Meeting with Northern Dimension Partnership of Public Health and Social Well-being
On 3rd February 2021 the Healthy Boost project had an online meeting with the representatives of Northern Dimension Partnership of Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) and its Non Communicable Diseases Expert Group. NDPHS is a cooperative effort of ten governments, the European Commission and eight international organisations.
The mission of the NDPHS is to promote the sustainable development of the Northern Dimension area by improving peoples’ health and social well-being. The Partnership aims to contribute to this process by intensifying cooperation, assisting the Partners in capacity building, and by enhancing the extent of coordination between international activities within the Northern Dimension area.
Dr Mikko Vienonen from NDPHS visited Healthy Boost’s project meeting in March 2020 before the coronavirus outbreak and presented the goals and objectives of the partnership. Mikko framed the purpose of this 2021 meeting as follows:
Both Healthy Boost and NDPHS/NCD EG focus on public health in the Baltic Sea Region. Healthy Boost operates on a practical level directly with organizations and population. NCD EG helps decision makers in respective countries with epidemiological and policy innovations to reach our strategic goals. At the time when the Healthy Boost project was planned, NDPHS Secretariat and also NCD EG were supporting the process. Therefore, following up the progress and results of the project will be interesting. Likewise, it will be important for the Healthy Boost operators to have information about future strategic plans and directions where the NDPHS is heading.
The meeting was started by professor Pekka Jousilahti of Finnish institute for health and welfare, who shortly introduced NDPHS/NCD EG and how they see the role of their work for non-communicable diseases.
Next Mikko Vienonen presented some results of the Preventable premature deaths (PYLL) in Northern Dimension partnership countries 2003–13 study. The PYLL rate (Potential Years of Life Lost) differs considerably among ND area countries. A striking feature is its gender difference, being on average 2.5 times higher for men than for women. Premature mortality can be prevented effectively by designing and implementing health and economic policies on health promotion and disease prevention. Evidence based treatment of diseases also makes a difference, but is less effective than prevention of diseases and accidents. The general development in public health outcome was good in 2003-2013, resulting in average 26% PYLL reduction.
Public health strategies should be intersectoral and involve all stakeholders. Practicing Health in All Policies (HiAP), promoting healthy lifestyles and holistic healthcare are crucial for preventing and avoiding many of premature deaths.
After NDPHS' presentations it was Healthy Boost project’s turn to present the Model for Cross-Sectoral Cooperation and the cities’ pilot health promotion projects which have utilized the model. The Model as well as pilot projects experiences and a collection of good practices of cross-sectoral cooperation will be published and shared to be utilized in the cities of the BSR.