Experiences and Challenges in Public Health – Health knows no boundaries

A two-day conference on “Experiences and Challenges in New Public Health – Health in All Policies” began on Wednesday in Sarajevo. The object of the conference is to discuss achievements and new developments in public health and to exchange new ideas for public health interventions.

The concept of Health in All Policies and its application in inter-sectoral cooperation and collaboration will be presented through practical examples around themes such as Health City, Health Promoting School, Work Place Health Promotion, Healthy Hospital, and Health Communication Network. The conference will also examine the role of NGOs and civil society.

The event is organised by the EU-funded project, “Strengthening Public Health Institutes in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, in partnership with the main beneficiary of the project, the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, as well as with the FBiH Ministry of Health, the RS Ministry of Health and the Department for Health and other Services of Brčko District.

Boris Iarochevitch, Head of Operations at the EU Delegation to BiH, underlined that the conference is part of an IPA Project and focuses on “concrete and successful results.”

“We are happy to have a regional approach, because health knows no boundaries,” said Iarochevitch. He pointed out that public health concerns everyone, that all age groups should be covered, and that the conference is only one part of border programme about public while another one will involve citizens  through different sport activities in different parts of Sarajevo.

Zsuzsanna Jakab, Director of WHO Regional Office for Europe, stressed that the topic of the conference is important not only for Bosnia and Herzegovina but for Southeast Europe and Europe as a whole. “WHO is present in Bosnia and Herzegovina and it will keep on being here,” she said. “Bosnia and Herzegovina is a member of the Health Network of Southeast Europe and it will chair this organisation for the next six months,” Jakab added.

Sredoje Nović, BiH Minister of Civil Affairs, noted that Bosnia and Herzegovina still bears the burden of war and is striving to implement reforms. “Every country tries to create conditions for health improvement, which is indeed the mission of public health,” he said. “Only healthy individuals and communities can lead society towards progress.“

Ranko Škrbić, RS Minister of Health and Social Welfare announced that a regional conference of ministers of health will be held on 13 and 14 October in Banja Luka, while FBiH Health Minister Rusmir Mesihović emphasized that health considerations have to be incorporated in all public policy.

“For good public Health services a key element is collecting and analysing data so as to produce a clear picture of the condition in the country,“ said Admir Čandić, Head of the Brčko District Department for Health and other Services.