this report in full: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/258965/1/WHO-EMP-IAU-2017.11-eng.pdf?ua=1

 

 

Measles are no longer an endemic in 79% of the WHO European Region

In the WHO European Region, 42 of 53 countries have interrupted endemic transmission of measles, and 37 Member States have interrupted endemic transmission of rubella as of the end of 2016. This was determined by the European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVC) at its 6th meeting in June 2017.

“I congratulate each country for fulfilling the commitment to protect its people from measles and rubella and collectively moving the European Region closer to its elimination goal,” said Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe. “However, we cannot become complacent now. Outbreaks continue to cause unnecessary suffering and loss of life.”

To read more about this on the WHO/Europe website: http://www.euro.who.int/en/media-centre/sections/press-releases/2017/measles-no-longer-endemic-in-79-of-the-who-european-region

EU and FAO join forces to take action on food waste and antimicrobial resistance

The EU and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations join forces to take action on food waste and antimicrobial resistance.

The Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis and the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) José Graziano da Silva, today agreed to ramp up collaboration between the two organisations in tackling the problems of waste in food supply chains and antimicrobial resistance.

The FAO and the EU pledge to work closely together to halve per capita food waste by 2030, a goal established under the new Sustainable Development Goals global agenda. It also commits them to intensified cooperation on tackling the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on farms and in food systems.

To read more about these initiatives on the European Commission website: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-3561_en.htm

European Commission adopts acts on good manufacturing practices for medicines

The European Commission adopted two legal acts aimed at improving patient safety in the EU through good manufacturing practices (GMP) that ensure the highest quality of medicines for human use.

The first act is an implementing directive that sets out principles and guidelines of GMP in medicines where the manufacture or import is subject to a manufacturing authorisation: see Article 40 of the Community code Directive (2001/83/EC).

The second act is a delegated regulation that sets out GMP for investigational medicinal products, as required by the Clinical Trials Regulation (536/2014/EU), and detailed arrangements for inspections. This legal act ensures the highest quality of medicinal products used in clinical trials and prepares the smooth entry into force of this Regulation.

To read more about this on the europa.eu website: http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/sante/newsletter-specific-archive-issue.cfm?newsletter_service_id=327&newsletter_issue_id=5153