WHO European Ministerial Conference underway in Minsk

Baku, October 22, AZERTAC

The WHO European Ministerial Conference under the slogan ‘Acting early, acting on time and acting together" opened at the headquarters of the National Olympic Committee in Minsk, Belarus, according to Belta. This ministerial conference will present findings from a wide range of disciplines: genetics, medicine, public health and the environmental, economic and social sciences to illustrate how the life-course approach can maximize the health potential of the entire population.

Three key themes run through the conference: acting early, acting on time and acting together. Together, they form the life-course approach. If this approach is applied to public health in Europe, there is scope for vast improvement in the health of populations.

Pregnancy and birth should be a healthy and positive experience for all. The early years of life should give the best possible start for the mental and physical health of both mother and child in a healthy, supportive environment.

Young people should be able to make choices that delay or prevent the onset of negative health behavior. They should not be subjected to pressure that forces them to adopt risky sexual or consumer behavior that is harmful to them for the rest of their lives and should be guided away from threats to their well-being, peace and security. The vulnerable transition periods in life, when people are most open to change, could be used as entry points for many sectors to help people to cope, thrive and recover from the consequences of financial crises, unemployment, displacement and insecurity.

Main objectives of the conference are to review new evidence on the factors that improve or damage health throughout the life stages and across generations; to examine the policy implications of such evidence for the health sector and for the whole of government; and to adopt an action framework in the form of a conference outcome statement for use by countries that wish to apply the findings in public policy-making.

The participants of the conference include health ministers, delegations from Member States in the WHO European Region and representatives of intergovernmental organizations, regional economic cooperation agencies and international nongovernmental organizations. Key questions on the agenda involves issues related to use of the life-course approach, health policies, protection of health in crises that threaten entire populations at different stages of life and others.

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